Over the years in my career I’ve seen it all in home decor – the good, the bad and the tacky.  (Were you thinking I’d say ugly?)  You name it and I’ve seen it.  Truth be told, I’ve never really seen anything just plain ole ugly.  Instead I’ve seen blunders, which in my book can lead to tacky decor.

As I mentioned in my post, Love In Your HOME, I recently experienced several occasions whereby Webster’s Dictionary was pulled out for the “audience” and meanings of simple words were read aloud.  That experience got me on the bandwagon of providing definitions for words I use just so there’s no misunderstanding of what I mean by the words I choose.  So for that reason here’s Webster’s Dictionary’s meaning of the word “blunder”:

Blunder: “To make a mistake through stupidity, ignorance or carelessness.”

I’m guessing now that I have piqued your curiosity.  Just what you wonder do I consider a decorating blunder?  Or worse yet a blunder sooooo bad that it can lead you to the “Road of Tacky”?  (Look for my upcoming post, If You … Then You Know You’ve Made A Decorating Blunder for some comic relief on the worst of the worst I’ve seen, or the best of the best as beauty after all is in the eyes of the beholder you know!)

Yep, I’ve seen it all.  But without a doubt, most of the homes I have entered are as lovely as those that dwell in them and so the blunders that I find are subtle.  By that I mean that the blunders I see create distraction on a sub-conscious level rather than a conscious level and quite frankly, this is the level that’s most important.  You see it’s on the sub-conscious level that we walk away from something not feeling the love so to speak and yet, we just can’t put our finger on why we don’t.

Over the years I have come up with a top five list of the blunders I see over and over again in homes that I have either worked in or visited on a social basis.  So, without further adieu, here are the top five blunders I find people make in their homes:

  1. Overkill of Collectibles
  2. Improper Lighting
  3. Improperly hung Artwork
  4. Dirty Walls and Doors
  5. Taking a Décor Theme into overdrive

Overkill of Collectibles

Most of us love collecting knick-knacks.  I know I do.  I love Herend Porcelain Figurines, Vintage Dinnerware and Antique Hand-carved Ducks.  What becomes a blunder is when you go too far with your collections.  When displaying collections remember my decorating motto, “Less is more”.  Don’t have your collection of crystal paperweights or your collection of antique dolls in every cabinet, on every dresser and on every table in every room.  Instead, choose specific places to accentuate your home with these collectibles.  I suggest displaying collectibles in odd numbers such as 3 or 5. Displaying your collectibles as onesies all over your home or in large groups everywhere you turn takes away from the charm, character and uniqueness of your collectibles.

Improper Lighting

Improper lighting can truly ruin the ambience of your homespace.  No-nos include lampshades that don’t fit the lamps, using bulbs with the incorrect wattage, dusty shades, dusty bulbs, dead insects sitting in overhead lighting and most importantly, forgetting to have lighting at different levels of your homespace.  For example, don’t rely only on overhead lighting for each room.  Be sure to have low-level lighting on tables, task lighting for areas such as in your kitchen and use dimmers wherever you can.  The key is to give yourself flexibility in your lighting.  Oh – and don’t forget to take the plastic off your new lampshades!

Improperly hung Artwork

Nothing can ruin a look more than improperly hung pictures and artwork.  Just as an educational tip to remember – pictures and artwork should be hung at eye level.  This doesn’t necessarily mean at your eye level.  For instance, I’m 5’2”.  My main go-to professional picture hanger is about 6’7”.  But, we hang all my clients’ pictures and artwork at the eye level that the art industry recommends:

When looking at the center of your piece, hang it approximately 60”-65” from the floor.

Obviously there is more to consider about your picture if it is being placed in a grouping or is being placed over a piece of furniture such as a sofa.  I recommend the Internet to further educate yourself on the art of picture hanging –it’s full of sites you can visit that give great step-by-step instructions for every picture-hanging project you can imagine.

Dirty Walls and Doors

This might sound like a cleanliness issue but oh it’s so much more than that.  It doesn’t matter how beautifully decorated your space is, if walls have dirt and grime on them – ugh!  If there are handprints, footprints, peeling paint, grit and grime on your doors- ugh again!  You can bet others sub-consciously notice it.  This goes for light switches, too as they are often the culprits for dirt and grime.  Get out the Clorox wipes routinely and walk throughout your homespace with a keen eye for spotting places you need to wipe away mess.  This takes very little time if you stay on top of it and will absolutely, positively make a difference in your homspace feel.  I guarantee it.

Taking a Décor Theme into overdrive

Here goes my decorating motto again – “Less is more”.  Just look around your homespace.  Love one specific color?  Let it flow throughout your space, but in bits and pieces.  Love animal print?  Again, use it sparingly.  A little goes a long way to send a message of beauty in your homespace.

So there you have it, my top five blunders people make in their home décor.  Why not take the time today to peruse your homespace room by room and see if and where you could fix some mistakes?  You might find some surprises.

To a fabulous homespace…

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Jamie Balzer

About Jamie Balzer

Jamie has worked in the field of interior decorating for over 10 years and has owned B&A Interiors, LLC for almost as long. Partnered with her daughter, Sammi Blake, Jamie has been honored to work in homes and businesses across the country. Knowledge and experience is but part of what she has to offer. As a young girl, Jamie intuitively understood that the placement of things, the color of things, and the arrangement of things evoke certain feelings. Working together with this knowledge, experience and intuition Jamie has answered the call to her life’s purpose- teaching the spiritual truth of what she believes- “Everything begins in the home”. As a branch of B&A Interiors, LLC, Living In Perfect Harmony emerged to teach her philosophy. Jamie believes, “if you live peacefully and beautifully at home, you are well, your family is well and that helps to make the world a better place”. Jamie's most passionate role is as a mother and grandmother. Jamie currently lives and works in the Chicago area but also continues her business in Charlotte, NC as both a decorator and a homespace coach. She is certified in Reiki Therapy which she believes broadens her success as a homespace coach. Jamie is available for private consultations, lectures and seminars.

8 thoughts on “

  1. Fun and useful tips! I think the blunder that bothers me the most is improperly hung artwork. We have seen that a lot haven’t we?

    • Thanks dear daughter! And, I’m with you on improperly hung artwork. I have such an obsession with it that I find myself constantly critiquing the artwork on TV shows and commercials always with a watchful eye for Blunders!

  2. Thanks for enticing me to start spring spruce up (otherwised referred to as spring cleaning, but that is such a chorish reference!). I am past ready to pack up the winter decorations in my foyer for something fresh and spring!

    • Debra, so glad to give you a nudge in the direction of celebrating Spring – even if it is in the cleaning department. March and Spring symbolize new beginnings for us which is probably why we clean our nests! Good luck with your sprucing up – and while you do it, open up your windows and get a breath of fresh air. It will add to the freshness of your homespace for sure! Thanks for commenting and please keep reading…

  3. Good comments…..my collectible I know are wrong, but I need them ……I will try to space them out. Love ya….Susie

    • Thanks dear friend. And, if I remember correctly – and you know I never forget decorating or design details, your collectibles look wonderful displayed just as they are. Don’t change a thing! Love to you as well.

  4. I learned from you to do small chores while talking on the phone. I wipe down (with wipes) bathrooms,walls, doors and pick up. When you are talking and doing these small things you get 2 things done at a time.

    • MA, for years you and I have solved the problems of the world talking on the phone to each other. At the end of many of our phone conversations we chuckle over all the multi-tasking we have done while talking. I love using my Swiffer on my floors while I talk on the phone. It’s easy-peasy and instantly rewarding looking at the dusty cloth after I finish. Wiping down doorknobs, remote controls, dirty hand prints on the walls and doors is another quick job while on the phone and things look cleaner and fresher right away. I was thinking about clean doors today as I walked in the door from my garage leading into the house. For me this is such an important door to keep clean as it is the first thing I look at when I enter my home ~ my Sanctuary. Cleanliness really matters – it speaks to us on a deeply sub-conscious level and makes us feel that all is right in the world. Keep cleaning dear sister…

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