10 Common Questions Interior Designers Are Asked
Over the years we’ve been asked many questions but there are quite a few that I hear time and time again. As a helpful tool for those that have yet to ask these questions or always wondered what the answer is, here are some of the most common interior design related questions we’ve been asked, answered:
Can I mix metal finishes in a room? (ex. brushed gold faucet vs. polished chrome pulls)
Yes! What was once thought of as a huge no no is now being seen as a lasting design trend. But like anything, make sure your mixing of metals is in moderation. Don’t go wild and choose 5 different finishes for 5 different fixtures or furniture pieces. You’ll need to make sure there is consistency, so selecting one main finish that is used in multiple places (hardware pulls in a kitchen or metal accents on furniture) will help carry your eye throughout a space and connect it together.
There is no set rule of which finishes go or don’t go together, but I’ve always thought that the more contrast between metals the better. For instance, if you have a satin nickel bathroom faucet, I wouldn’t select polished chrome wall sconces. Instead, I’d pair it with brushed gold or matte black. Warmer finishes such as gold, brass, bronze, and copper are paired well with cooler finishes such as nickel, chrome, silver, stainless steel, and black.
What size rug should I get?
That all depends on the size of your room! I always say the bigger the better, and a good rule of thumb is to try to have the rug touching most furniture pieces in the room (example: if you’re selecting a rug for your living room and you have a coffee table, sofa, and two side chairs, get a size rug that will at least touch all the front legs of the chairs and sofa - and the entirety of the coffee table). Ideally, you’d want to have all furniture sitting on the rug entirely but a lot times there are challenges that prevent that from happening. Larger rugs make a room feel bigger, but just make sure your rug doesn’t end up touching the walls and looking like wall to wall carpet.
Will (insert current trend) go out of style?
Short answer, yes. Everything will go out of style eventually BUT it always ends up coming back in style - just like fashion! Perfect example is the current refreshing take on mid-century modern. So, if you’re judging your decisions solely based off whether or not something will go out of style or not, you’re never going to be satisfied! Go with what YOU love and thinks looks good. If you absolutely love the look of subway tile in your kitchen - go with that! If you can’t get enough of shiplap and farmhouse accents, channel your inner Joanna Gaines! Ultimately, you’re going to be the one living in your home day in and day out so you should like what’s in it.
I’m not sure what design style I identify with, is that ok?
That’s ok, you don’t have to fit into one specific style category! Many people do and that’s ok too. But if you don’t, you’re most likely a mix of a few different styles - take our style quiz to find out :)
Do I always need to focus my furniture around the fireplace?
Not necessarily. Although it is a common focal point to plan your furniture around, depending on your home you don’t have to. Do you have a fantastic view with large windows looking out to your backyard? Are there built-in cabinets or a tv you’d prefer to focus on? It’s really up to you and how the space you’re decorating is shaped - if planning furniture around your fireplace doesn’t make sense then don’t do it.
Where do I put the TV?
As designers, we always want to try to conceal the TV as much as possible. However, as humans we understand the want for a TV in a family room or other room of your house. We always try to steer away from mounting the TV above the fireplace and instead putting some sort of wall decor above the mantle. Sometimes putting the TV above the fireplace is the only option and that’s ok too. Technology these days is awesome - there is a TV created by Samsung that when it’s turned off it literally looks like a piece of art, framed and everything! Check it out here. If there are built-ins or a blank wall that you could mount a TV to that works as well. Built-in cabinets or a large media cabinet that have doors that can hide the TV when not in use is also another great option. Wherever you end up placing your TV, you need to make sure the orientation of furniture is front of mind and makes sense in the space. Pay attention to if the space feels crowded and if the access to seating is functional - having easy walking paths within the space is most important.
I have no idea where to start with selecting, framing, and hanging art - what do you recommend?
You’re in luck, we’ve created an absolutely FREE downloadable guide that will answer all your burning questions when it comes to incorporating art into your home :)
Do you recommend solid hardwood or engineered hardwood?
That all depends what your needs and budget are. Check out this blog post comparing the two here.
Do wood colors in my space have to match?
Nope! It’s actually encouraged to mix and match wood colors to add depth, texture, and an eclectic, layered look in a space. Similar to mixing metal finishes, there are a few guidelines on what to do when mixing wood tones. If you have a wood floor, try to find pieces that contrast with the wood tone of the floor or tie in with one of the wood tones if the floor has varied color. Pick a dominant wood tone and make sure to balance it out by scattering other wood pieces or accents throughout. Add one or couple other wood tones, painted wood pieces, and/or metal pieces to the mix along with other textures through upholstery, pillows, and rugs. This will create a harmonious balance and ensure your room doesn’t feel lopsided or too heavy.
Do I paint the ceiling white or the same color as the walls?
That depends on the look you are going for, the color, and how big your space is. If you want your space to feel bright and airy, I’d suggest painting it white or if you already have selected an off-white or light color for your walls you can stick with that same color for the ceiling. If you’re looking for something dark and moody, it’s ok to select a dark wall color that is carried up onto the ceiling. Just know that white and lighter colors help expand a room while darker colors make it feel smaller. It’s very common to have a white ceiling and different colored walls because it makes the room feel taller while still accomplishing the mood you’re looking for in a paint color. Painting is one of the easiest things to change, so if you try something out you don’t like just remember it can easily be redone!