Decoration Disasters: How to Ruin a Good Room Quick

The art of perfectly decorating a room is anything but easy. Even with a good idea in your head and a selection of seemingly ideal decorations and furniture pieces, you’re almost always going to hit that point from which you’re just not sure where to take things, and it can get maddening.

Now, while it’d be pretty impossible for even your favorite Alabama painters to give you magic instructions that fit your current decorating needs to a tee, it can actually be an extremely useful exercise to do just the opposite. It might sound a little crazy, but thinking about how you could ruin your room, instead of how to perfect it, can really help you figure out what to do with the decorations.


Photo By Hugh Kretschmer.

And if ruination is what you’re looking for, we at Prestige Painting have seen oh-so-many nice rooms just done up to their death, and today we’re going to point you to some of the most common mistakes through quotes from a made-up person we’re calling The Ruiner, who knows just how to outright ruin a good room quick (With a little translation at the end, for those who like their advice less cloaked in goofy irony.).

Yes, It Definitely Needs More Stuff on the Walls

The Ruiner says: Get out that hammer, put some nails between your teeth and let’s start hanging more junk on those walls. None of that silly Zen simplicity; just go for it! If there’s a blank space on the wall, well that’s a space that’s losing you a prime chance to display yet another piece of artwork or a family photo you’ve got squirreled away in a closet. You can’t have too much of a good thing!

Translation: The Zen masters have it right: when it comes to decoration, less is more. Furniture should fit the room and always be useful and usable. Any artwork or decorations should draw the eye to themselves as focus points, and they shouldn’t be cluttered by excessive neighboring pieces. If you have a lot of decorations and furniture, try switching them out every once in a while instead of cramming them into the room. Overdoing it is pretty much the eternal bane of interior decorating, don’t fall victim to it.

Oh, Just Put that Anywhere

The Ruiner says: Balance, schmalance, just put it wherever is easiest and leave it. It’ll all being moved around as people use the room, so it’ll naturally end up in the best place. Just keep adding pieces into the current configuration as you get them, because no one’s going to notice if things look a little out of control. That’s charming, right?

Translation: A little quirkiness is a good thing in a home, but whether consciously or subconsciously, people will have a negative reaction to a cluttered, disorganized room with no balance. Balance is pleasing to the eye and calming to the mind, and by designing a room as an entire unit (instead of as pieces come in), you’ll create a much happier, more attractive area. Additionally, when new pieces do come in that you want to incorporate, don’t take the easy way out. Only add a piece where it makes sense, and don’t be afraid to do a little (or a lot) of rearranging.

But I Just Love That Piece

The Ruiner says: Hey, it’s your home, so who cares what anyone else thinks. If you like it, keep it where it’s at. Disregard any comments as the blathering of Philistines, if they like their own tastes so much, they can get their own house.

Translation: Sometimes a decoration or a piece of furniture (say, that ratty lazy boy the dog chewed on a bit?) is something we love so much, it’s hard to see what it does to the rest of the room. Consider finding a more appropriate location for out-of-place pieces, such as a private den or library. You’ve worked hard to make your rooms look good, why throw it all out for one item?

Of Course You Should Rearrange Again!

The Ruiner says: Perfection is the goal, so there’s always a way it could be better, isn’t there? A little movement of furniture every day or so isn’t going to hurt anyone, and it just doesn’t seem quite right yet. Again. Well, ever, really.

Translation: At some point, you gotta let a room rest for a while. It’s a great idea to keep things fresh by rearranging once every year or so, and yes, it can take a while to get things down right (especially in a new house). However, at some point you’re just, to borrow a literary idea, adding and removing commas. Good enough is good enough, and you should give yourself time with a new arrangement to really see how it works.

We know it always helps us at Prestige Painting to do better by thinking about how we could just thoroughly mess something up, and hopefully this helps you by giving a few guidelines on how to do well in decorating by avoiding a few common pitfalls. Keep these no-no’s from the twisted brain of The Ruiner in your own mind, and you’ll be that much closer to the perfect room.


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Birmingham, AL35216

Phone: 205-982-0420