3 More Fixes for Common Design Detours

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We've got three more common design detours — the kind of design mistakes that almost seem to sneak up on you, but have a really negative impact on the way your home feels. But of course, we've also got three ways to fix these common design mistakes so you can keep creating your best home yet!

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You've got that furniture wallflower look going on? — Create cozier seating arrangements and pay attention to the center of your space.
Uh-oh. Look around your rooms. If you have that furniture-pushed-up-against-the-walls-weird-emptiness-in-the-center look going on, do something! This is a common mistake, because it seems to make sense to put bulky furniture against sturdy walls. But it can make a room feel clunky and unsophisticated.

Identify your room's major traffic flows — and don't be afraid to place furniture along those boundaries to create more intimate seating arrangements. And if you are going to place all your big furniture against the walls, make sure you create a lot of interest in the center with rugs, floor cushions, a coffee table and more. (The two photos above — besides have stunning architecture and windows — show how you can have a lot of pattern or action in the center of a room to offset the wallflower look.)

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Your old furniture doesn't match your new home very well? — Compromise a bit with designs that honor the new architecture, but use plenty of what you love, too.
The furnishings from your old home just don't work with your new home. Perhaps the style of your furnishings just clash a bit too much with the architecture? Whether you just moved or you've been dealing with mis-matching furniture and surroundings for awhile, don't feel like you have to be stuck with a home with an identity crisis forever.

First, purge what you can. Don't hold on to leftover furniture. Keep what you love (because things you love go with everything anyway). Add in a few new pieces (buy or DIY) that "match" the style of your home and that will mix with your furniture that's not quite right the fit. Meld it all together in the right proportions (more of the look you want mixed with a few pieces that you needed to get to honor the architecture) and you should end up with an eclectic look that will seem like a honest expression of your personality. (In the photo above you can see how they're rocking the space with a cool couch that doesn't quite fit the rest of the architecture, but honor the space by including some modern and industrial items, too.)

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Your home just doesn't feel like a peaceful oasis? — First figure out what feels most peaceful to you, then eliminate what you don't need.
Do you come home exhausted after a long day of work only to be more exhausted by your space? There could be a number of different factors. Letting yourself get behind in chores might be stressing you out, as will seeing too much clutter as soon as you walk through the door. Or maybe you thought you were a bold reds and oranges kind of person but actually you prefer more calming hues? Here's the real question: Do you know what kind of spaces actually bring you peace?

Close your eyes for a moment. Don't think too hard — but let your mind wander back to your most favorite memory where you felt at peace. Was it on a vacation on a beach somewhere? Hiking adventurously through the woods? Staying at a chic (and clean) boutique hotel somewhere? Just surrounded by your family on a quiet movie night? This is your priority for peace. You don't have to slather your walls in a woods photo mural or collect a bunch of shells from the beach in jars, but the places where you've felt most at peace are worthy of being examined why. Maybe it was the lack of technology (so hide those smart phones while at home). Maybe it was the coming back to a hotel room to a perfectly crisp bed (so Youtube how to get those crisp folds and treat yourself). Thinking about your most peaceful moments will also help you realize what you can eliminate from your home. (The bedroom pictured above does a good job of mixing cool colors with nature photography for a peaceful space.)

What are your design detours and dilemmas? Share them in the comments below for us to answer for you or for you to get good ideas from fellow readers!

(Image credits: Julia Brenner; Bridget Pizzo; Bridget Pizzo; Carolyn Purnell)

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