20 Common Interior Design Mistakes Laurel Home

April 4, 2019 7:32 am by sandiego
20 interior designers i would hire part i
The stained wood trim stays what colors will work with it
20 Common Interior Design Mistakes Laurel Home

And then, I’m going to make a little banner for the sidebar, so that if you’re having a down day, you can hop over and maybe make your day a little brighter.

I thought it would be fun to make a list of the 20 funniest (or at least I think so) blog posts.

The color of dried blood hit a collective thud in the interior design community.

When I was having my second child, a good friend asked me what was the “theme” of the baby’s room? She was horrifed to hear that I had no “theme.” You don’t have to have one either. And if you do, please keep it subtle. (very subtle)

varying the shades of beige adding in deep hues like brown and black adding in accents of white or cream or pale, pale grey adding in accents of color (everything goes with beige!) adding in touches of metal be it gold or silver use of varied textures, linens, velvets, damasks, natural fibers, etc.

sophisticated furnishings

Home Staging Ideas You Won’t Hear About on HGTV  – Pretty self-explanatory

Here is a beautiful, but still traditional dining room that demonstrates my point.

hot tip. One color or family of colors will be your “lead color.”

But Laurel… We don’t have big mega budgets like your other clients and we only have 5,000 dollars–tops.

First of all… all of my clients are very budget-conscious and a lot of them don’t have as much as you might think to spend on furnishings. Yes, they have a bit more than 5k to spend, but here’s what you can do with 5k to take this room into the here and now and with great style! Here’s what I would do if I had 5k to spend to update this room.

That Really Bad Apartment Renovation – And yes, it’s still on the market.

It’s a gift; it comes naturally, but EVERYONE in my family is funny. So, I guess it’s genetic.

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Your Home Office Could Be Dangerous To Your Health – My absolute favorite post and by a wide margin.

Warning: Some of you are going to be quite shocked when you find out what the most common interior decorating mistake is, because well… it’s sooooooo common and therefore, you’ve possibly done it. Hey, I’ve done it too, but I try not to.


Looking for something on the blog? search below. it works! Click below to Get The Indispensable Guide For 100s of Home Furnishings And Interior Design Sources That Everyone Is Raving About ***New Edition, Just Out November 2017*** most popular blog posts

Over the last couple of years (since people started reading the laurel home blog posts), the most frequent comment/observation by far is—

Purchase some custom slip covers made with cream cotton duck for the two sofas. Buy some 96″ ready-made drapes hung much higher. (West Elm is having a sale and has many beautiful things– cheap!) Buy a new sea grass rug in a 9×12.

These are sold everywhere are not expensive Buy some new updated end tables, lamps coffee tables. Try places like West Elm or look on Ebay or Craig’s List for some great deals Paint the walls a deep rich gray like Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray or Gray Mountain.

These sophisticated colors will make  the sideboard look more like an antique The walls need art. You can find a lot of great ideas here and here I would add a comfortable club chair which could be in the cotton duck or a coordinating print.

Well… we’re deep into the proverbial “dog days” of summer. I know that a lot of you are on vacay.

That Post About The Extortionist Blog Trolls  – Fair warning, this one has some saucy language,

Interior Decorating Trends You Might Regret Later – Don’t lose your head, but there are a lot of them!

Of course, I will never make you do anything you don’t like, but beige is not boring if you do it right! Really! It definitely is already on its way to being quite interesting if you call it mocha, cafe au lait or biscuit. :]

The next part is the most difficult. You need to plan out your room. Now, this isn’t written in stone, but do you like a lot of painted furniture? the greige look? mahogany? If you like a lot dark wood, you can’t wimp out and paint everything white.

You need some hunkier colors. Go to a store and select a few fabrics that work in your scheme.

Actually, I think it’s a very lovely room– very well done, however, if you are entering the room from the back of this very large sectional, you have to walk all the way around to sit on it. (unless you want to jump over the back.) ;] That is a big no, no in space planning as there is no gracious sense of entrance  into the room (Thank you Maggie Cohen my wonderful space planning professor at the New York School of Interior Design, 25 years ago) and it is blocking off the energy into the room.  So, unless this is a very open concept kind of home, OR there are two entrances, on each side of the sectional, I would not recommend this layout.

That is what you could do with this room for 5k and will be beautiful! If you have a bit more, you can hire a contractor to put up 1/4″ sheet rock and cover up the popcorn ceiling.

[oh gawd… is that mold growing on the far wall? This is an example of how to do EVERYTHING WRONG. Are you sure you want to buy this train-wreck, honey?]

This is why you think that beige is boring and brown is depressing and why if you’re not careful, it will look like you smeared Crest Toothpaste all over your walls.

Hi, I’m Laurel and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors. I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors for over 27 years. The blog is where I share all.

For some of us more gullible types. Jus’ cause somethin’ is in a glossy brochure and some idiot says it goes, don’t necessarily mean that it’s so!


After all there are some 330 blog posts on here now and that’s a lot to have to sift through.

Now, you at least have enough to go to the paint store to take out some paint samples to make some more informed selections.

My Interior Designer Just Fired Me!  It’s not personal. (usually) but there are

The person who decided to manufacture these should be shot at dawn and then all of his descendents who decided to sell their souls and continue to manufacture these atrocities should be taken away, locked up and made to listen to Tiny Tim singing Tip Toe through the Tulips and be forced to stare up at one of these— all day long!

(note: To be clear, I love fans–particularly in sunrooms and for people who live in warm-weather climates. However, a simple classic white fan for most rooms with a light or white ceiling and no headlights please!)

but I was hopping made at this invasion of privacy. And these people ARE crooks.

Selling Your Home Soon? Not if You Do This – The number one rule in selling your home is “it’s not your home anymore.” So, if you have yucky taste, just know that it’s going to cost you. Hire a pro. It’ll be worth every dollar.

I’m presuming that all of your furniture got destroyed in a [fill in the blank]. You are starting from scratch, but not right now. You have nothing, but all you know is that ya gotta paint!

Actually, if you want your ceiling to look higher, you must paint it  a darker color. This topic requires its own post too. But in the meantime, please take a look at this room and tell me if you still think that a ceiling must always be white.

A Disturbing Bathroom Renovation Trend – Ever have a colonoscopy?

What is wrong this room Laurel? Hey, it was in House Beautiful, so what gives?

Their claim is that you “simply can’t go wrong.” You can take any color in this palette and use it next to any other color in the palette.

Please Click Below To Check Out Some Of My Favorite Interior Design and Decorating Books


Why Bunny Williams Husband Hates Me  – I know, it shocked me too! ;]

The One Kitchen Trend That Should Never Leave – How DID our ancestors ever survive with NO CABINETS? (not to mention fresh food strewn all over the floor!)

Pretty room but this chandelier is way too big for this very skinny table. (actually, the table is ridiculously skinny and in this case the bigger problem!) Good rule of thumb for dining chandeliers: The diameter should not exceed the width of the table by about 10″, so if your table is 42″ wide, I would not do a chandelier more than 32″ in diameter– tops. This chandelier is also hung a bit too low. Generally, it should be hung about 30″ above the table, but sometimes it can be a bit lower. This is too low, I think, especially because the inhabitants of this table will be black and blue from knocking into each others’ knees and feet and then they will conk themselves in the head on the chandelier. They will hate you. In addition, you should have at least one foot between the tallest point of the chandelier and the ceiling as an absolute minimum.. So, if you have an 8′ ceiling, the maximum height of your chandelier or pendant can only be about 24″ tall. Table height is  at 30″ + 30″ + 24″ + 12″ = 96″

Here’s a helpful post which explains the process of choosing a paint color.

How To Rock Your Fireplace Mantel Decor – I didn’t realize that decorating one’s mantel could be so funny, but apparently, I was wrong.

WAIT! No, you’re not! That’s largely marketing BS. You do know that right? I’ve picked up some of those brochures. Nice ideas and sometimes they’re okay, but check this out from one well-known paint company. [not Benjamin Moore]

by James Michael Howard. (aka: Jim Howard, husband of Phoebe Howard)


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we’re moving in a month and the house is all done in barfola Talbot’s taste [aka: lots of tackyyyyy floral wallpaper in hideous colors]

This post is from May 2014 and it was this one post, that put my little (unread) blog on the map. Hmmm… There’s a message in that. By the way, I just read a recent article about Love It Or List It that supports my assertions.

If it does, it’s going to go with all the other colors in your palette as well. Please note, the word is coordinate, not match.

« Here’s the Problem with Halloween DecorMy North Facing Room Paint Color Is Depressing Me »

But… getting back to your dilemma. Hey, I do hear you! You NEED to paint, but I don’t want you painting yourself into a decorating corner. [i know] :]

The Most Common Interior Decorating Mistake is— Choosing the Paint Color BEFORE You Choose Anything Else

This is a perfectly executed dining room. The chandelier is in perfect proportion to the room and table and hung at the perfect height. The furniture is not a matched set but looks great together as the lines and colors are complimentary. The rug is contemporary, but elegant which gives the room a fresh note. Barbara Barry has said, “complexity is what makes rooms, rich.” And she’s right. And then, there’s the grisaille wall panels that actually makes me nuts. (in a good way)

Folks, this isn’t brain surgery! If you like it together, IT GOES!

12 things you don’t know about me  – A sweet autobiography hi-lighting my early days in Indiana and my career as a ballerina (sorta).

A beige by any other name would still be gorgeous! (if done right!)

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This is the color that ties all of the rooms together because it is in every room. It might be something small, like a vase, but in every room, lives some of this color.

Keep your large rooms more pale. Small rooms can go deeper. Stick to one trim color. You can look here for my list of the 20 great shades of white.

The Problem With Halloween Decor   – Don’t let the title fool you, there’s enough eye-candy here to put your vision in diabetic shock!

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dated, tired, cheap, fabric boring orange-y prefab floor mint green walls (go grayer and darker than you think the hue should be) the rug is way too small insufficient and horrible lighting a ceiling fan with a light.

just no. popcorn ceiling (in FL, you can get killed for throwing popcorn!) nothing on the walls dated, dowdy, flabby furniture which is overwhelming the sickly, bare hospital green walls. and yeah… the cheap, shiny, polyester drapes are getting ready for the flood.

(and they’re hung too low from the ceiling.)

We just bought a house, but I’m having a baby in 3 months and furniture [except for the nursery] is the last thing on my mind. We can’t afford to buy any new furniture right now but the house really needs painting I got a brochure at the paint store.

Thanks, but we’re all set. :]

One of the best parts of my job is going into people’s homes and helping them create a beautiful and functional place to live. Every situation is different, but over the years, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes and/or hear some preconceived ideas that may not necessarily be true.

I’m on staycay but that’s okay. I love my job! But we all need a little break so I’m going for a mani-pedi in a few and then it’s back to work!

start collecting images on pinterest for your dream house and put them on one board. Don’t think too much about this. And only pin what you LOVE! look at fine art for inspiration. Here are some posts to help with that, here here and here.

look at the clothes you wear

So, here’s what you do to avoid this common interior decorating mistake.

Follow These Decorating Rules and You Could Be In Deep Doo Doo – Indeed!

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and waaaay too high, in this case. This is a crying shame, because otherwise, I think that this is a very pretty dining room. (and I love that they left the windows bare.) One other consideration is room size and ceiling height. This is a generous dining room with a large table; the table is probably about 42-45″ wide. The room height is about 9′ to the ceiling. This chandelier looks to be about 24″ in diameter. I think that a good size diameter chandelier for this table would be an absolute minimum of 28″ (and with more going on than this, like some crystals) but more like 30-34″.  It also needs to come down about 12-18″ +/-. Hard to see exactly from a photo.

Also, please be careful with table lamps. They keep getting bigger and BIGGER AND BIGGER!!!  

but really. no. please. don’t. This look went out with the cold war. (if it was ever truly in.) Today’s rooms look like they evolved and actually, rooms done 200 years ago looked that way too. Nothing screams middle class mediocrity more than a matched set of furniture!

Here’s Why Buying Furniture Online is a Bad Idea – This one is a must-read.

You can go anywhere that sells fabrics. Usually, they’ll snip you a cutting to take home.

Therefore, I’m going to just jump right in here and relieve your curiosity and then you can go home. That is; unless, you’d like to stay for dinner and find out what to do instead.

Okay, you know this so why are you still doing it? Okay. Wait. I know, I know. I know because I’ve heard it all dozens of times.

Three Decorating Trends You Need To Be Warned About  –  They’re out there.

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