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Avoid these designer don'ts in your home decor

by CATHY HOBBS TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE | April 3, 2021 at 1:43 a.m.
A gallery wall of mirrors reflects wall art down a long hallway. (TNS)

Ready to decorate? Whether starting from scratch or swapping out the old and swapping in the new, there are some pitfalls to avoid. In other words, when it comes to decorating, what shouldn't you do? And more importantly, what are some better alternatives?

Here are some suggestions that are near the top of the decorator don'ts list.

ARTIFICIAL DRIED FLOWERS

These instantly feel dated and old fashioned in a modern decor scheme. Instead, opt for artificial palm leaves, grasses or succulents.

BOOKSHELVES CROWDED WITH BOOKS

Yes, they are called bookshelves for a reason, but they can also be used to showcase beautiful accessories. Leave some shelves empty for a more minimalist look.

TWO-TONE

This was a common trend in kitchen design for a while. If looking to achieve a modern, sleek look, instead mix in interesting materials.

THE WALL OF TINY THINGS

Instead of a wall of frames or mirrors of various sizes, go big and bold to better help anchor a space.

Gallery: Designer-suggested alternatives

WALL-TO-WALL CARPETING

Most homeowners simply prefer hardwood flooring.

THE OVERWORKED WORKSPACE

Clear the clutter and opt for a workspace in which work can be tucked away.

ACRYLIC AND PLASTIC

Not only do these materials often crack, they also tend to look milky over time. Opt for an item that is considered "indoor/outdoor." Often these pieces are not only durable, but they also won't break the bank.

FRAMED POSTERS

Don't frame an inexpensive poster and use it for art. Don't think you can afford a canvas? Instead opt for an inexpensive wall hanging or framed photograph you print yourself.

BRIGHT COLORS FOR MAIN FURNITURE PIECES

Instead of selecting furniture that may feel trendy, opt for those that will stand the test of time. Gray and cream are great foundational colors when selecting primary pieces such as sofas.

BLANK WALLS IN A LONG HALLWAY

Elongate these spaces by creating a gallery feel using mirrors.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York, is a television host and interior design and home staging expert with additional offices in Boston and Washington.

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