Posts tagged lamps

3 Common Design Mistakes

There are several things that can cause a room to not look right. Color placement, color distribution, lack of color harmony, lack of color contrast, furniture scale, accessory placement, lighting…  All room elements must be chosen carefully for a total look to be pleasing, in harmony and functional.

The three common design mistakes listed here are easy fixes! Once you identify the element that needs to be addressed, you have already won the battle!

1. Drapery that is too short. This happens for a lot of reasons! If you are buying ready-made drapery, they may not have the right length for you. Sometimes, the hardware is installed too high–and to avoid more holes in the wall, you just leave it as it is. Or, it was simply a mistake in measurement.

Drapery should extend in length to cover the baseboard. Most prefer that the drapery NOT touch the floor (leaving a neat 1/4-1/2″ clearance) so they move nicely when opened without dragging. Some like a puddled hem (extra long length) but that is usually installed when the drapery is kept open and stationary.

Here is a sample of pleasing drapery length (below). The drapery hangs without any breaking or binding and will move left/right easily. The hem will stay cleaner at this length as it will not be picking up debris from the floor–especially in this case–which is installed at a doorway.

2. Rug too small for dining area. The ideal sizing, and rule of thumb, is for the rug to be large enough to accommodate chairs when they are pulled out for seating. Another related mistake is to stage your dining area with the chairs pushed tightly to the table edge. These photos illustrate these points very well. The first one shows a table and chairs on a rug that is too small and the grouping is ‘bound up”. The 2nd and 3rd have plenty of rug surface to protect the primary flooring from chairs scraping… and prevent the feeling of the chair being on 2 uneven surfaces.

3. Lamps out of scale for bedside. If you like to recline on bed pillows and read, the bottom of the lamp shade needs to be just below or right at your eye level while you are reclined. But even if you don’t read in bed–the same rule of thumb applies towards lamp height and scale. You’ll want the bottom of the lamp shade to line up with the middle height of the headboard. The top of the shade can be level with, higher than or slightly lower than the top of the headboard–depending on the shape of the lamp and the height of the headboard!

The first photo has lamps that are too short. If you were reclining on that pillow, you wouldn’t benefit from the light for reading. the second photo has great lamps in style, height and scale.

The photo below shows a lighting mix which is very nice. The lamps, alone, are too small and not useful. But mixed with the down lights on the shelving above, the room lighting is balanced, pleasing and functional.

I hope these tips help!

Good design is so much fun!

Marcie Elliott-Smith, CISS, IRIS

Intuition Interiors
512| 925 1958