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Fighting Design Crime: 5 Design Offenses and How to Avoid Your Arrest

Last Updated on November 6, 2011

No one wants to be accused of committing crimes of design, but with no clear blueprint of what to follow, it’s hard to know right from wrong. If you have fake flowers from 20 years ago lying dusty on the shelves, or if action figures line the tops of your cabinets, you might want to consider other options. Although designing one’s living space is meant to reflect their personality, it’s also important to balance personal taste with good design. To help you decide which, if any, interior decorating elements have to go, here are 5 design crimes to help you get started.

Too Matchy-Matchy

Red walls, red bedding, red carpet, red furniture? Too matchy-matchy (and not in a good way). While head-to-toe solid colors sometimes work with an outfit, it’s too much of a good thing when you’re designing a room. If you prefer a tonal look, try mixing different hues of the same color, or assorted prints. Bright or bold colors are a statement all their own and work best if used with discretion.

If you’re someone who likes to match, try first finding a statement piece you can design the room around. Move through the process slowly, choosing paint and accessories until you feel comfortable with the look. Think outside the box!


Invest in Cheap Furniture

Buying cheap won’t always pay off. It can surely be tempting, but furniture retailers have mastered the art of offering low-quality pieces but still reasonably cool styles. And with bills to pay and stuck in the middle of the recession, it’s hard to resist a $20 coffee table. But think about how long that $20 table will last you? Not long.

Spend your money wisely, on durable materials and solid construction. Save for pieces that are well-made and will last for many years. It will prove cost-effective in the long run.

Save Everything

Clutter can halter one’s ability to enjoy their home and share it with others. We put something on the floor, thinking we’ll clean it later, but it stays there. Without even trying, soon the whole house is cluttered. It’s an easy mistake to make. Don’t let collections overwhelm a space. Limit yourself and set aside time to do periodical cleanings. Keep de-cluttering. There’s nothing more satisfying than living in a peaceful, organized space.


Choose Silk Plants over Real

Nothing is worse than walking into a room and getting hit with a cloud of dust. Silk plants can be the culprit. More times than not they give an overall cheap or lazy look to the room. Resist the desire to buy fake, and opt for fresh instead. The extra money or effort involved in real plants will illuminate the design in a way fake cannot. If you suffer from allergies, and must go for silk greenery, use in moderation.


Insufficient Lighting

While lighting is often one of the most overlooked elements in good interior design, it is one of the most important. There’s nothing better to highlight an intricate painting, or create a certain mood. Think both natural and artificial light. The presence of light in life and home is not just a matter of functionality, but also a matter that affects how people feel. Take a look at the options, and plan ahead. There are several lighting techniques that will give you the ambience you want, for whatever mood you’re in!

Make stopping design crimes your latest campaign by following these few tips. Consider channeling yourself into an exciting interior design project! Your own creativity merged with a few words of advice will guarantee some decorative fun!

George Gallagher is a personal interior designer and education blogger.  He is currently working with credit unions to help graduates with theirstudentloanconsolidation.

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