Welcome to Part One of Design Roast. Today we'll be looking at 3 of the Top Decorating Pitfalls. Yes, there are definitely more than three, but it's baby steps for us my friends.
Now, the way I see it, you can proceed in one of two ways. You can,
A.) Skim through the descriptions of these issues, snickering as you envision one of your friend's homes falling into a particular category.
-OR- you can...
B.) Look critically at yourself and your own home, to see if you can relate. Because, you know what they say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. If you choose the latter, then Congrats! You are one step closer to a beautiful, more inspiring home.
To avoid overwhelm, my advice to you is to break it down by room. Start with the one space in your house that you are unhappy with, and see if any of these common design dilemmas apply.
So, without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are 3 Very Common Decorating Mistakes.
First up is the Parent Trap, and no, I'm not talkin' about the movie. The Parent Trap is very common among families with young children...I can relate! But just because you have little ones in the house, does not mean your home has to look like you run a daycare out of it. Some signs you have fallen into the trap:
- Your home has become a fire hazard, because in order to escape in the case of an emergency, you have to pull out your track shoes and hurdle multiple baby gates that are difficult for even the most skilled parent to open with two free hands.
- You have rubbers everywhere...get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking about the rubber pieces that cover potentially harmful furniture corners. I get that this seems like a good idea when you are at Babies R' Us and you need to find some "cheaper" things to add to your registry; but come on people, the reality of it is that your baby is going to fall in their attempt to walk, but the chances of them actually falling on those little 3" chunks of rubber are pretty slim. The good news is that your purchase isn't a total waste-they double as teethers for babies and/or chew toys for dogs.
- End tables, lamps or other room-appropriate furniture has been replaced with baby swings, plastic kitchens, or some other oversized kiddo contraption.
- Disney themed wall clings have made their way out of the nursery and into the main living quarters.
I don't want to beat a dead horse, so I'll stop with the detailed description. The base of this problem stems from convenience, and I get that. When you have littles under foot it seems easier to just have their toys close by so that you can keep an eye on them while they play. You are tired...no EXHAUSTED by the end of the day, and it is easier to just make room for the classic colored plastic, then to drag it all off to another room and stow it away so that it can just be pulled out again tomorrow. While it may not seem like it in your sleep deprived state-there is another alternative. You can have a baby, and/or toddler and still live in the grown up house you deserve while keeping your most cherished little people safe. Unfortunately, today is not about solutions, it's about pinpointing the problem. So, if you can relate, good for you! You've conquered the first step.
Don't be fooled by the name. You don't have to have a college degree or party stories to fit into this category. College Carryover just means that while you've grown up in many other ways, it doesn't reflect in your home decor. Houses experiencing College Carryover, typically resemble, well, a college dorm room or 1st apartment, and have one or more of the following:
- Mismatched, hand-me-down furniture.
- New items are likely from Ikea.
- Posters hang in place of art, and are affixed by thumbtacks.
Again, I understand the reasons behind the College Carryover. In fact, it isn't uncommon for a young family to have overlapping problems i.e. Parent Trap & College Carryover. I think a lot of money conscious couples tend to hold off on buying "nice" furniture until the kids are grown (or at least until they are past the point of playing Picasso on any empty surface). But just like the Parent Trap, there are ways to remedy the problem....if you so choose.
Are you ready for number 3 folks? Because this one is HUGE! Sooooo, many people fall victim to the pressure of the home decor "gift". I use quotation marks around the word gift because, often, what starts as a nice gesture leads to a big pain in the ass for the recipient. Why is it that we feel obligated to display something in our most intimate spaces just because someone gave it to us? Why do we feel like we have to stick a piece of outdated furniture in a room just because it has been passed down to us from Great Granny? It's because we are nice people I suppose. Which yes, is a good thing. But I'm here to tell you that being nice does not require you to sacrifice the design of your home. In fact, next time you consider buying someone something for their home-resort back to this article, pull out your "nice" and reconsider. Maybe a gift card to a store with home goods would be a better bet. Like I said before, this topic is huge, so you can bet that there will be a follow up on how to handle this issue within your own space.
But until then, do me a favor. Look around your house, the furniture, the art on the walls, the trinkets on the shelf, and find the things that you didn't purchase or pick out. For each item, ask yourself, "Do I love this?" If the answer is, no, you know what to do...Pull It! You don't have to throw it away, just pull it out for a while and see if you are happier without it. I guarantee the person who gave it to you will understand. Even if they do notice it's missing, they'll likely never have the huevos to mention it. And if they do? Then they weren't so nice after all, and your problem is solved. What's that they say? There's no use crying over spilled milk.