Sep 22, 2014
11 expensive design mistakes and how to avoid
TV or artwork installed too closely above a gas fireplaceSource: Tracey Ayton Credits: Style at Home
“This one is so common: Installing a TV or coveted piece of artwork over a gas fireplace,” says Crispin Butterfield, senior designer at Urban Theory Interior Design in Brandon, Manitoba. “From an aesthetic point of view, a 24-inch minimum distance, for example, between fireplace and the bottom of your object might not look proportionate, but trust me when I say following building codes and manufacturer installation instructions is crucial: the heat a gas fireplace gives off can and will melt your electronics and finishes if mounted too close to the output source,” she says. A mantel safely segregates the artwork from the heat of the gas fireplace in the living room pictured here.
Shutters in the wrong windowsSource: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home
Plantation shutters, also called California shutters, look so tidy, and they block the sun like nobody’s business. They also usually come with a hefty bill for a custom treatment, even at a big box store. Shutters, however, can be a mistake, not aesthetically but practically speaking. If you don’t have privacy concerns and you love the sunshine streaming in, you might be better off with a simple treatment of sheers and elegant drapes, Roman blinds or even thick-slatted horizontal blinds that pull all the way up. As pictured here, Roman blinds, instead of shutters are a great choice when you don’t need privacy.
Picking the wrong paint colourSource: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home
“It’s only paint” is a term Brett Walther, Home & Garden director at Canadian Living loathes. “It’s often used by a patronizing expert who is describing painting your walls as a ‘low-commitment’ approach to colour,” he writes in his blog. “As if patching holes, sanding, laying dropcloth, priming, painting and then painting again is the equivalent of casually throwing a new toss cushion on a sofa.” Painting, when done by pros, can run into the thousands of dollars, so be sure to pick the colour by testing it, by painting samples on the walls first instead of relying on a small paint chip. Cloud White paint by Benjamin Moore, as pictured in the interior here, is a designer favourite for its versatility.