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The Seven Deadly Sins of Condo Décor – Extended Edition

As seen in Metro News - October 16th 2014 - PG 33


As a stereotypical first born and self-proclaimed perfectionist, it’s taken me most of my life to appreciate the importance of being outside my comfort zone. Creativity, like success, rarely exists without taking risks and the risk reward trade off is as true in design as it is to living a gratifying & fulfilling life.

Here are a few common décor sins that keep people in their comfort zones – much too far from realizing their homes true potential:

Sin #1 – Being A Slave to Trends

Design trends come and go not unlike changes in fashion. In fact catwalks usually dictate trends in home décor anywhere from a season to a year in an advance given how infrequently we change our homes compared to our wardrobes. Being a slave to trends is the first and most deadly of sins in the décor world. Since no two people are a like, no two homes should be either. The most successful rooms have always defied classification in lieu of representing the homeowner’s personality and life experiences. If you are going to reflect trends be sure to do so sparingly in inexpensive ways so as not to regret it later.

Sin #2 – Fearing Colour

I like a sophisticated room as much as the next person but when did sophisticated become synonymous with bland, beige or boring? Although always a firm believer in keeping investment pieces textured and neutral, I tend to embrace colour more than the average designer for its transformative, mood enhancing qualities. If your space is feeling predictable, try infusing a new colour or colours to inject more energy and life. I guarantee the end result will be both interesting and unexpected. Skillfully adding colour can transform a room’s mood, its size and its function. In my experience there are very few design dilemmas that can’t be solved by adding or manipulating colour.

Sin #3 – One Stop Décor

We live in an instant gratification world where HGTV insists we can perfect a space within 30 minutes (including commercials) but your home is a reflection of who you are and people are complex. Just as we don’t become whole over night neither should your home. It takes a lot more skill, confidence and effort than you may expect so why not enjoy the process naturally overtime. Be sure to buy what you love – from multiple stores, collections and time periods – to achieve a curated look that truly reflects who you are. Be fearless and remember almost anything can work well together if you follow the basic principles of balance, scale & contrast.

Sin #4 – Becoming a Cliché

I love midcentury modern décor but having a room consisting of all vintage modern pieces results in your home looking more Brady Bunch than timeless. Avoid being overly predictable by embracing a more eclectic style in terms of your décor. Good design should never be stuck in a time warp. It should be confident, surprising and inspiring. In designer Larry Laslo’s words, “ Glamour is rooted in the unexpected.”

Sin #5 – Being a Wallflower

At some place & time in history it became an unwritten rule that furniture must be up against a wall. Not only is this rule debilitating, it is unrealistic – especially today as we take down walls and embrace more open concept living. If you’re guilty of this sin I beg you to fight the urge! Start by investing in furniture pieces that are designed and finished to be aesthetically pleasing from all angles. Floating pieces in a space is not only more interesting it’s also better for conversation. No matter how big or multi function your space may be, I guarantee breaking this rule will make your home more intimate and inviting.

Sin #6 – Failure to Edit

I realize to many hoarding is more than a sin; it’s an addiction that weighs down our homes as much as our subconscious. Be sure to purge seasonally! If you are a collector, group similar items together in one designated area. Once that area is full be strict and follow the golden rule of one item in for every item out!

Sin #7 – Lacking a Sense of Humour

Decorating should be fun so be sure not to take it or yourself too seriously! In my experience every room can benefit from a bit of whimsy. A unique collectible, some animal print, a large-scale wallpaper, a furry footstool are all examples of items that inject personality and serve as conversation pieces when entertaining. A truly multi layered interior should easily accommodate some irony so be sure to avoid boredom with a bit of whimsy!

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