Common Mistakes People Make When Designing a Living Space

By Donna Moss Interior Design | | Canada

Common Mistakes People Make When Designing a Living Space

You see the perfect home decor accessory in a shop, so you instinctively buy it and bring it home excitedly only to discover that it looks mediocre in your home. While most DIY videos encourage us to design our living spaces on our own, the best way to design your home is actually by leaving it to a professional designer.

What most of us don’t understand is that interior design takes a very keen and knowledgeable eye. Lack of knowledge about the field can result in making several costly errors when you design a living space on your own.

To help you steer clear of these expensive errors, we have compiled a list of most common mistakes people make when designing their living space.

Not hiring a licensed and experienced designer. The biggest mistake customers make in designing a new home is not hiring a licensed or a very experienced interior designer from the get-go. The best projects are accomplished by a collaboration of disciplines.

Using an architect, an interior designer, a lighting designer or engineer, a sound and audio professional and a security specialist will get you the best results. If you want a “smart house”, usually the aforementioned group is up to date on the basics as every day something new in technology is introduced, so depend on these professionals to keep you current.

A builder will best design my home. As stated previously, a confluence of disciplines is best, but clients make the mistake consistently in trusting a builder to design their project. They are not designers. Bringing a designer on board will take a lot of the responsibility off the shoulders of the builder and will allow him/her to focus on building, which is what they do best. The designer should be involved and introduced at the very beginning so the concept, the actual design, and construction are in sync and checks and balances are in place.

Not knowing which style they are most comfortable with. Before embarking on any project, the client needs to have somewhat of a clear idea as to the style or combination of styles that makes them most comfortable. There are so many magazines and books expressing a myriad of styles, so flagging those pages and showing them to those involved in the design helps them narrow the field and wastes less time.

It's okay if all parties don't agree, and have different styles and ideas. It is the job of the designer to consider all information presented, interpret it and find the answer that makes all parties happy. Not a small challenge, but that's part of the job.

Downplaying space planning. If you are renovating or building new, it's important that all owned furnishings that you plan on using are documented in terms of color, size, and style. The space planning and furniture layout should be done before any building begins. This is a common mistake when hiring an architect who isn't trained as an interior designer.

The most common mistakes occur when, after all is said and done, the furniture you counted on using, doesn't fit or look right in the space, or the window treatments you wanted can't be mounted inside the window because there's not enough depth, or the sliding doors have protruding handles which don't allow the privacy treatment you counted on because they stick out too far.

Not considering lighting design. Whether renovating, building new, or refurbishing, lighting design should be done after the layouts, the style, and the floor plan are done. A well-designed space is nothing without the proper lighting. Proper lighting is not general lighting. It is specific lighting for a particular task or ambiance. Lighting is part of the rapidly changing technology, so ensure your professionals have been attending the industry education offerings.

“I am qualified to design a living space because I watch shows on TV about decorating and renovating.” Bottom line, do not think because you watch HGTV or other shows on TV about decorating or renovating that you are qualified to take on a serious building or renovating project and do not assume that any salesperson in any retail store is a trained or licensed designer. Asking them for their opinion, without knowing if their opinion is valid, is just not smart. Even if they dress well.

To get your home designed by a licensed and experienced interior designer, reach out to Donna Moss Interior Design. We have extensive experience of over thirty years in the design field. We design residential as well as commercial interiors in the most innovative way. To browse through our interior design portfolio for commercial and residential spaces, please click here. If you have any questions about designing your home or office, get in touch with us by clicking here.