Friday, April 18, 2008

My "HGTV" Home Decorating Mistakes

Today I caught the HGTV show, 25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes. It was good and I agreed with the majority of the tips. However, I came up with several of my own tips that they should have addressed.

1. Home interiors that are the same as everyone else. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, twin vanity sinks, black picture frames, etc. Have some originality! Yes, they are in style. Yes, they are acceptable and "sell" homes. But, they lack personality!

2. Large, obvious, or overwhelming homemade or craft items. Shows you are lazy or cheap or non-conforming. Use some, if you must, but don't go overboard.

3. Wicker furniture or accessories. They eventually attract bugs. And they're cheap and ugly. Okay, for a patio or sunroom, but NOT in the house! And come up with something else than a futon - ugly!

4. Fake fruit, glass balls, or marbles as decoration. Enough said!

5. Oriental or Persian rugs - too busy, too "yesterday."

6. Overly ornate or unusual chandeliers or light fixtures. They cause a person to look up and worry or wonder. Keep it simple. Go with simple lighting or track or recessed lighting.

7. Large TVs in the bedroom. Tacky! Defeats the purpose of the bedroom. Watch TV in the family room or den. Sleep, read, relax, make love in the bedroom.

8. Lack of music - music soothes the savage beast. The music should NOT be overwhelming or too dramatic (no rap, or opera, or dramatic readings, etc.) Try something similar to Musak (dentist office, elevator) but make it your own style/personality. And never too loud!

9. Lack of a clock. Everyone needs to know what time it is at some point.

10. Too many candles and/or too many bowls of potpourri - supposed to be for ambience, but nothing is worse than already-burned candles or potpourri that has ceased smelling good! Just a bowl of some old dried out dead flowers! Besides they're all fire hazards.

11. Overloaded or unorganized books and too many magazines out on display. Group your books by subject or title or author's name. Dust them off often! Keep magazines in a proper receptacle in the bathroom or other sitting area, not in the living room or kitchen!

12. Visible computers and the equipment. Keep them in your specified office or study area - not in the living or bedroom!

13. Evidence of kids. Who wants to visit somewhere and have to see toys, or games scattered around - or candy wrappers or cookie crumbs or throw up? Not everyone is fond of kids being the center of their world.

14. Likewise, evidence of pets. No one wants to be jumped on by your dog. No one wants to be rubbed on by your cat. And who wants to sit in fear of your iguana or snake? Keep your pets to a designated area. And be sure they don't give off an odor.

15. Too much light or brightness. No where to sit, relax, rest your eyes. Should have an area that is quiet and calming. Be conscious of colors, outside light, and types of furniture.

In case you're wondering, the HGTV article was excellent. Some tips were obvious - like using furniture that doesn't fit correctly, or frames hung too high, or improper lighting.

Others made so much sense, but I never really thought about. Never use a toilet rug or have a rug too near the toilet. Makes sense, doesn't it?

And, don't go overboard with photos or knickknacks - use photo albums instead and rotate (better yet, store or get rid of) your precious sentimental knickknacks.

Never center a rug; put the front feet of the furniture on it. Don't have everything matching in a room - it's psychotic and unimaginative. If you are following a trend (lava lamps, brass lamps, black laminate furniture, etc.) get rid of it when it goes out of style.

And, don't keep something you hate - that big faux-fur sofa that your grandmother left to you or that big ugly teddy bear your love won for you at the fair 10 years ago!

Your home is your castle. While you're living there, make it your own!

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