Do you ever wish you could pick an interior designer's brain and ask them exactly what makes them shake their heads style-wise? Well, we did the work for you.
We spoke with top interior designers regarding their pet peeves when it comes to other people’s decorative choices. Our experts identified eight major sources of concern, but fear not—all of these issues can easily be addressed head-on with a little creativity and foresight.
Improper Curtain Height
"I always notice when curtains are hung incorrectly. Usually, they're covering the window and not hung high enough. I like to hang curtains 10 to 12 inches higher and wider than the actual window opening.” —Kelsey McGregor, owner and designer, Kelsey Leigh Design Co.
“Do not hang curtains directly over the window: hang the curtains right under the crown molding. This will give the illusion of length. Also, leave 6 to 10 inches of curtain rod—not including the finial—on either end. This will create width when the curtains are open.” —Meg Hosler, founder of Meggie H. Interiors
“One thing I notice quite often is the ‘forgotten wall.’ Simply put, it’s when so much emphasis is given to the décor on the floor that the walls are overlooked and undervalued as providing an even greater experience in a room. Adding paneling, wallpaper, or even a great accent color can transform a room with minimal costs.” —Janice Burkhart, owner of Burkhart Interiors
The Wrong Rug Size
"Make sure at least all front legs of furniture are resting on the rug, and that all dining chair legs sit on the rug when tucked in next to the table.” —Kelsey McGregor, owner, and designer, Kelsey Leigh Design Co.
“If you really want that 5x7 or 6x9 rug in front of the sofa and under the coffee table, make sure that it is anchored by a larger area rug underneath. I love the look of a seagrass rug used to cover all but a 6 to 10-inch perimeter of the floor. Then, have smaller rugs on top. The look becomes layered rather than floating.” —Meg Hosler, founder of Meggie H. Interiors
Incorrect Art Placement
“I notice art that is hung too high or too low. The general rule of thumb is that the center of the piece should be roughly 60 inches from the floor.” —Michelle Lynne, president, ML Interiors Group
A Lack of Variety
“Purchasing everything at one store is a no-no. You don’t want your living room to look like the showroom of your favorite retailer. Your home should have only the things you love and multiple layers of interest.” —Michelle Lynne, president of ML Interiors Group
A Lack of Light
“I notice when there is not enough accent lighting. Lamps create a mood and an atmosphere—something that is usually overlooked.” —Crystal Sinclair, founder of Crystal Sinclair Designs
“Too big is better than too small. Add up your room’s length and width in feet, and the sum (in inches) will equal an approximate diameter for your chandelier. If over a table, divide the width of your table by two, and that will give you an approximate diameter for your chandelier. It is ok to go a bit over these numbers—however, do not go under." —Meg Hosler, founder of Meggie H. Interiors
Issues With Scale
“Scale is so important in décor. A lot of clients tend to buy everything to all be similar sizes, like vases, chairs, and tables. Varying the heights and the overall size of the different pieces is what creates movement and an experience in the space. Think about the furniture as music notes with variations in scale. Your eyes shouldn't rest upon a single object, but rather follow the focus and flow around the room by hopping from one piece to the next.” —Janice Burkhart, owner of Burkhart Interiors