Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Design Do's & Don'ts from Your Favorite Design Bloggers

A few months ago, I had some of my favorite design bloggers give me their Design Do's and Design Don'ts to include at the Bloom Workshop for the guests looking to expand their design knowledge. The tips are just too good (and important!) not to share, so here they are today just for you!

Make sure your unique story is represented in the design of your home. Bits of your history and personality should come through in the accents, the art, colors, and the overall feel of the room. Trends come and go, but a room designed around your unique journey will be timeless and always feel relevant to you.

Ensure there are a mixture of textures in every room. There's something about mixing metals, wood, natural materials and pretty, soft fabrics that really lends an air of sophistication to any design.

Lighting sets the mood in a space. Determine what sort of lighting is needed (i.e. task, ambient, accent or a combination) and incorporate the lighting plan with the floor plan. 

Go a little bit bigger and bolder with lamps and accessories. It is better to buy a few bigger, bolder pieces than to buy too many little things that don’t make enough of a statement.

Always invest in good lighting. Lighting can make or break a space. It can also change the mood of a space. To many overhead lights can make a room feel unwelcoming.

Every space needs a mixture of hardware finishes, natural elements, something personal, something soft and something pink.

Invest in quality pieces for your home.  I know it's easy to go "cheap" in order to fill out a room, (hey, I love Ikea and Target as much as the next person), but it's worth spending the money for quality materials and construction.  You'll thank yourself down the line when you still have and love those quality pieces.

When planning a space, start with a statement piece - a colorful fabric, a piece of furniture with killer lines, a stunning piece of art.  Let everything else trickle down from there.  It helps to give a plan direction and a starting point to pull colors and other accents.  I also love a touch of black and gold in most any space - they adding grounding and glamour.

Add a mirror or mirrors to make a room appear larger and to enhance the room's natural light and views. 

Have a variety of textures in each space. This will keep the room interesting and visually appealing. Also (I couldn't decide on just one!) try to hang your curtain rod in the middle of the top of the window and the ceiling (as opposed to directly above the window). This will aid in making the ceilings look taller and ultimately, make the room look larger. 
- Michaela

Feel like you have to have to have a room "finished" by a specific deadline...Often times in my favorite rooms-whether for clients or in my own home-seem to evolve and change over time. Rushing things might force you to choose items you don't really love and that don't truly reflect you.

Don't decorate or add pieces to your home just because you saw it in a magazine or on Pinterest. Style your home for you and your family. Did your favorite design blogger say chevron is out but you just so happen to love it? Use it! Decorating is extremely personal and you have to follow your individual taste and style to truly create something you love.

Don't over do it with the accessories. They can quickly clutter a room. Only display what you love. 

Consider the big picture. A room with too many vignettes or accessories spread throughout the room will likely feel too cluttered and lack focus.

Florescent lighting! Never, never, never use it.

Don't use a rug that is too small.  Rugs really ground a room and finding rugs that are the correct size for the room and furniture placement can make or break a space.

Don't be afraid of color.  I am all about neutral palettes, but a fun pop of color not only keeps the room fresh, but can easily be changed out for the different seasons.  Think: pillows, blankets, and artwork.

Don't get overwhelmed by all the inspiration out there.  It can be so hard to filter out the noise and mesh together what you love with all the ideas online and in design magazines.  Choose things you LOVE and everything will come together.  Go with your gut - your individual style is what makes you unique and what will ultimately make you stand out from others.  

Hang the mirror too high.  (A good rule of thumb is to hang at eye level or just below, but since "eye level" is different among people, generally, the center of the mirror should be 56" - 59" from the ground).    
- Megan, Honey We're Home

Avoid matching. Pieces and patterns don't have to match, they just have to "go" together! Try mixing patterns of different scale and colors to achieve the right look.
- Michaela

office, feminine office, interior design, den, love print, lamp, pottery barn desk, ikea expedite

I love ALL of these great tips and pieces of design advice! I especially love the advice warning against too small of a rug. That's one of my pet peeves!! ;) What's YOUR design do and design don't?! Spill it!



  1. Great tips, Michaela & friends! I especially love Kirsten's lighting tips & Jennifer's reassurance to stay true to your personal style despite all the inspiration at our fingertips. Your blog always gets me excited to work on my home. :)

  2. So many wonderful tips...thanks for including me in this stellar roundup!!

  3. Thanks for including me in the round up. Great tips, ladies!

  4. Thanks again for including me in this, Michaela!!

  5. Appreciate you thinking of me Michaela! Wishing you continued success and happiness!

  6. As someone who is about to be moving into a new home, I can DEFINITELY appreciate these! I love the idea of not having to have a space done by some arbitrary deadline - rooms should evolve and feel complete when they're supposed to! Love that one :)


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