WARNING: 5 Common Design Choices To Rethink (And Potentially AVOID)

When you are designing a home or heck, even just a single room, there are so many things to think about at once. You’ve got materials, pattern mixing, scale, function, cohesiveness, budget, etc all coming at you. And look, it’s not a bad problem to have but that doesn’t mean it can’t be overwhelming. So after Emily sent me her answers to an interview a magazine requested about headboards, it got me thinking about those little design things we forget to consider. I’ll tell you what it specifically was in a second. After that, I decided to ask the team what some other common things people don’t know or forget to think about when designing a space, or even just buying a new piece of furniture. These were five of our favorites…

1. Beware Of Light Fabric Headboards

This was the one from the interview. The editor asked Em if there were any things to think about when purchasing a bed with an upholstered headboard. The one that stood out to me the most was to potentially avoid choosing light fabric, especially in linens and cotton. Why? Well, the oils from our heads over time can get on the headboard and it can look pretty gross. I guess I had never thought of this for two reasons. A. I’ve never owned an upholstered headboard (something I hadn’t realized until writing this post) and B. My head almost never has spent time touching my previous headboards (to be fair I’m fairly short and sleep on the bottom 3″ of my floppy down pillow like a little weirdo). Emily (and Arlyn about their old bed) both said that their husband’s sides were way worse than theirs… Emily was referencing the mountain house bed. Something to think about!

This is also pretty funny timing because I am in the process of choosing a light fabric headboard but I’m not worried since my head will rarely be touching it as previously stated. But if you are looking for an upholstered headboard and know that you and/or your partner’s head will be making a fair amount of headboard contact, maybe consider a darker-toned fabric.

2. Got Dogs? Don’t Get A Loose Back Cushion Sofa

photo by kaitlin green | from: farmhouse living room reveal

Em’s pups are maybe the cutest and sweetest dogs in all the land but boy do they just love to perch ON TOP of the back pillow cushions of their living room sofas like they are watching over everyone. As cute as it is, it does really mess up the shape of those cushions. And sure, Emily and Brian could have, and potentially still could, train them not to go up on the sofa cushions but of course that is going to take a good amount of training and is currently not a priority for them. But if you want to get AHEAD of this, consider a tight-back sofa with some cozy throw pillows. Problem avoided:)

3. Dark Flooring And Dark Rugs Don’t Hide Dirt Better

When I asked this question, Em quickly stated that dark floors and dark rugs DO NOT hide dust and dirt better than lighter floors and rugs. For some, this might be a “yes, we know that” but for others, this might be more of a head-scratcher. Again, when you’re making a ton of design decisions all at once, you might just think something like dark floors hide the diry better, DONE! Check it off of the list. Well, sadly that’s not the case. We recommend going light to medium with flooring and making sure your rugs have a lot of color variation in the threading. Even if it’s a solid color! Also, if you have pets you should also consider their hair color. Outside of the dark blue family room, the Henderson pups are good to go in most of the farmhouse with their white/blonde locks and do not leave too much visible evidence. I myself have dark wood floors and am constantly vacuuming because you can see everything (and I don’t have pets or kids!). Any future home of mine will have lighter floors despite how pretty the ones I have now are.

4. Deep Sofas Should Require An Extra Piece Of Furniture

There’s nothing like cozying up on a big comfy sofa with a hot tea or a glass of wine. Heaven, right?! But then when you want to set your drink down, the coffee table is a million miles away! And thus the battle of deciding to move from your comfy location to set your drink down (to then have to move to pick it up again) or hold it until you are all done begins. What is the solution? Sorry, it’s another piece of furniture. But boy will it be worth it. But say your deep sofa or sectional is up against a wall, no problem. Just scooch it a little forward and slide a slender sofa table behind it. Honestly, your sofa will look better if it isn’t flush against the wall so it’s a win-win! Emily chose those awesome bookcases that fit perfectly but you could also fairly easily with some standard power tools build a DIY simple skinny wood console (especially if it’s between your wall and sofa where most people won’t even see it:))

5. Triple Check Your Dining Chairs With Arms Will Fit Under Your Dining Table

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: styling to sell: how we staged our dining room and kitchen

This was another one from Emily because she has made this mistake more than once. Oops! Make sure that if you have dining chairs with arms they will fit under your dining table. I can almost hear the symphony of “Duuuuuuhs” as I type this but you’d be surprised how often the dimensions on a site do not include the tabletop width, just the overall height. That means you may think, given the height, that your armed dining chairs will easily slide under your table but then it arrives, and no such luck. Measure twice, confirm with the retailer, and buy once:)

Short and sweet! Hope these are helpful and as always if you have any cautionary reno or decorating tips drop them in the comments.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Mountain House Primary Dedroom

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