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Top Ten Design Mistakes


10. Things You Didn't Need at Home

It was too good to throw out, so we took it to the vacation house. "Design by castoffs" is not a good policy when you are trying to create an environment that makes its own statement.


9. Art Hung for Midgets and Giants

Ideally, the center of a piece of art should be hung at eye level. Since art doesn't move for the viewer at your house like it does at Hogwarts, try using the museum rule of thumb and hanging the center of the picture at 60 inches off the ground. 


8: Boring Bedrooms

Many vacation house bedrooms are small, but even bedrooms with a bed, two nightstands and a dresser can have charm. Give each bedroom it's own personality using paint, duvets and art. Don't substitute clutter for a design concept.


7. Pattern Overload

Okay, patterns can be successfully combined, but it is not easy to do well. Many rooms we see have patterns that are dated, overscaled or poorly combined. The worst are rooms with all matching patterns that look like they were purchased on the way to do something more important. 


6. Heavy Furniture

Heavy leather furniture definitely has its place. Unfortunately, that is not usually where it is found. If your house has smaller rooms, a transitional decor or beachy feel, don't select the sofa version of a Mac truck. And DO NOT add a recliner that looks like one! 


5. Bad Window Treatments

I admit to a bias here.  Windows in vacation houses tend to have great views that should not be blocked.  When that is not the case or privacy is required, minimal window coverings that keep quiet are preferred. Draperies that call attention to themselves detract from the view.


4. Objects on Top of Kitchen Cabinets

I have seen this done successfully- about twice.  There has been lot of laughter at some of the over cabinet selections ie. liquor bottles we have seen, but unless you want your house to be the butt of the joke, keep the top of the cabinets clean - literally.


3. Everything Matches Rooms

There may have been a time when having everything match was a good thing- remember the matching shoes and handbags of the 1980's?  But when it comes to a room, all matching sofas, chairs and draperies just look like you bought it all at once 20 years ago.


2. Clutter

All those charming things you bought are better in small doses.  Accessories are important in personalizing a room - it just should not look like a dorm room. Souvenirs that hold fond memories for you, can be visual noise to your renters.  Pare down!


1.Fake Plants

Okay, I admit that they make some really good imitations and they fill the odd corner well. The fact that they are big dust collectors and make feng shui advocates shutter in horror is a good point, but the artificial vibe they give to the house is the true negative for me.



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