What To Do If You Make A Big Design Mistake

Mistakes happen, especially when you are trying something new in an area that you are not particularly experienced in. I remember when my son was about 10, I thought that I could give him a buzzed haircut, it looked easy enough, I gathered my supplies, turned on the buzz clippers which I had never used before and didn’t put on the small plastic guard which determined how short the hair would be buzzed. So right down the side of his head was a bare stripe with no hair at all. No easy fix to this error, but luckily my son, having a creative gene, just went with it.

This is sometimes what it is like when homeowners tackle their design projects.

What To Do If You Make A Big Design Mistake

It happens.

Many years ago I had a client call me with a design emergency. She was convinced that she made a huge error in selecting the brand new wall to wall carpeting which was just installed in her home.

I arranged a site meeting with her to see just how bad the situation was, prepared with some initial thoughts and ideas.

Low and behold this was, in fact, a very severe design error, room after room of the bright green wall to wall carpeting overpowering everything else in the home. The homeowner turned to me and said, “the samples were very small and I just chose the prettiest one”. It was heartbreaking. Just for the record, this was, in fact, the worst way to choose carpeting. So many other factors must be considered when considering the selection of carpeting which will cover such a large area of the home. Everything must work well together. What else is going in the room? What is the color scheme, does the room have a focal point?

The plan

The plan.

So I came up with numerous ideas for her to camouflage this carpeting and re-direct the eye elsewhere. She also asked me about other selections that might have worked better. I showed her some options. In the end, this homeowner decided to replace all of the brand new carpeting for one of the options that I recommended to her. A very expensive option but this was the right choice. This client was thrilled with the results and hired me to complete the rest of the home.

But what do you do when you can’t backtrack and redo a very expensive design error?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Assess whether or not the selection will work with everything else in the space. Don’t judge the element by itself.
  • Camouflage the design mistake, draw the eye away from the design element.
  • Make design selections that complement the design error so that it doesn’t stand out.
  • Or of course, correct the design error. In the case of carpeting, that would involve new carpeting. But if the design error is carpentry related, perhaps something can be added to the design element to make it look right.
  • Don’t panic, call an interior designer to advise you on the best way to proceed based on what you have to work with.

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