Ty Larkins talks common design mistakes and how to correct them
Every space, like its inhabitants, is singularly different; with that difference comes inspiration that covers the rooms, walls, and floors, allowing it to become a home. Often, however, there are certain aspects of every home that are unknowingly doing the space injustice. DIG talked with local interior designer Ty Larkins to find out what are some of the most common design problems he sees when working on a new project and paired them with some relatively easy solutions.
A creative at heart, Larkins worked in a private practice law firm after graduating from Louisiana State University Law School until his personal side project of real estate investment and development began to take on a life of its own. His staging of the homes were met with wonderful reception, and after a “two-to-three-year evolution,” the foundation was placed for the Ty Larkins Interior Design of today that effortlessly creates outstanding personalized spaces.
With these notes from Larkins, revamping your home should be a piece of cake. Take his suggestions and add your own flair to cultivate a home that has your name written all over it.
1. Installing Lighting Fixtures Too High
This is by far the most common mistake Larkins finds homeowners making. Chandeliers and pendant lights should be low enough so that they not only illuminate the intended space, but also visually relate to what is below. Chandeliers should be hung 7 to 7.5 feet from the floor to the bottom of the fixture. Sconces, especially those mounted on or flanking a bathroom mirror, should be mounted 5 to 6 feet off the floor on center so that functionally, they will light the face.
2. Installing Curtains Too Low in Spaces with Low Ceilings
If your ceilings are nine feet high or less, create the illusion of taller ceilings by installing the curtain rod right below the crown molding or where the wall meets the ceiling. Additionally, ensure the wall and crown molding are the same color, as the eye tends to stop traveling when it reaches the greatest degree of visual contrast with contrasting colors.
3. Artwork Being Hung Too High
Generally, the center of the art should be installed at 5.5 feet. As an exception, when hanging a piece of art over a sofa or sideboard hang the art low enough so it relates to the furniture beneath it, but not so high it appears to “float in space.”
4. Having Area Rugs That Are Too Small for The Space
For open spaces, an area rug placed on solid surfaces should allow for all the furniture pieces of the parameter to sit completely on the rug. If the sofa anchoring a living space is pushed against the wall, half the sofa legs should rest on the rug with the back legs on the bare floor. In bedrooms with the bed against a wall, the rug should be large enough so that two-thirds of the bed can rest on the area rug.
5. Compiling Too Many Competing Patterns
All too often, “visual noise” is created by using too many competing patterns in a space. The fabrics and patterns should harmonize together to create a balance. Solid fabrics should be used near heavily patterned pieces so that your eye experiences a “palate cleanser.” Additionally, if the goal is to layer pattern on pattern, the scale of the patterns should be varied sizes. “If the patterns don’t work in an outfit, they won’t work in your space either,” Larkins said.