Avoid making your home a series of design mistakes

  • Make your bed stylish, but avoid loading it up with too many pillows. Same goes with the sofa.

    Make your bed stylish, but avoid loading it up with too many pillows. Same goes with the sofa. Stock Photo

By Joseph Pubillones
Posted12/26/2021 7:01 AM

Editor's note; Joseph Pubillones is taking time off. This column originally published in 2018.

We all have been in rooms that make us "ooh and ahh." They delight us because of the care and thought that has been taken in placing every piece of furniture, accessory and artwork.


These occasions are few and far between these days. Because of the abundant television shows and self-help video sites, many homeowners consider themselves expert decorators, which they are not. These homes are often a collection of design mistakes -- some offensive, some less so. Here is a list of frequently made mistakes from top to bottom:

• If it takes you a half-hour to undress your bed, you're suffering from too many decorative pillows on a bed. Make your bed stylish, but simple.

• Art that is hung too high. Figure that art should be hung for a person of an average height to see at eye-level.

• Your selection in art needn't match the colors in a room. Art is meant to stand out and be calming or thought-provoking.

• Refrain from hanging botanical prints. They are overused. Don't use a poster for decorating unless you are a college student.

• Avoid pairs of everything, except lamps, a pair of chairs or side tables. They tend to make a room read as too stiff and contrived.

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• Never use two or more overhead lighting fixtures that aren't the same; using a variety of fixtures will make your house look like a lamp shop.

• Do not place your sofa on a diagonal. This was the go-to move for decorators in the 1970s. Antique sofa frames may look nice but usually are as uncomfortable as your great-grandmother's corset.

• The throw over the arm of a sofa or chair routine has been seen and done.

• Too many pillows on a sofa hide the sofa and the area where you are supposed to sit. That leaves guests feeling like they are messing up a room if they have to move them. Where to place them? The floor, another chair … where?

• Overdone curtains are never to be used unless you are framing a stage. Window dressing should be primarily functional. When hung too low, curtain hardware might make the ceilings seem lower. When in doubt, hang your drape to kiss the floor or slightly sweep the floor. Remember that puddling is a thing of the past; and never, ever use short drapes. It looks like you are expecting a flood.


• Overly styled bookcases. Aren't they for books?

• Too many books on a coffee table make the table unusable.

• Scented candles overload is a no; use one at a time, and never in the dining room.

• Absurd quantities of flowers are a no-no; a little goes a long way.

• Coral branches as accessories. No. And avoid using collections of shells as decoration.

• Changing flooring material from room to room makes your home look choppy. Stick to one flooring for your main areas. You may indulge your need to use other flooring in bathrooms and/or the kitchen.

• Never use rugs that are so white they require you to remove your shoes when entering a room.

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.

© 2021, Creators Syndicate

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