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5 Design Crimes – Part Two

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by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

To view the first part of this article please click 5 Design Crimes – Part One.

Design Crime #3- Furniture Gallery

Your bedroom looks perfect. Your dining room could be the main feature in a magazine. So why does your living room look like an amateur designed it? Odds are, the furniture in your living room is pushed against the four walls, creating a space that resembles a furniture gallery. This is great for traffic flow. No one in your home will ever bump into a chair in the middle of the night. But this furniture arrangement does not create a cozy space; furniture galleries are rarely comfortable.

Move your furniture away from the walls. The easiest way to arrange furniture in a living room is to group the sofas and chairs around a coffee table. Place your table in the middle of the room. Move your couch to one side of the table, keeping it no more than 17 inches away from the table’s edge.

Then place two chairs opposite the couch, again keeping them within arms reach of the coffee table. You have just created a furniture grouping, the coziest of the furniture layouts. No one will ever try to buy your couch again.

Design Crime #4 – Gravity Defying Art

You love your new painting, and you want everyone to see it. So you move it far away from your furniture and accessories so as not to distract from the painting’s beautiful colors. You hammer in a nail high on the wall and hang your picture on it. And the frame touches the ceiling. This explains why everyone who visits your home leaves with neck pain – your pictures are hung too high.

Pull all those nails from the wall and start again. Hang your pictures at eye level; the center of the picture should be approximately 57 inches off the ground. Your picture should also be the right size for your wall. A small painting will be lost on a big wall, and a huge painting will overpower a small room.

Try placing your picture above a piece of furniture or a fireplace; the furniture underneath the painting anchors it, creating a grouping that is pleasing to the eye. Just remember that a picture should never be larger than the object you place it over.

Design Crime #5 – Everything – and Everyone – Looks Better in the Dark

You think your dark bedroom is romantic. Your living room isn’t pitch-black, it is moody. The flickering overhead light fixture in your dining room imitates candlelight and creates a warm glow. And you frequently leave your house wearing two different shoes You may be saving a fortune on your electricity bills, but you can’t see anything in your home after the sun sets. The end of daylight-saving time turns your home into a dark cave, and those single bulb fixtures cannot fight back the darkness You need to let in the light.

Install lighting in your home. Three types of lights illuminate a room: ambient, accent, and task. Ambient lighting will be your room’s main source of light. Your ambient light fixtures could be hanging chandeliers, pot lights, or floor lamps Next, add in your accent lights.

These fixtures shine their spotlights on paintings, fireplace mantels, and wall recesses-they illuminate your room’s features Install sconces, track lighting, and flood lights and aim their beams at your room’s focal points Lastly, task lights brighten up your work spaces, illuminating your computer or kitchen counter top. Popular task lighting options includependant lights, desk lamps, and tabletop lights

Updated: November 9, 2012 — 1:26 am

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