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Sustainable Residential Design and Consultation


Petaluma, CA 94954


Forrest Glover Design providing sustainable interior design.  We proudly serve Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties and San Francisco since 2006.


5 biggest mistakes in interior design

Forrest Glover

1.     Choosing the paint color first
When designing a room one of the first things homeowners think of is paint color. It is helpful to think of paint ideas but don’t start there. We often pick one item, either a rug or a piece of furniture, and build our color palette out from there. First step is to choose your inspiration piece. Take a swatch of fabric or colors from the rug and collect other furniture pieces that compliment your inspiration piece. Once you have all you pieces: furniture, rugs, and window treatment fabrics chosen, fill in the missing color elements with accessories and then finish with paint color. There are so many options for paint colors but limited matches and complements for fabric colors.

2.     Buying all your items from one store
Variety is the spice of life and the key to creating a successful interior design. No one wants to walk into a space that looks like a showroom from Crate and Barrel or West Elm. When designing a furniture plan, make a list of all the items you need with dimensions that will fit in the space. Now comes the fun part. Search the internet, catalogs, stores, and consider custom pieces for a few options for each piece of furniture you need then lay them out in different combination to see which one looks the most pleasing together. Don’t be afraid to make bold and unusual choices. Just because it wasn’t your original idea, doesn’t mean they aren’t the best combination.

3.     Living with too much clutter
Clutter is clutter no matter how decorative it is. Fewer, high-quality pieces are the best way to create a cohesive interior design that is easier to keep tidy. Living with less doesn’t have to have a stark feeling or create the feeling of scarcity. Fill the space with colorful or comfortable piece of furniture, pillows, and rugs for a cozy feel without having to clean around accessories and knickknacks all the time.

4.     Lighting shouldn’t be an afterthought
Lighting is a key element to an interior. Allow as much natural light in a space that is comfortable by designing window treatments that enhance the room but don’t block the light. Utilize mirrors to reflect natural and artificial light in the space. Use a combination of table, wall, and overhead lighting for a comfortable, layered lighting design. Lighting the walls is often the best solution. Add dimmers to all overhead and ceiling lighting.

5.     Filling a small space with too many pieces of small furniture

This might be counterintuitive, but from trial and error, a couple of large pieces work much better in a small space. A large sectional will give you more seating than a loveseat and a chair. It will also be much less visually busy. Even with larger spaces, it’s important not to over-furnish a room. Give yourself space for to move freely and open areas in the room and on walls for your eyes to rest.