Ask Estee: The Big Design "Don't" You Might Be Making

_promo Q. What is a some common decorating mistake I should avoid? Everyone makes mistakes. It's all about living and learning, right? When it comes to design, I can advise you against falling victim to one such mistake so you won't have to do the learning and you can just get back to living. Before you begin your next decorating project resist the urge to go the easy route and buy your furniture in bulk, using pieces (like these fab chairs) which have their own distinct look will inject your space with much more visual interest.
Avoid the Jet-"set": One very common mistake people often make when designing a space is buying pieces in "sets". Many furniture stores have bedroom, living room, or dining room sets available for purchase that are all the same look, color, and style. Although you may feel this is convenient, it hardly lends itself any kind of personal design expression or creativity. Diversify: Instead of going with sets, think about purchasing one or two of those items and then mixing in other pieces from another store with a different look and aesthetic. If this idea seems overwhelming, stick with one store but mix pieces from different lines. Either way, you'll have some variety in the space which is more appealing to the eye. Make the Most of What You Have: If you've already purchased a group of pieces or inherited an existing set, there are easy ways to break it up. Swap out the head chairs in the dining set for a new pair and reuse the existing head chairs somewhere else, perhaps in a hallway flanking a console. If your nightstands match your dresser, consider painting or staining one of them. Though the lines of the furniture will be the same, a high gloss paint finish will be a nice contrast to a wood stain. As I say, design is all about expressing your creativity and injecting your own personality into a space to make it your own, so don't be scared to think outside of the "set"! estee-signature-layout Photograph: Justin Coit