- Miniature decorations and gallery walls filled with small artwork can make a space feel cluttered.
- Use hardwood flooring instead of carpeting the entire floor.
Renowned decorator and founder of home-staging firm Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes Cathy Hobbs spoke with Insider about the trends and styles she would never have in her own home.
She avoids small-piece gallery walls.
A simple approach to fill empty wall space is to create an eclectic gallery wall or a “wall of tiny things,” but you won’t find that in Hobbs’ home.
The designer recommended using large, statement items to anchor the room rather than a wall of smaller frames and mirrors.
Accessories and other small items might quickly look like chaos.
Similarly, Hobbs argues that scattering too many little decorative elements throughout a room is a surefire way to annoy the eye.
Instead, she suggested selecting more prominent decorative elements that will serve to anchor the room without competing for attention.
The decorator avoids traditional poster displays.
Don’t settle for framing cheap posters if you want to decorate your home with art. That style, says Hobbs, can make a room feel smaller.
If you are unable to buy canvas artwork, she recommended that you choose an affordable wall hanging or a photograph that has been framed as an alternative.
Long hallway walls are wasted decor space.
Hobbs will occasionally utilize mirrors when designing a building with a long hallway to make the space more open.
“Hallways typically do not have windows or receive a lot of light,” she said. Putting up mirrors may make a small room appear much more extensive.
Decorating with dried, fake flowers can make a house look old and tacky.
Although real or fake foliage may breathe new life into a room, Hobbs avoids using fake dried flowers when decorating her house.
In a contemporary design scheme, “they can feel outmoded and old-fashioned,” she told Insider.
She recommended replacing them with fake palm fronds, grasses, or succulents.
Hobbs doesn’t have her shelves crammed with books.
Don’t cram every book and knickknack you own into your shelves, no matter how useful they may be.
Hobbs recommended clearing up some of the shelves for a more open layout.
She removes all the carpeting and installs hardwood floors.
Even though wall-to-wall carpeting can produce a sleek aesthetic, the designer shies away from it.
Wall-to-wall carpeting, as Hobbs told Insider, “sends a visual signal of ‘outdated’ for many.”
Since most homebuyers like hardwood, she advised making that choice.
She doesn’t like acrylic or plastic; thus, those materials are off-limits for her home’s decorations.
Even though acrylic and plastic furnishings and accents are affordable, Hobbs avoids them.
She told Insider that they are prone to cracking and developing a “milky” appearance over time.
She suggested finding a longer-lasting option, such as a fabric that could be used both inside and out.
Furnishings that are both flashy and hip may eventually look dated.
Regarding the primary furniture pieces in a room, Hobbs told Insider that bold colors are enjoyable but not ideal.
She advised against going with the current furniture style in favor of something that will last. When selecting primary pieces like sofas, gray and milk are fantastic basic hues.
She doesn’t want her home office to look like she’s overworked.
The designer asserts that there is no justification for leaving a messy work area while it is not in use.
You should “clear the clutter and choose a desk where work can be hidden away when not in use,” she said.
Pick a table that has drawers, or get some containers.
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