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Interior Designers’ Top 5 Pet Peeves (And How to Avoid Them)

Recently, Insider revealed a list of interior designers’ biggest complaints about how people lay out and decorate their living rooms. Check and see if you’ve committed any of these interior design crimes, and learn how to remedy the situation ASAP!

Interior designers hate…

  1. Rugs that are the wrong size.

If you get a rug that’s too big for your living room, your space ends up looking crowded and off balance. On the other hand, a rug that’s too small can actually make your room look smaller than it really is because you have to move your furniture closer together to meet the rug’s perimeter.

Tips for choosing an area rug that’s the proper size:

  • HGTV’s Property Brothers say you should always leave a minimum of 12-18 inches (or between a foot and 1 ½ feet) of open space between the edge of your area rug and the wall. If you’re decorating an oversized great room, increase this distance.
  • Every piece of furniture in the room should at least partially be contained by the rug. For example, the front two legs of each couch and chair should be placed on the rug. Your coffee table and end tables should have all four feet on the rug.
  • Use painter’s tape to get an idea of how rugs of different dimensions would look in your space.
  • Search Sofa Creations’ wide selection of rugs to find one that’s just the right fit! Most of our rugs come in 2’x3’, 3’x5’, 5’x8’, and 8’x10’ sizes.
  1. Furniture which is the wrong size.

Similarly, interior designers get peeved when they see furniture pieces which are too bulky or awkwardly small for someone’s family room. This problem often arises when people purchase sofas, sectionals, and other furniture in “standard” sizes offered at big box furniture stores… The fact is, everyone’s living room has unique dimensions, so your sofa should too!

Tips for choosing furniture which fits in your room:

  • If you live in a house, your living room furniture should have about 30-36 inches (or between 2 ½ feet and three feet) of space between each staple piece. For example, your sofa should be about three feet away from the adjacent arm chair, and should also have about three feet of space from the edge of your coffee table.
  • If you live in a smaller condo or apartment, you may need to have furniture closer together than we suggested above, but you should still leave at least 18 inches (or about 1 ½ feet) between pieces.
  • Customize a sofa or sectional with Sofa Creations, where you can tell us the exact dimensions you need for your seating. We can follow your instructions down the quarter inch!
  1. Matchy-matchy furniture.

Another result of shopping at large chain furniture stores is the temptation to purchase a full set of matching furniture. After all, the store designers do such a good job of laying out fake living rooms in their showrooms, so why wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, matching sets of furniture don’t look as good in a real person’s den or living room because they don’t look comfortable or inviting. No one wants to relax in a room that looks like it came straight out of a catalog.

Instead, we recommend sticking with independently owned home stores. These boutique shops usually offer a diverse array of styles to choose from, and you’re sure to find plenty of pieces which resonate with your design aesthetic.

  1. Square, blocky furniture.

Many interior designers don’t like overly square and rectangular furniture because it can make your room feel stiff and rigid. Even if you love the modern, clean look of right angles, we recommend adding a little softness back to your room in other ways.

Tips for softening the look of your living room:

  • Accessorize sofas with fluffy throw pillows.
  • Use a cushy pouf in place of a foot rest in front of your accent chairs.
  • Opt for a round coffee table instead of a traditional rectangular one.
  • Choose an area rug with an abstract pattern.
  1. Couches pressed up against the wall.

Maybe you’ve pushed the back of your couch against the wall to maximize your floor space, but this actually has the opposite visual effect! Interior designers tell us that couches pressed up agains the walls make your room feel smaller—like you have no breathing room or space to walk around. SFGate recommends leaving about 30 inches (or 2 ½ feet) between the back of your couch and the wall.

Get more help designing your living room!

Sofa Creations’ design experts would love to help you complete the look of your home’s gathering space. If you have a quick question we can answer right away, chat with us online now. You can also visit us in person at one of our two Bay Area showrooms for more help.