I’ve answered a lot of interior design questions over the years - which I enjoy because interior design is more than buying the perfect sofa and paint color - it is spatial problem solving to create architectural harmony and I love to see that moment of clarity in my client's eyes when I can logically explain why something isn't working and then offer a simple solution that makes sense to them. So, I've rounded up a few of the most common design mistakes that can leave your room feeling out of balance -- which can have the same effect on you.

If you can avoid these errors then you'll save yourself time and money and feel better too. Of course, these rules are based on design principles which means they may need tweaking based on your space, your people and your design aims - because at the end of the day, it’s about you and understanding your needs and then tailoring your plans accordingly.

Your Rug is the wrong size!

Size matters in interior design – it’s called scale & proportion and having something too small or too big or unrelated can really mess things up. Rugs can be expensive, so I understand why it’s easy to talk yourself into purchasing the smaller size and you feel great about saving money until you get home and it doesn't look as good as you hoped. I’ve been there too and here’s the problem (besides the return hassle), when your rug is too small, it makes your room feel even smaller. Conversely, when you have a generously sized rug in your room, your space feels lush and spacious. We live in a crazy, wonderful and weird world don't we! Interior Design is a totally visual language without words yet it's affect is equally as powerful as all forms of communication.

I created the following cheat sheet to show you visually what I mean - because we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words.....

Your Furniture is Not Ideally Placed

As you’ve probably discovered, organizing, arranging and laying out a room is hard. This means your furniture pieces are probably not placed properly within your space. I see this everyday and I totally get it, that’s why I always recommend drawing a floor plan to help you avoid big, ugly, costly mistakes that will hold you hostage forever! Whenever a piece of furniture is placed in a room, a line is created where the piece meets the floor and where its shape is seen against a background. This means that a furniture arrangement is also a study in line. Line is a powerful design tool and takes the guesswork out of creating a harmonious furniture arrangement and purchasing design elements in the wrong size. Some points to consider before drawing your floor plan include thinking about proximity or how much space you need between your furniture pieces, between people and for traffic lanes.

I guess Interior Designers were the first to consider and implement #socialdistancing'. (aka: proximity in design).

I use the following slide as an Interior Design Quiz during my workshops. I love to ask everyone to tell me which layout is best and then listen to the chatter and giggles as everyone tries to figure it out. I remember my first semester in college, one of my Professors played this little game with us as well. Her point was that design is much more than shopping for pretty - success is in the details and every detail affects the big picture.

Were you able to figure out the best layout without my help? I hope the above cheat sheet helps you with your best layout.

Your Lighting is Not Enough

We're talking about your lighting - not You! Remember, you are always more than enough!

A beautifully lit room feels warm, inviting, and puts everyone at ease. Which means that a room that’s poorly lit feels awkward and unflattering. This is a typical problem for almost every home and can be avoided by using the same floor plan you used to avoid the aforementioned design problems or by adding more lamps in the appropriate size and place.

But don't take my word for it - you can do your own legwork. The photo below is from one of my favorite designers, Mark Sikes (click on room below) and count the lamps, candles and overhead fixtures! Plus, there is fireplace and tons of natural light coming in from the windows. And don't forget to see how he layered his rugs.

So, If you’re home is not supporting you and your lovelies in such a time as this, start here because there’s a good chance one or more of these issues are creating "architectural disharmony" within your space.

Need more creative confidence?

Would a step by step approach from an award winning interior designer with years of trial and error experience telling you what to expect, what to do, when to do it and how, help you succeed?

Then let's get your design right (r)evolutionary! After all, interior design is so much more than picking the perfect sofa or paint color and following someone else's design rules will produce a cookie cutter design.

Request a free design consultation by clicking below and we'll see if we'll make a good fit working together. After you book, you'll receive access to my Ultimate Interior Design Jumpstart Guide via a series of emails where you'll discover how to start your project like a pro so you can begin planning the home of your dreams.

How would that feel?

Until then,

Hugs and blessings (Numbers 6: 24-26),


p.s. Preliminary pictures are encouraged to add value to our conversation. For non-local clients, technology enables me to consult with you via Zoom.

p.s.s. not ready for design but would like to join my newsletter to keep in touch? Provide your email address and first name below and join my VIP group of interior design (r)evolutionaries & co-create with confidence!


Beauty needs boundaries so it only has 'happy accidents'. Therefore, my specialty is managing & directing the creative process through thoughtful planning which then magically interprets & integrates the practical and the pretty into one clear distinctive vision.

Portfolio pictures concept design Karen
Portfolio pictures concept design Karen

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Portfolio pictures concept design Karen
Portfolio pictures concept design Karen

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Portfolio pictures concept design Karen
Portfolio pictures concept design Karen

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