When it comes to interiors there are a few things that separate the novice from the expert. I tend to see the same rookie mistakes over and over and over again. If only there were vodka and or money involved when I hit the WHAMMY button! (Here are a few examples of this very thing.) What sets designers apart from the average joe, aside from experience and schooling, is typically the approach of designing a room. We are quite methodical in our practice, despite being known as “right brains.”

Often to avoid mistakes and for fear of the unknown, novices will typically over indulge in one thing, possibly two things to over compensate for their inability to pull it all together. For example, buy EVERYTHING in a neutral color, or buy up Michaels entire inventory of fake ivy to shove in every corner of the house…..Yes Paula, that one was for YOU! ~wink~ The problem with this theory is that it looks dull, and you end up wasting money.

Most of my clients are fantastic at 85% of all their design, and have a terrific vision of what they want……but it’s that last 15% that makes or breaks the space, and and green ivy will not save the day. In order to make your space look like the pros you need to plan for the perfect room starting with 3 simple tips.

1) Make a plan!

How to plan the perfect room

Seems simple enough, I know, but most people seem to skip this step. It’s essentially like planning a trip to Hawaii without booking your travel plans or packing your suitcase until the day you leave. Things get expensive and chaotic real quick! What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to experience in the room you are decorating? What can you keep, what do you want to buy?

2) Budget

Everyone HATES this question, but it is a part of the process. Do you decide to purchase a car and go straight to the Porsche dealership? I’m gonna guess no. Everything has an average cost. These numbers don’t come out of thin air and are not easily manipulated. A sofa costs, what a sofa costs. And yes, just like cars there are different levels of economy and luxury, which do you want, and which can you afford?

3) Timing


This is a huge rookie mistake that I see a lot. Homeowners will live with the same room for ten years and then suddenly want it completely redesigned in a week because of a huge event. Even worse, they won’t consult with a professional and they end up buying in a sense of spastic urgency only to hate everything they purchased 6 months later…..ultimately wasting a lot of money. Yes design can be done quickly but only if you have a plan and a solid budget.

SO what can you walk away with? Decide what it is you want to do, how much you are willing to invest to get it, and give yourself enough time to attain the room you’ve been planning to avoid rookie mistakes. Seems simple, but sometimes we say things like “if it were a snake it would have bit me” for a reason!