The first common decorating mistake we make as West Indians is that we always tend to overdo. It’s kind of in our nature. Which is why this is our number one problem when it comes to design and editing; we use too much accessories. Accessories are a cool way to add unique character to our spaces; we totally understand that…especially when everyone shops at the same furniture store and have the same furniture sets in their homes. Trust me! We get that you want to set your living room apart from Natasha’s down the road and Brenda’s down south. But occasionally people tend to go overboard. Yes, this means anything that you use in excess like those throw cushions on the couches and beds and ornaments situated on every flat surface you could find.
Please….dial it down!
SOLUTION: Too many of these things can look cluttered and like a mess. And honestly, if you can’t sit on the couch or lay on the bed without feeling like there’s an extra person picking up space, then maybe you should get rid of the thousands of cushions you have.
Now there’s a difference between vintage and just plain OLD. Matching lace chair backs, arm rests, curtains, and doilies are probably stuff you’ll see at your grandma’s house…along with a telegram machine and a rotary phone. This stuff is not hipster nor vintage. It’s just outdated. It’s time to upgrade! And yes, we know sometimes when you have guests over frequently the arms and heads of your chairs get dirty and black over time – and we agree that’s an ugly sight – but please; don’t solve it with the lace embellishments.
SOLUTION: Take the lace off your furniture, fold them nicely, tuck them into a bag, and set it at the side of the road for the garbage truck to collect in the morning. There’s so many other new solutions that have been created to easily clean dirty marks and stains from furniture in a matter of 10 minutes or less with fabric friendly, liquid and fast acting stain-removers.
Okay, so maybe they aren’t actually called wee-wee pads, but a 3-piece toilet rug set might as well be. Those things are simply unhygienic for obvious reasons, health hazardous from potential bacteria and fungus build up, and they offer no sense of style or design to your bathroom. Instead, they offer a carpet where you wonder how many little accidents occurred on them. This is just proof of that saying “nothing good come in threes”: Paranormal Activity 3 – Horrendous! Terminator 3 – Horrendous! Matrix 3 – Horrendous! The Kardashians – Horrendous!
Take note of the pattern forming here!
SOLUTION: Our advice; toss out the mats, and put that horrendous matching seat cover in the trash along with them while you’re at it. If you really want a rug in the bathroom, go for ONE that is not shaped to fit snugly around the toilet and one that encompasses most of the bathroom. And make sure it’s purely fabric and no rubber underneath for fungus development.
Have you ever gone over to someone’s house and notice they have a lovely dining room table but they’re hiding its beauty with that really ugly table cloth, but you don’t want to say anything because you don’t want to be rude? Well just forward this link to them and we’ll say it for you.
Remove the table cloth!
Nothing is more upsetting than when someone hides the beauty of their dining room table with a table cloth, especially after you’ve paid so much money for it, only to hide it. Sort of almost seems like your cheating yourself out of the price you’ve paid if you’re not going to showcase it.
Are you afraid that the wood is going to get scratched and beaten? Well here’s a surprise you probably didn’t know: people pay big money for wood tables that have that beaten and aged look to it, and here you are hiding it and preventing it from receiving character.
It can be difficult when you are decorating a room to choose between certain prints and themes. There are thousands of truly beautiful prints available and with a little creativity; you could probably make them all match. The problem is that too many prints or focus on one theme can look very busy and it ends up just overwhelming your guests simply because there are just too many prints to be enjoyed. Yes my fellow West Indians – there is such a thing as too much!
We get that we’re in the Caribbean and you love your florals and you think it’s suiting, but please, take it down a notch some of you! Having an entire couch set of floral print, with a floral rug, and floral bedding, and floral wallpaper (which you shouldn’t have anyway!), and probably some floral clothing can be a wee bit too much….and maybe slight creepy. Mix it up.
Also there is such a thing as too Caribbean! Not every painting in your house needs to be a banana tree, or an arrangements of fruits, or a coconut vender on the beach, or a depiction of our Caribbean ancestors. We understand patriotism and culture, but it’s a bit extremist when it gets to that level. Your guests want to feel like they walked into a home…not a culture museum.
SOLUTION: The best rule of thumb is to keep themes and prints to a minimum so that you get the character but you don’t get the ‘overwhelm’ along with it.
So for survival in this 21st century, the basic needs of the average human being besides food, water and air, has expanded to encompass wifi, 100% phone battery, and cable. So we totally understand how important it is to have an internet modem box set up, with a few routers and a cable box. But let’s face it…all these countless routers are big and ugly and are never of the same colour, nor do they match with anything in your living room. The struggle has never been more real to gracefully incorporate or situate these things so that they don’t stick out like sore thumbs.
SOLUTION: Simple and cost effective; see all those books that you have laying around the house that you never plan to read? Yea, that cookbook you don’t plan to touch or that home renovations book you promised you’d be inspired by. Take those and rip out the pages and hollow it out. Then slide your routers right in them and stack them onto each other on a mantle in a cool composition. Now they just look like books and no one will ever know that’s what’s housing their wifi connection when they come over.
Now, we’re not saying that it isn’t okay to enjoy a fad or two when they come out hot and sweaty pon d’ market, but it is important not to go overboard and buy something that you will regret later on. You know what we’re talking about; the beaded curtains, the hula dancing lamps, the hammock, the mirror for the bedroom roof. Just put them all down and walk away, because as wonderful as they look for a short time, they will quickly fade into the lost memories of last year’s mistakes and you will be left with something that you can never seem to get rid of….and then it’s just there and turns into junk…and then before you know it, you’re on an episode of Hoarders.
SOLUTION: If you happen to give into societal norms and peer pressure and purchase a fad item, make sure you get rid of it when the fad is gone. Or it’s a timeless something…like a hammock. Everyone loves a hammock!
Let’s be honest, it’s kind of uneasing to walk into someone’s home and see an exposed trash can in the kitchen. It seems unhygienic and attracts tons of flies, and it would be kind of illing at ease to think that the food they’re going to serve you was prepared in that environment.
SOLUTION: To avoid repulsed guests and potential gastro infection, try hiding your trash can in a cupboard or roll out counter draw. You can easily just insert them and glue them down.
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