Three Decorating No No’s and How to Avoid Them

There are three things I suggest you consider in your home if you want to make it feel more pleasing to the eye, more cohesive and more comfortable.  I find myself having these conversations with almost every client I work with whether its decorating or organizing their space.

Choosing Paint Colors

Paint color, in my opinion, can make or break the look and feel of your home.  One mistake I see is choosing a paint color for one room without taking all the rooms in your home into consideration.   You want to gather paint chips for all the colors you currently have that you do not plan to change and then carefully choose a color to tie everything together.  I like to try to repeat the same wall color or a tint of the same wall color three times in the home. For example, the color on the kitchen walls might be repeated in the main bathroom and in a guest bedroom. Or the accent color on the fireplace wall might be pulled into a powder room and the mudroom.  The possibilities are absolutely endless which is why so many people turn to professional interior decorators for help.  It is a bit of work to get this right and worth the time it takes to create a color profile that works seamlessly throughout your home. And, please, do not be afraid to put some color on your walls! It’s just paint, it can be changed.

Area Rug Sizing

I get it.  A decent area rug is not inexpensive and the larger it is the more it costs. Please, I beg you, save your pennies so you can afford to buy the right size rug for your space.  I know you will measure carefully before you go shopping, right?  You want the furniture in the room to sit on top of the rug or at least to touch the edges of the rug.  Otherwise, your rug is too small and instead of pulling together the room the rug simply floats in the middle and other than adding some color and pattern it just looks odd.  You might be able to move your furniture closer together, away from the walls, and make your existing rug work.

With wall-to-wall carpet almost completely gone out of fashion in favor of hardwood, vinyl or tile flooring, the need for a nice rug is essential to make your rooms feel warm and cozy.  Plus, with open space living a rug can help to create separate spaces.

As I’m sure you know most area rugs come in standard sizes of 5’ x 7’, 7’ x 9’, 8’ x 10’ and so on.  If you measure and your rug needs to be a different size, you might want to consider having a rug made.  You can, of course, have a custom rug made by a supplier like Nourison ( Or you can go to your local flooring store and choose carpeting and have it made into any size you want.  Another interesting option is carpet tile which is sold in 20” x 20” squares and can be assembled in a variety of configurations (


Height of Artwork

In my opinion, hanging artwork at eye level rarely works.  Especially if whoever hangs it is especially tall. When I have asked experts in the field of selling art, they have always said hang your art piece(s) so that the centre is at 5’6” from the floor.  However, I still find that too high in most cases.  I find hanging at 5’ from the floor just seems to look ‘right’ to my eye, although that will depend on your ceiling height and the size of the piece(s).

Then there are exceptions such as when you are ‘grounding’ a piece(s) over furniture. For example, when hanging over your sofa, center your pieces and have the bottom edge 6” to 8” from the top of the furniture piece.  When hanging over a table try 8” to 10” above the top.  You may create a grouping with a chair, end table with lamp and an art piece in which case the piece may be lower or higher depending on how it relates to the other elements.

I’m sure you also know that hanging one tiny piece of art on a big wall is a bit of a ‘no no’.  Similar to the too small area rug that gets lost in the room, the artwork gets lost on the wall.  Combining several smaller pieces can have a wonderful gallery wall effect.

Take a walk around your home and see if you can make a few small changes with area rug or artwork placement. It may just make a big enough difference that you don’t need to buy a thing!

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