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10 Solutions To Top Interior Design Dilemmas

October 5, 2009

Jan Springer, Director
Heritage School of Interior Design,
Beaverton, Oregon

1.  Your sofa is too big in the room and for the wall it occupies.
Solution:  Paint the wall behind the sofa the same color as the sofa and you will diminish the size immediately.

2.Your sofa or chair seat cushions slide forward after someone has been sitting on them
Solution:  Buy a runner rug pad (rubber consistency) and place under seat cushions and they will stay in place.

3.  You have a long, narrow hallway leading to another part of your home and want it to appear shorter.
Solution:  Paint the end wall a darker color and the wall will appear to move forward and shorten the length.

4.  Your ceilings are too high and you would like them to appear lower.
Solution:  Apply an inexpensive molding approximately 2 ft. lower than the ceiling and paint the upper portion and ceiling several shades darker than the walls below.  Paint the molding to match your woodwork.

5.  You love pillows on your sofas and chairs but they end up on the floor when guests occupy the furniture.
Solution:  Most pillow forms are made of foam which does not mold to the body.  If you have pillow cases with zippers, remove the foam and replace with down feathers.  The pillows will give and feel comfortable to guests.  No more pillows on the floor!

6.  Your tabletops are the perfect horizontal surface to accessorize but things look ordinary.
Solution:  To give your accessories more interest use decorative trays underneath lamps, plants etc. to show them off.

7.  Too much artwork and not enough wall space.
Solution:  Rotate your artwork and think of them as “seasonal pieces”.  Some artwork looks more appropriate for spring & summer and other artwork looks more appropriate for fall & winter.  Put the off season away till the next season.  Everything feels fresh again.

8.  Chandelier alignment: (Most dining room chandeliers are installed without regard for where the table will positioned, therefore they are not directly over the table). Solution:  Buy a large decorative ceiling disk which is available at most lighting stores.  The disk will cover the swag necessary to center the fixture.

9.  Most of us would love fresh flowers in our homes 24-7 but that can be expensive. Solution: Buy really nice looking silk flowers and mix them in with fresh flowers.  It cuts down on the expense and they blend in beautifully.

10. Mirror issues: Mirrors are an important design statement and work well in every room but be sure they reflect something pleasing to the eye. Solution:  Be the mirror!  Before you hang a mirror stand in that spot and check out what you will be looking at.  If you see the toilet in your guest bathroom, move the mirror to another wall.  ( I have seen that more than once while visiting clients homes.)

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Discuss this article

Kay October 5, 2009

What great tips. All so practical…and finally an interior designer that has solutions that won’t break the bank. Thanks.

Amy October 5, 2009

Yes! Solution #5 will save marriages all across the country. What is it about pillows that men hate so much? I think its the “nuisance” and you’ve solved the problem. Or is there a deeper, unresolved issue?

Dona October 5, 2009

My problem is that my ceiling are too low. Do you have a solution for that?

Ally October 5, 2009

#6 is something I had never thought of. What a fun, enjoyable article, so full af great ideal.

Suz October 5, 2009

Too much artwork may be a problem within itself, so no interior design fix can fix a bad art collector.

Rhodie October 5, 2009

Chandelier alignment. That is new.

I think I need to check on that when I get home.

jan springer October 5, 2009

Hi Dona,

One solution could be to paint the ceiling several tints lighter than your wall color. Also, avoid wall paper borders that run along the
wall beneath the ceiling. A more costly approach would be to raise the ceiling. Raising the ceiling would depend on construction constraints.

Hi Kay,

Thanks for the compliment.

Hi Ally,

Thanks, it is great to know that these solutions were helpful.

Hi Amy,

Thanks, I can now add “marriage whisperer” to my profile…lol

Suz October 5, 2009

I need to add a point to the art issue that I left out. Even if you have a good many masterpieces, too much of a good thing is still “too much” and too much is too much.

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