Toris Design Box

The Many Myths of Decorating

Thanks to a plethora of decorating shows and reality TV which sometimes oversimplify design tasks rather than present a real life picture due to lack of screen time etc., among the many myths of decorating tossed around these days, the following are a few of Tori’s favorites:

Myth # 1 – Accessories Come Last When Budgeting for Your Home Decorating Project –

WRONG:  Tori says – Accessories are essential in that they “finish” a room and spell the difference between blah….bam! Do not wait until the end of the decorating process to start buying accessories.

Myths of Decorating  - accessories come last - Toris Design Box

Keep your eyes open from the start. Attend flea markets and estate sales, where there’s a chance you might score a deal. Use your own treasures and collections to personalize your space. Include antiques, if you own any, even if you live in a contemporary space.

Myth # 2 – Decorators Know How to Make Cheap Look Like a Million Bucks –

WRONG: it’s all about balance and about observing the rules.  Decorators know how to mix and match cheap with a million bucks (manner of speaking) to dress up a room, but do not be fooled by tall claims.  Discount-store items will never look like designer furniture, neither will they be as well-built or last as long as the real deal. 

Learn about the Many Myths of Decorating  - Toris Design Box

In decorating as in life, you get what you pay for.

Myth # 3 – Save a Bundle by Hiring Cheap Labor or DIY With the Help of a Friend or Cousin –

WRONG: Well, of the many myths of decorating, this one’s only partially right, because maybe you can save a bundle…but it shows…in the outcome. 

Tori says, never scrimp on labor. Always use a licensed contractor, with good referrals who is able to deliver your project with in a timely manner without the added cost and hassle of having to “re-fix” mistakes. The talent and experience of the people that execute your project are what makes the difference.

Myth # 4 – Spend Big and You Cant Go Wrong –

WRONG: Don’t pick the most expensive fabric or furniture item. You can save money on fabric that functions well, is reasonable and durable. However, make sure, the only reason you buy a specific furnishing or furniture is not because it is “reasonable” because then it will look just that….. “reasonable” not chic!

Learn about decorating myths and how to avoid them - Toris Design Box

When buying furniture I do advise buying the best you can afford, but nowadays, consumers have access to more furniture options at a range of prices, thanks to the Internet. However, buying before you have a color scheme planned out or have created a furniture layout or master room plan – buying “blind” as I call it – is tricky.  Try to find middle ground between low-end furniture (it’s cheap for a reason) and the stuff you see at designer showrooms.

Myth # 5 – Saving Money Means Sacrificing Quality –

WRONG: It doesn’t necessarily.  Not unless your idea of saving money means settling for a particleboard desk or cabinet.  Consider looking for a good quality used/re-purposed items at a thrift store, antiques shop or flea market.

One myth of Decorating is save money sacrifice quality - Toris Design Box

More often than not, you always get more value in vintage  says Tori. The quality will be better, and you can paint it or refinish it yourself, or send it out for professional restoration.

Myth # 6 – Splurge on Living Room & Dining Room and Scrimp on Bedroom & Family Room –

WRONG: Don’t! If you’ve decorated the public spaces of your home, walking from these well designed areas of your home into the rest of the house with its underwhelming decor or cluttered and disorganized private spaces will bring you down. Don’t put off decorating these, unless you are planning to decorate those less public rooms at some point  in the future, sooner rather than later. 

White Kitchen - DIY or hire a pro - Toris Design Box

The idea is to first, decorate the rooms that you spend more time in – those would be your bedrooms and family rooms, rather than the formal Living Room and Dining Room which you may only use once or twice a year. Nevertheless, the overall objective is to decorate the whole house. Otherwise, as you move about the house, the disparity of the different “class” of rooms will make you feel tired and anxious to “get started”.

Myth # 7 –  Decorators Use Items That Will Only Work in Your Current Home –

WRONG:  Sometimes, that is.  This one depends on how long you will be staying in your current home. have your designer work with you on that.  Statistics show Americans change houses more than they do furniture and furnishings.

If you don’t plan to remain in the home for long, you would do well to find a decorator that will advise you on how best to invest in things like window coverings, wallpaper etc., or offer tricks and tips to purchasing items that will go with you when you move. Among the many myths of decorating is this one I hear from time to time – that designers are not adjustable to that fact. Wrong again!

A designer that chooses unique yet normal-size furnishings that can work in a variety of settings — not items scaled to that particular home is the one to go with. Among the many myths of decorating it is generally accepted that TV shows will show us what the current trends are so that we may duplicate it to get a cool look for our home. Untrue! It is a mistake to go for what you see on TV without fully assessing what your house needs and what your requirements are. One example of what not to do – no matter what they show on TV – avoid buying oversize sectionals, corner cabinets or towering armoires just because they look good on TV. They might not fit in your next home — or make it through a doorway or elevators.

Myth # 8 – Hire a Designer/Decorator and Nothing Will Go Wrong –

WRONG: Even the best plans can go awry. With over a decade of working as a designer I myself have run into projects where there were a fair share of surprises. Of the many myths of decorating, I would like to dispel this one by asserting – the difference is hiring a designer and hiring the right one with training and experience. Above all, be a girl scout and follow the scout motto – be prepared! Also always include a little cushion in your budget whether you are working with or without a professional designer.

Learn about the Many Myths of Decorating  and how to avoid them - Toris Design Box

Image credits – pic of accessories courtesy amara.com | image of designer living room courtesy goodhousekeeping.com | image of blue bedroom courtesy renoguide.au.com | image of modern living room with vintage piano courtesy elledecor.com | pic of white kitchen courtesy sunset.com |

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