Designing is such a creative outlet. It’s a way to express ourselves, who we are, what our tastes are, what we value, and what we find interesting that resonates with our souls. It’s no wonder I’m seriously addicted to it! And while it may seem like an easy task, to decorate a room, to design a space, or to create a welcoming environment—it can be just as easy to unintentionally botch it up!
But not to worry! I’m gathering up my best tips to make sure that your designs shine rather than fall flat. One of the biggest pitfalls that I see often is when the design is solely driven by how the end product or space will look. Yes, that is important no doubt. But—if you just create a visibly attractive space without thought to how it will be experienced and used—it will disappoint. It is rare that we walk into a space and just stand there at the door looking in on it. Spaces are not meant to just be seen from a distance. They are meant to be experienced, meant to be enjoyed, and meant to cradle us in comfort, luxury, and ease.
So how does this translate into the room’s design. First of all, make sure that the furniture you choose is comfortable. Does it feel comfortable to sit on that chair? Is the table at the right height in relation to the chair? When you sit down, do you have a spot to rest your drink?
While aesthetics are of the utmost importance…especially to me since I’m obsessed with beautiful design—you cannot ignore the fact that when we experience a space, it is not just about its beauty. It is about how it accommodates us, how it makes room for us, how it considers us in all aspects.
So be sure to pay attention to how the space will actually feel, function, and flow. When I feel like a space takes me into account, it makes me feel appreciated, thought of, and acknowledged. That is how it makes us feel that our needs are being met over and over again.
Let’s move on to the other design pitfall I see way too often. When you want to design a space, you can get caught up in the tendency to throw everything you love, every beautiful accent you have ever seen and like. This can be overindulgent and it can lead to a feeling of overwhelm and/or clutter in a space. When that happens, nothing is truly seen or appreciated. Beautiful objects need space around them to be seen more purely. So this often missed step is called “the edit,” and it is vitally important to creating a beautiful space. Once you have taken time to think about and decide on the look you are going for, stick to it and make decisions that enhance it rather than detract from it. For example, let’s say you are going for a coastal vibe—a kind of beach house look. Yes to the driftwood décor, yes to the blue coastal hues, yes to the seaside details…but do not overdo it. Simplicity can be the most beautiful vibe you create.
So let’s say you are into this coastal look but you also like glam chic. Do NOT start introducing that too. This will confuse the overall look and become a bit schizophrenic. Not every style can fit into the same room!
Once I am done designing a room, before I consider myself completely done—I go through a process I call the “essential edit.” There are usually too many items or pieces thrown into the design. And while, they may all be beautiful aesthetically pleasing—they may be adding to a sense of clutter. Well chosen pieces, carefully thought out and placed, form a better and more cohesive design than a whole lot thrown together. So be intentional and curate carefully. Determine which pieces have a bigger and more powerful impact and choose to keep those; evaluate which items are unnecessary and trivial, and filter those out in your “essential edit.”
If you look out for those two pitfalls, and you pour your creativity into your design, then you are fully on the right track. And remember, there is not just ONE perfect design for any given space. Many can work in a powerful way. So go after the one that speaks to you and makes your soul expand.