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2023-07-22 12:47:02

COMMON DESIGN MISTAKES _ Living Room Design Mistakes and How to Fix Them _ Julie Khuu

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Hello , everyone .

Welcome back to our brand new series design mistakes and how to fix them .

I'm Julie and today we will be tackling the living room .

The goal of this series is to find solutions for design mistakes that I see made in the home .

All of the time , there are definitely mistakes that I'm guilty of having made in my 16 years in the industry .

But now that I know better do better design is highly personal .

Your space should speak to you while sharing your story .

So remember that it is not a mistake if the design was intentional .

Remember that these are not hard set rules that you should follow .

I mean , seriously don't listen to anything I say just keep them in mind .

So when the time comes , you can make an informed decision about how to best design your space .

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The most common mistake and the one that I will always start with in all of these videos have to do with scale and proportion .

Let's talk about the number one mistake made in living rooms , choosing the wrong sofa , especially when you're trying to make an old sofa work in your new space .

And you throw scale and proportion completely out the window .

You need to select a sofa that is the correct size for your space .

So of course , the first thing you have to do is measure the room .

Once you measure the room and you know the dimensions that you can play around with next , you need to choose a sofa that is super comfortable .

I mean comfort is key in the living room and your sofa is the main attraction .

It all starts with a really great floor plan .

So make sure that you take arid measurements , sketch out your seating group accordingly and plan for the correct size of your sofa in the space .

If you need some additional tips and tricks , make sure you check out my scale and proportion video from the Dream Space Series .

I definitely go into detail about how to measure the room and plan for the correct size furniture .

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So make sure you watch that if you haven't already moving on to the rugs , a too small rug can make a room look so much smaller .

So don't make this costly mistake .

The perfect rug helps to define the space and anchor the main seating group .

A too small rug throws the balance off .

A large rug could be expensive , but a rug is definitely one of the most important elements in a room .

So choose a neutral hue with great texture so you can enjoy it for years to come .

Follow .

My tips on scale and proportion in the Dream Space Series and more tips can be found in the ultimate area rugs guide .

Another common mistake is space planning .

Space planning has to do with how you lay out all of your furniture and where you place them in relation to the room .

The most common mistake I see made in space planning , pushing all of your furniture up against the walls .

You'll remember this tip from my top eight most common decorating mistakes I see made and I actually got a lot of flak for this tip .

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What I realized is that you took it really literally , some viewers saw examples of a sofa being pushed up against a wall or even my own sofa of being pushed up against a window in the living room .

I realized that you may have missed the point because I didn't illustrate it in more detail for a small space .

You are absolutely ok to anchor the wall with one large piece of furniture that could be your sofa .

It could be the couch , it could be a sectional , but how to create a cozy and intimate seating group .

All depends on how you float the remaining pieces in space .

What does that mean ?

Start with your focal wall and anchor the largest sofa to sit the focal wall .

Once you have the largest piece in place , then you can plop a coffee table in front of it and then square off the space to create an intimate seating group with maybe a club chair or an accent chair .

You will create almost like a right angle or you can even put that accent chair on a corner that faces that main seating group .

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The goal is to create an intimate seating group where all the users of the space could see each other , talk to each other , have a conversation and it's really cozy , intimate and inviting .

I understand the intent by pushing all of your furniture up against the walls .

You want to create the illusion of having more space , but I don't know any client that comes to me and says , Julie , can you make my living room look more spacious ?

Nobody says that they want something cozy warm inviting .

And the only way that you can achieve that is to create a seating group that is pushed away from the walls to create more of an intimate gathering space .

If you put all of your furniture up against the walls in the living room , what you're actually creating is a space that is devoid of any function except to primarily watch the television .

The function of the living room is to live in it , engage with others , have a conversation , sit for coffee or tea and start a discussion .

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You want to be able to have eye contact with the person sitting in the room with you have a conversation and not have to scream across a room just to be heard .

If you want further tips on living room space , be sure to check out my video of four ways to maximize your living room layout in the playlist below .

Another common design mistake I see made is not taking full advantage of the view first .

You need to determine the view or the focal point in your living room .

Is it the fireplace ?

Is it that gorgeous pool in your backyard ?

Is it your tree lined streets in the front yard ?

Once you determine the view or the focal point , you'll probably have second thoughts facing that sofa primarily towards the TV .

Moving on to window treatments .

I have so many videos in the playlist now that touch on the subject because I feel like it's so important to a successfully designed space .

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Since I want this living room mistakes video to be comprehensive , I will reiterate once again , hanging your panels at the incorrect height will break your room and kill the design faster than if you painted an accent wall on a bold bright color and called it a day .

So where to install your rod ?

Approximately 3 to 4 inches below your ceiling height , not at the height at the top of your window frame , but also consider the size of the file in relation to the ceiling and the windows .

If you have a slope , ceiling , hang it at the highest portion of the lowest slope .

If you have a double height arch window above a row of rectangular or square windows , you'll want to hang your window treatments right above that row of windows .

If you have bay windows in set in a recess niche , the highest point of that niche is considered the ceiling height .

Installing your window treatments at the correct height will make the room feel larger grander and elevated .

As a result , the correct length of your panels is when the curtains or the drapery barely kisses the floor .

This means that they barely touch the ground .

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The correct width is at least 12 inches away from the left and right sides of the frame .

So your panels can stack and clear the opening to let the maximum amount of light filter through .

Let's talk about the common mistakes made when it comes to furniture , a matchy matchy living room set .

If you saw a really cool console at the furniture store and thought , oh my gosh , I love this piece .

I love the finish .

And hey , look , it comes with a matching coffee table , there's matching end tables .

That's awesome .

And while we're at it , I love this sofa and look , it comes with like matching accent chairs .

I mean , I just made two decisions and boom , I'm done .

You think making those selections was easy peasy ?

But you're in for a treat .

What you got instead is this one dimensional space that screams , I just came out of a box .

Well , not literally one box but you get the idea like it came out of a big box store or page five of your home decor catalog .

If you've been watching my videos , you'll know that there's two things that I always steer clear of in interior design .

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One is matchy , matchy anything and two is walls , but more on that later , break up the set by purchasing your favorite statement piece .

First , let's say it's that TV console you love and mix it up with something interesting and dynamic like a completely contrasting finish or color for your other surface pieces .

My rule is same function different finish if you're shopping for tables and surfaces have only one wood statement piece , mix with one metal piece or another wood finishes .

The same is true for fabrics and textiles , change up the patterns and colors in the space .

So your room coordinates , keep both prints relegated to statement pieces and not splatter throughout the entire space .

The goal is to aim for a fresh mix of textures , sizes , finishes even maybe styles in different eras as long as you get the scale and proportion right ?

An intentional color palette can really tie everything in together .

Another common design mistake I see made is not enough surface space .

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I always design living rooms with this key aspect in mind for every seat in the room , make sure there's adequate surface space for it nearby .

Let's say you have a sofa , a love seat and an accent chair on the corner .

Every person who sits in the space needs somewhere to place a drink their phones , a book , the remote control .

If the coffee table serves everyone seated , it should be within reach .

If not a quick fix is an end table next to the far end of the sofa .

Maybe even flanking both sides for symmetry and balance .

If you don't have sufficient space , try a slim sofa console behind the sofa that can double as a beautiful entry table into the living room .

So you're not greeted by the back of the sofa .

Too many pieces of decorative furniture .

A china hutch without china in the living room , a display cabinet with all of the souvenirs you've ever collected from your decades of traveling , a secretary desk in the corner .

When you don't remember the last time you pulled something out to write with a pen and paper .

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I'm talking about all of the useless furniture that's sitting in your living room occupying valuable square footage that doesn't inspire you .

You don't even use every day or its primary function is house items that you don't know where to put , reserve your beautiful living room for meaningful pieces that you love that you use daily or serve a purpose .

If your living room now serves as a makeshift work from home office , then , great .

Keep that desk , but try to integrate it into the design of your living room .

So it doesn't feel like an afterthought .

The goal is to make furniture choices that suit your immediate lifestyle , not your past , not your future .

But what is happening right now ?

Another design mistake I see made is cheap , big box furniture , cheap as in poorly made synthetic fibers and fills and definitely uncomfortable , but I understand that it fit your budget when you needed it .

Most remember that design is not a race to the finish , take time to source the best that you can afford .

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Even if that means purchasing second hand furniture from Facebook market , ebay , Etsy Craigslist , nothing says I deserve it more than a home filled with quality items that you took the time to save up for and source moving on to Decor hanging wall art incorrectly , it could be too high , too clutter , too random .

You want to make your room look taller by hanging art high .

But what it does is simply strain your neck to look at it .

It's the same issue I have with the TV , height , the center of that art piece should be hung at eye level whose eye well , clearly it is dependent on the people living in the home tall .

You are how high the ceiling is where you're hanging the art piece in relation to the wall .

But the rule of thumb is to split the difference of eye levels between the users of the space .

If your eye level is at 54 inches and your partner's eye level is 66 inches , the average eye level would be 60 inches .

So you would hang the center of the art piece around 60 inches high on the center of the wall .

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If you're hanging the art piece above a piece of furniture , let's say a sofa , make sure that when you lean back , your head is not touching the bottom of the art piece , you want to give the art piece a little bit of breathing room and negative space below the art piece and above the art piece .

But hanging the art on center around eye level is the general rule of thumb .

Another decorating mistake I see made is too many framed pictures .

It's on your mantel .

It's on the book shelves , it's on your coffee table , it's on an end table , it's on the soap .

I mean , it really is littering every single surface you see in the living room .

I understand you adore your family and you want to show off your memories .

But instead of taking guests down memory lane , you're actually cluttering the space with mismatched frames , no cohesive storytelling and it makes the memories seem less special , in my opinion .

Choose a few favorites , print them out in black and white and create a strategic gallery , either in the hallway or a secondary wall .

Don't make this the focal point of your living room .

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When stylistically , artwork or personal photography can make more of an impact .

And while we're on the subject of too much .

It's too many knickknacks without any sentiment .

I know you're a collector , a curator .

You love to live amongst your things like I do .

I mean , I am a maximalist by nature .

However , too much clutter is distracting .

It makes your space feel frazzled and crams every surface without negative space to rest the eyes , but too much of a good thing to value it over time .

You still love it .

You love to collect it but choose only the best to display and you'll bring more meaning to it as a result on the flip side , another decorating mistake I see is not accessorizing at all .

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You don't need something on every surface but the room could be amped up with nice ambient lighting , throw pillows , some decorative trays to keep your remote controls , candles and magazines , tidy .

Think about pieces that mean something to you and accessorize with care .

Remember my key rules for something every home needs .

You could benefit from something bold , something handmade , something custom , something from your travels and never forget that .

Something sentimental .

Stay away from cookie cutter art .

It will cheapen the whole vibe and aesthetic of your space .

Try minta dot com .

Etsy dot com or left bank art for custom pieces that you can commission within your budget .

Decorating with fake flowers .

I've been guilty of this 11 too many times .

I have clients that say they have a black thumb but they love fresh flowers in the home and sometimes I run out and I just purchase like a really beautiful , expensive like silk orchid , which clearly it's not cheap .

It looks real , but I mean , come on , it's just not the real thing .

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There are so many better options to brighten the space like fresh fruit , almost indestructible , real indoor plants or even dried flowers like pompous grass and rapid tails are better for Decor than fake orchids .

A very common design mistake I see made is creating a theme room .

I get it .

You went through a nautical phase .

You have bold striped curtains , a matching striped sofa , rope details , anchor artwork , blown glass vessels .

I mean you went a little bit overboard .

Themes are just fun to mess around with but not to live in for years and years .

Theme rooms can look tacky and dated when it's overdone and then all of a sudden you're stuck with having to spend more money replacing the entire room instead of specific elements .

If you love the jungle look , bring in some strategic animal prints with cushy throw pillows , but keep the main pieces like the sofa and area rug neutral .

So you can swap out accessories and be able to coordinate with a variety of future looks .

Let's talk about lighting .

You have one source of lighting and it's coming from above .

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It might be recess lights , it could be a single fixture , but what you want to create is a cozy and relaxing living room by washing the space with layers of light play around with floor lamps and table lamps on side tables and consoles , install wall sconces and always place your lighting on dimmers for optimum control of the mood .

I learned this really cool walls hack on Tik Tok where you don't need to cut through your walls to install the new wall sconces .

Basically , all you do is install the wall Scots right on walls and use a pup light instead of new electrical layers of different light sources , heights and brightness will produce a well thought out lighting plant that feels warm and inviting .

Moving on to color .

You absolutely must avoid painting the entire room until you see samples painted on the walls .

I mean , paint those samples on every single wall of the room .

If you know what's good for you , I get it .

You just want the room done and painted already .

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However , you will be making this costly mistake of having to fix it down the line if you don't get the color right .

The swatch that you see online or even in store is rarely what the true color looks like .

Lighting , daylight furniture can alter the look , always get samples .

I mean , they cost like $5 but can save you hundreds in the long run and waste the time if you make the wrong choice .

Painting an accent wall .

Yes , I consider that part of the number one design mistakes .

I see made in a living room .

I mean , really any room in your home for that matter .

So let's talk about accent walls .

If you're a long time viewer of the channel , you'll know that I don't like accent walls , especially the ones simply done with paint .

Don't get me wrong .

I love accent walls when they're done .

Well , when it's textured , it's three dimensional .

Maybe it's done with wallpaper .

But I really don't consider that an accent wall .

I consider that a focal wall .

What is the difference between a focal wall and an accent wall ?

Well , a focal wall is very intentional .

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The color may be pulled from the rugs , the textiles , the sofa and everything coordinates and actually elevates the room with texture and a three dimensional quality .

And an accent wall to me is usually done as an afterthought .

You want to inject color in the space and you feel like just painting one wall , this bright wall color , it could be a dark contrasting color , but it was done as an afterthought .

It wasn't integrated into the design .

So it doesn't feel intentional , really thought out .

So the next time you're considering an accent wall , consider a focal wall .

Instead , I had to stop the camera really quick .

I mean , you'll never know it .

But Kelly and I were discussing the difference between an accent wall and a focal wall and she stated then what would be an accent wall ?

The idea is that I want you to change your mindset .

Stop calling it an accent wall and focus on calling it a focal wall one that was well thought out , it's deliberate and that wall becomes a main feature in your space as opposed to an accent , not enough color .

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I love the minimalist look even though I don't design according to its principles for myself .

I do think about sourcing those key meaningful pieces for my clients , but zero color or all white can get really stale really fast .

If you love the tone on tone white , look , try a neutral palette of whites , creams tapes or even tan variation and loads of texture for contrast .

Let's end with the biggest mistake that you can make when designing your living room , keeping furniture and the core that you don't like .

It's a common issue I see with the majority of my clients , Julie , I don't like the sofa but I bought it .

I spent a lot on it and honestly , it's not that bad .

I mean , can we make it work ?

And you know , the honest answer is no , don't make it work .

Why would you make it work ?

This is your living room .

My honest answer is nothing .

Nothing is gonna make it .

If you already don't love the piece , why would you stress yourself out spending even more money trying to coordinate with something that you don't love .

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It's like buying a new outfit to match those loans that like hurt your feet .

I mean there's just no point .

Just save up and splurge for that statement piece in your home .

You deserve it .

Say it with me guys .

I deserve that $5000 cloud sofa from rhd .

And no , that's just me .

But you really need to invest in yourself because this is your life , this is your home , this is your heart , this is your sanctuary .

If you try to make a piece work without absolutely loving it , you will never get the dream space that you desire .

Remember that the best living rooms are the ones that feel unique and personal .

I love it when I walk into someone's home and I can instantly feel connected to who's living there .

I see their personality .

I get their lifestyle .

I understand the vibe and I'm here for it .

You appreciate design and the energy more .

When you know that that person has poured their heart and soul into the design of their space .

You may have gotten that feeling before .

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When you've stepped into your family or your friends like beautiful home , you walk in and you instantly feel just so connected to the space .

It's warm , it's inviting , it's cozy .

So hang on to that memory and try to elicit those same feelings into your space .

There are many mistakes that people make time and time again myself included .

But these mistakes can be easily avoided if you want a spectacular space to enjoy for years and years to come .

If you follow my guide and you've been watching this series , you'll start to see these patterns emerge .

Interior design is not rocket science guys .

I mean , you really can't apply the same principles from room to room and always get it right each time at the core of it , interior design is very intuitive .

So design with heart and wake up feeling inspired every day .

If you've been enjoying this common design mistake so far , please give this video a thumbs up .

Comment below and let me know what other design mistakes videos you want to see on this channel .

Next week , we're diving into the design mistakes of your dining room .

I've got home offices lined up .

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So let me know in the comments below what other rooms you want to see so I can add it to the queue .

Don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you haven't already and make sure you hit that little notification bell to get notified of new videos that we drop every Tuesday .

Thank you so much for watching .

I'll see you in the next one .


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