“Biggest Design Mistakes Ever,” As Told To Me By Our Favorite Well Known Designers

My guide comes out tomorrow (EEK Preorder right here if you would like! EEK! And are available to a guide signing this Thursday in New York!! I’m very nervous). It was an extended course of and a couple of years in the past, mid “fantasy-writing-mode,” after I thought I may in some way match 900 pages of design info into this guide, I reached out to all of my favourite (and well-known) designers and surveyed them on their greatest design recommendation. My aim was to incorporate their solutions within the guide, crediting them and even creating cute charts, infographics, and illustrated design information. Nevertheless, this entire idea acquired minimize because of the eventual lack of area. Thank goodness I’ve a weblog to share all of it. Now we have the data as a result of these nice designers took the time to fill out the questionnaire, so at present we’ve a reasonably epic submit for you – a curated record of their greatest design errors to keep away from. You’ll want to comply with them in case you don’t, too 🙂

Largest Errors: Lighting

design by orlando soria | picture by zeke ruelas

Make sure that to have a lighting grid and guarantee you might have sufficient lighting sources to light up a room throughout varied intervals of the day. – Mikel Welch

Don’t determine on actual placement for assertion fixtures in nice rooms BEFORE furnishings is actually positioned. Go away the wiring behind the ceiling drywall after which drill and pull it by as soon as furnishings is in place. – Brian Patrick Flynn

I believe one large mistake with regards to lighting is doing recessed cans in all places. It feels builder grade.  – Heidi Caillier

A typical hardwired lighting mistake I’ve seen is fixtures not hung on the proper location. i.e. with sconces, you need to at all times think about what’s going round them like mirrors and draperies. – Ginny Macdonald

I actually lose my thoughts each time I encounter a room with no overhead mild. Please please please give us mild on the ceiling, each single time. – Megan Hopp

A typical lighting mistake I’ve seen is having them too excessive, or having too many! You don’t need to hit your head on it, however a eating room pendant ought to hold about eye-level. I usually don’t like recessed lighting, except it’s in new building. Even then, a central mild fixture with lamps across the room is at all times going to be a nicer ambiance than a bunch of can lights up above. – Daniel Kanter

Lining up the pendants and the can lighting within the kitchen is difficult. You often decide the places previous to cupboards moving into and in case you don’t account for the place the higher cupboards shall be, your lights will all be improper. Mark the cupboards out on the ground and use a laser to determine the place your lights ought to be. – Jasmine Roth

Lighting is so value a splurge to me. It’s painful to see a model new costly room with the most cost effective, trendiest lights from the ironmongery store. At all times embody your lighting in your temper board and by no means let it’s an afterthought. – Elsie Larson

Make sure that your kitchen has loads of lighting! Set up ceiling cans in case your sconces and pendants don’t present sufficient illumination. You’ll be glad you probably did once you catch the hair hiding within the mousse you made in your mother-in-law, earlier than you serve it to her! – Anne Sage

A typical mistake I see is over lighting a room. LED lights are SO MUCH BRIGHTER than incandescent. You don’t want as many. – Carly Waters

Be sure you measure your heights/drops very rigorously. Make sure that the dimensions is true for the room – it’s frequent for folks to undersize fixtures. Affirm the dimensions of your junction field. Some fixtures require a smaller junction field and you find yourself with an enormous gap to cowl within the wall. – Victoria Sass

Largest Errors: Laying Out The Kitchen

design by rosa beltran | picture by sara ligorria-tramp

As annoying as it might be, I wish to know what bigger home equipment I’ll be working with earlier than designing the kitchen. The most important mistake is pondering all equipment choices are “commonplace” and forgoing measurements. Chances are high one can find an equipment that you just love, however doesn’t fairly suit your “commonplace” measurements. Measure the equipment first, so you will get what you actually need and never be a sufferer of “fundamental kitchen syndrome.” – Mikel Welch

Including too many assertion components right into a kitchen leads to the look being too busy and so due to this fact I often determine on ONE aspect that ought to stand out greater than the others and let the remaining components assist it visually. – Brian Patrick Flynn

I discover a frequent mistake to be not contemplating the place the whole lot ought to reside and what wants to really be saved. Kitchens are essentially the most purposeful room within the house and cabinetry ought to be laid out for performance and effectivity. I at all times suggest taking a variety of time up entrance to think about all the particulars and each merchandise you’ll need to retailer in your new kitchen.  – Laura Hodges

Actually think about your most important equipment places. Performance is vital in a kitchen. You need to ensure the principle 3 are in a triangle collectively (sink, fridge, and vary) but additionally think about how you utilize the kitchen. Make sure that your fridge opens in a path you could seize one thing after which pivot to make use of it for instance. You don’t need to need to squeeze previous your fridge door ten instances a day. –Melanie Burstin

By no means put your kitchen sink in a nook. It’s dangerous for move and performance. – Shelly Lynch-Sparks

One of many greatest kitchen design errors is worrying an excessive amount of about resale. Design it for you and your loved ones, interval. There’s no sense in guessing what a thriller future proprietor may need.- Daniel Kanter

I can let you know the error I’ve made just a few instances and actually actually regretted – forgetting to construct in trash pullouts. In case you have a model new kitchen, however then need to discover a spot for a garbage can and recycling bin…in my view that’s a FAIL. – Jasmine Roth

If potential, don’t put your dishwasher in a nook. It would look good in concept, however as soon as the whole lot is in place, you’ll understand when the dishwasher is open (if the handles don’t hit, which generally is a entire extra drawback) will probably be blocking cupboards that you might want to open to place dishes away. – Jasmine Roth

Save your self a lot bother – don’t set up wooden flooring within the kitchen. Luxurious vinyl plank has come such a great distance, as has wood-look tile. With a sink, dishwasher, and fridge, in some unspecified time in the future within the life cycle of your kitchen, you’ll expertise a leak. Ripping out flooring from beneath cabinetry and home equipment is a nightmare. – Laurie March

Largest Errors: Cabinetry

design by heidi callier | picture by haris kenjar

One factor I’m undecided is acknowledged as a mistake however is one thing that irritates me past perception is when cabinetry simply stops just a few inches from the ceiling leaving just a little hole to forged shadows and gather mud. It’s one thing contractors do on a regular basis and is so simply remedied by a trim piece. It’s frequent as a result of it’s simpler to make your cupboards absolutely stage in case you float them off the ceiling however I hate that it leaves a ineffective, darkish area above. – Orlando Soria

Too many cupboards and never sufficient drawers – Heidi Caillier

By no means by no means depart a niche between your cupboards and your ceiling. Even when you must fill it with a trim piece, construct it out all the best way to the ceiling peak. – Rosa Beltran

The most important mistake folks make when designing cabinetry goes with something that’s too fashionable or well-liked from a sure time. They’ll develop into timestamped rapidly and really feel much less particular. I’m a agency believer in navy blue cabinetry, walnut cabinetry, or something painted in a brand new impartial comparable to sage inexperienced or blue-grey. – Brian Patrick Flynn

I believe the commonest mistake is scale and stability with regards to kitchen cabinetry. You need to consider the heights of the ceiling, width of the room, and so forth. to ensure the cupboard depths and heights are proportionate to the remainder of the kitchen. One other frequent mistake is forgetting about small add on’s comparable to hidden trash/recycle cans, specialty roll-out pot lids cupboards, built-in Lazy Susan’s, digital ports (location, location, location), and so forth. These are usually afterthoughts that may make you might have purchaser’s regret in the long run when you must head to The Container Retailer and make pointless purchases. – Mikel Welch

The most important mistake I’ve seen shouldn’t be absolutely considering performance. You need to assume in excruciating element about what you need to retailer and the place. Are you an enormous baker? A wine connoisseur? Want a big pantry to feed an enormous household? These storage selections will make or break the performance of your kitchen. – Erin Hiemstra

Many individuals go for changing simply the cupboard fronts versus changing the cupboards completely. Whereas this can positively minimize down on upfront prices, refaced cupboards don’t final as lengthy. We at all times advise shoppers to consider the long run, and whether or not it’s extra vital to chop down on rapid prices, or to get essentially the most out of their renovation over time. There isn’t actually a proper or improper reply – it’s extra about balancing wants and expectations so there aren’t any surprises down the road. – Terri Lee

Take into consideration what shall be going into the cupboards as you’re designing them. It will assist information you on the perfect dimension for every cupboard. On that be aware, make sure you ensure you take into consideration “closed” cupboard space. Open and floating cabinets look nice however you don’t need to overlook that you just’ll need to excessive some cookware objects behind cupboards too.- Haley Weidenbaum

Functionally, not sufficient drawers. Aesthetically, getting too swayed by developments and forgetting what home you’re in! In the previous few years, we’ve seen a profusion of gorgeous, high-end kitchens that really feel very influenced by basic British kitchens exemplified by firms like deVOL. Basic shaker model cabinetry is flexible and works properly in a variety of areas, nevertheless it has to really feel associated to its context. That form of kitchen simply doesn’t really feel proper in a contemporary home or one with a extra distinct model. – Daniel Kanter

Individuals typically design cupboards, the place the doorways open, and also you pull out pantry inserts from inside that. Simply skip the doorways! A contemporary kitchen ought to be 80% drawers, 20% cupboards, with devoted areas in your small home equipment, like air fryers, mixers, and dehydrators – to reside. – Laurie March

The nook cupboard with the rotating lazy Susan inside is the most important mistake ever! Individuals assume that they’re maximizing cupboard space after they set up them, nevertheless it’s truly an actual ache to crouch within the nook and discover issues in there. It finally ends up being the cupboard the place Tupperware goes to die. – Anne Sage

Forgetting to run the cupboards all the best way to the ceiling in case your ceilings are taller than 8 toes. Individuals (and designers) can typically overlook the small particulars – like whether or not a nook cupboard will hit the drawer pull on the adjoining drawer (whoops discovered that lesson the arduous means). I believe folks additionally neglect to consider how cupboards will maintain up/how simple they are going to be to maintain clear. – Carly Waters

Largest Errors: Home windows And Window Therapies

design by victoria sass | picture by sara ligorria-tramp

I believe folks set up home windows generally with out fascinated by how they’ll be lined by window therapies. Like a crescent window tremendous excessive in a bed room. How do you cowl that in a means that isn’t ugly? I haven’t discovered an answer for that. – Orlando Soria

Don’t set up vinyl home windows in outdated houses. It breaks my coronary heart. Do high quality home windows!  – Heidi Caillier

Concentrate on the domino impact. In the event you change one window, you need to change all of them or it’ll look patchy. – Ginny Macdonald

Take into account your furnishings structure when deciding window places. You possibly can keep away from awkward partitions that gained’t match furnishings this manner. You possibly can see if the window remedy would find yourself taking on a complete wall and be an impractical use of area. Additionally, ensure you are matching the outside of the home. Exterior window symmetry is de facto vital so balancing these two inside and exterior wants will result in profitable placement. – Melanie Burstin

When choosing and inserting home windows on the aspect of a house, guarantee that you’re taking the neighbors into context. Usually a excessive clerestory window is a greater possibility in these places, which permits mild in and maintains privateness. – Jenny Guggenheim

Curved home windows aren’t the simplest to cowl so when you have a alternative within the matter don’t put curved or rounded home windows in rooms that should have window coverings. For instance, an incredible room or lounge that’s meant to be flooded with mild with grand home windows however privateness shouldn’t be of nice concern is an ideal alternative for curved or spherical home windows. – Haley Weidenbaum

Relating to home windows, greater is healthier. Everybody likes pure mild – there may be hardly a adverse to extra giant home windows. – Megan Hopp

Fenestration issues! Maintain window types constant throughout the home, and sizing that feels intentional. My space is filled with side-hall model homes, and the toilet typically leads to the street-facing room above the entrance door. The window on this room ought to be the identical dimension because the adjoining home windows on the identical stage, however SO MANY folks scale back the dimensions of this window dramatically when renovating the toilet. It fully ruins the facade of a home and has negligible purposeful profit. – Daniel Kanter

Ohhhh, I’ve been ready for this query! The most important errors I’ve made with home windows are 1) shopping for wood-clad home windows after which portray them white. I ought to have simply purchased white extruded home windows for a fraction of the value (by no means thoughts the time and labor to color them) and they might have had zero upkeep. We put curtains and shades in entrance of them anyway, proper? 2) utilizing customized home windows after I may have used commonplace. For brand spanking new building or for a renovation, if you should use commonplace window sizes it’s a lot much less. Discuss to your contractor about framing “commonplace dimension window openings” so it can save you some $$$. – Jasmine Roth

When you might have wooden home windows which might be stained on the inside, ensure to get an additional container of your stain colour so that you could contact up after the paint crew comes by. And ensure the caulking matches the home windows! Nothing ruins a trimless, cunning, black window like white caulk. – Laurie March

Putting in home windows which might be too small. I’ve by no means walked right into a room and said- wow, that window is simply too large. – Carly Waters

Be fascinated by window therapies as you’re selecting the home windows – are you going to have motorized shades? You’ll must design a cavity to deal with the mechanism. Do your home windows open inward and does that affect your plans for material, and so forth? Do you might have the suitable area above and across the window for the kind of window remedy you need? If you’d like inset window therapies, are your window casings deep sufficient to accommodate? – Victoria Sass

Largest Errors: Plumbing And Electrical

design by laura hodges | picture by jennifer hughes

Make it possible for what’s behind the partitions is in good working order, i.e. plumbing, electrical, venting.  Now, after all, fixtures, fittings and finishes can develop into costly rapidly, however these are decisions, the rough-in high quality in my world is none negotiable. – Anne De Wolf

The most typical plumbing mistake non-designers make when designing a toilet shouldn’t be taking note of the place the infrastructure is. One must vent a bathroom with a 3″ stack and that is typically ignored when inserting the bathroom. Additionally taking note of the place the drain is and the way that may get from level A to level B – particularly when engaged on second flooring bogs. This will result in plumbing runs not having the “grade” with a view to drain and/or having points with clogs and backups. It could actually additionally result in unpleasant soffits or work on the ground under. – Josh Salinger

I’ve two! 1) they tough within the sink too excessive. Every part appears too low in the course of the rough-in stage and folks second-guess themselves. 2) Placement of the bathe valve! If it’s potential to plumb away from the showerhead, I really like that resolution as a result of you’ll be able to flip the bathe on with out getting all moist! – Daniel Kanter

A typical mistake I see is one which I’ve additionally made. When renovating a toilet, identical to left and right-handed golf golf equipment, tubs need to be ordered with the drain on the left or the best. In the event you order the improper tub, you’ll need to ship it again and watch for the proper one and TRUST ME, that’s not enjoyable! – Jasmine Roth

Everybody desires a rain head bathe however NOT each plumbing system can accommodate one! Particularly in outdated houses, the present pipes are slim and gained’t provide the water stress mandatory for a real rain head expertise. – Anne Sage

Largest Errors: Colours And Patterns

design by dee murphy | picture by sara ligorria-tramp

Plenty of rooms have an excessive amount of white. Rooms must have depth and heat and it’s tough to realize that when the partitions and ceilings and trim are all stark white. – Corre Marie

The primary colour mistake I see is folks utilizing colours which might be too saturated. I at all times inform folks to consider the colour they like then take the saturation down 50% (principally add 50% grey to it). Often, that finally ends up getting you a colour that feels fairly however not too sickeningly saturated.  – Orlando Soria

Tile design is the most important choice that may make a toilet really feel dated. Except you understand that you just’ll adore it for a really very long time and aren’t planning to maneuver anytime quickly, I recommend choosing tile colours and patterns which might be both primarily based on a timeless and basic model or are simply modified to really feel totally different with an up to date paint colour.  – Laura Hodges

Doing something too fashionable will date your area. In case your furnishings is “millennial pink” or regardless of the well-liked new colour is it gained’t stand the check of time as a result of you’ll be able to inform instantly by taking a look at it when the chair was in all probability bought. – Emma Beryl Kemper

I believe folks can really feel timid about colour and or sample and as such find yourself typically doing issues midway. A colour, however one thing muted that isn’t actually the shade that impressed them within the first place or a sample, however one thing on a smaller scale or utilized in a smaller means. Ultimately, you get these kind of false begins or half-baked concepts and your design falls flat. The actual kicker is that it will probably then flip folks off due to a lower than preferrred consequence, the place had they carried out what they actually needed within the first place chances are high they’d have beloved it.- Megan Hopp

Scale is vital! A big room with a really small scale sample wallpaper can really feel overwhelming.- Molly Torres Portnof

Relying fully on paint. There’s nothing worse than a room with rust orange partitions however the whole lot in it’s black or grey. It’s so unhappy. – Daniel Kanter

The most important colour mistake I see is utilizing a grey paint for the partitions that has an excessive amount of blue in it. Nothing could make a home really feel low-cost and chilly quicker than a blue-hued grey on the partitions. – Jasmine Roth

Mixing patterns of the identical scale is a typical mistake. Combine patterns to your coronary heart’s content material, simply ensure they’re contrasting in dimension in order that your eyes can digest them. In any other case, you’re simply creating visible noise. – Anne Sage

Thanks to all of the designers who took the time to fill out the survey and dropped us this knowledge. Whereas I want my guide was peppered with this particular info, simply know that it’s filled with much more – and extra to come back on the weblog, too. Comply with them! And if you wish to purchase the guide and meet me IRL, come to the guide signing this Thursday in New York if you’re round. I’d like to say hello and sure let you know inappropriately private issues about my life 🙂

Opener Picture Credit score: Design by Heidi Caillier | Picture by Haris Kenjar

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