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5 Design Crimes – Part One

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by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

Design crimes may not be as serious as first degree murder or grand theft auto. But they come with consequences all their own – poorly designed interiors that have all the style of a prison cell!.

Homeowners guilty of design crimes start with good intentions; most only want to create peaceful and intimate spaces in their own homes Yet one simple design mistake can turn these rooms into dark, drab, and tacky crime scenes. Do you have a crime scene in your own home? If you are a design criminal, you can be rehabilitated. Admit your crime, then redesign.

Design Crime #1 – Junk Shop Chic

You have accumulated a lifetime of precious objects – pictures, figurines, and snow globes And you surround yourself with these memories, displaying them on every available surface in your home. But instead of creating a cozy and inviting space, all this clutter makes your home look like a junk shop holding a sale. You may love your collection of Elvis dolls, but putting all one-hundred figurines on display creates a claustrophobic room.

You need to de-clutter. Take all of your collectibles and accessories out of the room, leaving only the furniture. Next, go through your collection and pick out your ten favorite items. Bring these back into your room and display them on bookshelves and end tables. Then go back to your collection, pack everything else in a box, and place the box in the attic or garage. After a month or two, you can rotate the accessories you have on display. Just be sure to rotate – for every new item you bring in, take one old item out. And remember that a clear space leads to a clear mind.

Design Crime #2 – The Beach Room, the Jungle Room, the Safari Room, the Pirate Room…

It seemed like a good idea at the time; you love the beach, so why not turn your living room into a seaside retreat? You painted waves on your walls, hung a large stuffed fish over your doorway, and stuck a sea shell into every spare corner of your room. Yet the result of all this effort is a room that looks like a child’s playground – a busy and overactive space better suited to afternoons of pretending rather than nights of relaxing.

Keep your room clear of all the gimmicks; toss out the five-foot lighthouse in the corner. Instead, keep most of the elements in your room theme-free. Paint your walls a solid blue and skip the seasickness-inducing waves. Relegate the stuffed fish to the garage and hang pictures of your watery friends on your walls. Limit your seashell collection to five or t en, and group them together on a table or in a hurricane glass. These few touches of nautical elements will make your room look like a seaside cottage – and not a nursery school.

To view the second part of this article please click 5 Design Crimes – Part Two.

Updated: April 21, 2013 — 9:24 am

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