1. Respect the architecture of your home.
I've often been asked to name a common mistake clients make when decorating their own homes. It's falling in love with an interior style that isn't really in sync with the exterior style, or architecture, of your home. At the minimum, acknowledge the style of the outside of your house with your interior furnishings. Then you can use your creativity to reinterpret it and bring in other style elements to enhance and compliment your home.
2. Coffee tables should relate to a single piece of furniture (a sofa, sectional, or a couple chairs).
Lots of clients float their coffee tables somewhere between chairs on one side of the room & a sofa on the other. The result is that the table doesn't relate to anything in particular. And, practically speaking, it's just too far away to reach a magazine or glass. To create intimacy, place your table 16" - 20" away from your seating group - - not 3 to 5 feet away.
When your coffee table relates to just one conversation area, you might want to change how you entertain. Consider providing small plates to your guests to use for their appetizers. Then,they won't need to get up and down every few minutes to gather a few more chips and guacamole. It'll save your carpet too by reducing food spills.
3. Have a good lighting strategy.
SLS Design is fussy about lighting, and using a layered lighting approach is practical and beautiful. The most flattering space - - to the room and the people who inhabit it - - combines many of the following types of light.
Ambient light stands in for natural light, and all rooms need it. This light provides a general lighting source - - it's your soft background light, & it's usually comprised of a few fixtures that diffuse light over surfaces or that glow in all directions. It isn't useful for reading or sewing.
Task lighting is targeted light that is set close to the object. It's important if you plan to read or knit.
Up-light is a strong light that is concentrated on an object like a plant. It adds aesthetic interest and should be part of a larger lighting approach in a room. It's ornamental and inexpensive to pick up a few of these lights at your nearest Lamps Plus.
Accent is a strong light that is concentrated on a specific object like a painting or sculpture. It's one part of a lighting strategy and it's primarily ornamental.
Down-light is used to create a visual effect on a wall for aesthetics or to generally light objects hung on a wall.
Candle light adds the finishing touch on any room, and there's no reason not to light your candles each evening or on every rainy day. The warmth and glow that candles provide just can't be replicated, and they are a simple, inexpensive - - yet elegant - - pleasure.
Stay tuned for more ideas.