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Interior Design Advice: Beware of one size fits all suggestions

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Not all interior design advice is good advice. We as homeowners sometimes are taken through a lot of hoops with regards to trends and what is the latest design rage. Often though we find out through considerable cost and trial and error that all those wonderful ideas don't always work for the average home or homeowner. While it is the responsibility of Interior decorators and designers to help expand and educate homeowners in the world of interior design and décor, many in the media seem to be eager to showcase their vision, with no side notes to the viewer/homeowner that their ideas may not work for every space. Here are a few examples of not-so-great advice from Interior designers.

On the Diagonal Furniture Placement- For a long long time designers were advising homeowners to rearrange their space. Placing furniture and area rugs on the diagonal was supposed to open up spaces, and redirect focal points. Interior Designers were seen doing this in countless magazines and home improvement shows. What most designers failed to mention that this is not always a good idea and that homeowners would have to indeed have more than enough space in the room to accommodate such an arrangement. Furniture placed on the diagonal can only be effective when there is more than enough open floor space to make it easy for those entering the room to navigate around large pieces of furniture. If your home is not already open concept, or is a traditional rectangular shape this design will come off looking haphazard and impractical. Better Advice: Balance is far more important than trendy furniture placement. If the diagonal seems to throw your room off balance it will be due to the fact the room naturally isn't large enough or laid out in the best way. A room that is properly balanced with a smooth flow for traffic and visual impression is a room successfully designed.

Open Concept Design- Home owners all seem to love the open concept design, because it tends to be visually expansive, allows for ease of entertaining and is usually a great way to unify everyone within the space so that no one feels cut off. Many parents loved the idea as well as it allowed parents to prepare meals while still being able to watch their children. Once this concept became a hot ticket, home builders all jumped on the band wagon to give the general public what it desired. However open concept design is not a practical fit for every lifestyle or family. For some the idea of having a perpetually exposed kitchen that is easily viewed by any and all who enter your home may be a scary idea. If your kitchen is not always spotless, or if you've been cooking a rather strong scented meal ie: fish or cabbage, the whole home becomes infused. Open concept may allow all to be united but when it comes to young children roaming about it can also be a challenge and a lot of work keeping them in certain areas of the home, as well as keeping them out of certain areas of the home. Better advice: Always study your own personal needs and ask yourself what challenges you may face when shopping around for that perfect home. Don't be afraid to go against the grain of what is popular.

Trends- One of the most frustrating and difficult areas to overcome is when we follow trends that we see in magazines and on television shows. Designers make over homes using a wide range of materials at their disposal and for that moment in time we are in awe at the beauty. It's not just limited to materials but also to appliances, and colors too. It is extremely hard for the homeowner to know the difference between that which is a trend and that which is going to be an example of timeless design. Even experts will not agree on what will be around for a while and what will be gone in a few years like a thief in the night, with emphasis on “thief” since the money it costs to follow these trends is often no small amount. While the media gave us designers working magic with small glass tiles, stainless steel everything, we became inspired and got on board. Only to find out later that they fell very short in educating us on when NOT to employ these trends. End result, well it's debatable, you may not know how badly a trend comes back to bite you until you go to sell your home and find out its not a sought after improvement. Better Advice: Don't be quick to follow trends, research timeless designs and make sure to spend your money accordingly. Just because a designer on television makes it look great for 15 minutes, doesn't mean its a good idea for your space, or your budget.

For more on Interior Decorating and design solutions, see: Dawns Interior Decorating Solutions

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