14 Things Designers Notice the First Time They Enter Your Home
It only takes minutes for them to reshuffle all of your furniture in their minds.
How the room is lit.
"I'm really sensitive to lighting," designer Vern Yip says. "Nine times out of ten, I think when people walk into a room and they like the ambiance, it's because the lighting has been done correctly." According to Yip, this mean the room has a variety of light sources, including recessed, sconces, hanging fixtures and more.
The layout of the room.
When designer Scot Meacham Wood first visits a client's home, he always picks out what isn't working (usually the layout and room function). Why? So he can offer solutions, of course. "If we're doing construction, I look for architectural errors that we could fix, like poorly aligned doorways and oddly placed overhead lighting," he says.
If the sofa is against the wall.
Within minutes of walking into a room, Sarah Vaile of Sarah Whit Interior Designsays she's already reconfigured the furniture in her head. "Nothing drives me crazier than a sofa against the wall in a large room," she says. Often, she finds her clients have good taste, but just don't know how to lay the pieces out.
Whether or not there are flowers.
Small accents can say a lot, which is why CeCe Barfield Thompson of CeCe Barfield Inc always takes note. "Little touches help a space feel like a home," she says, like flowers by the door, an organized-but-used entry way and a easily accessible bar, of course.
The number of pillows on the couch.
In this case, Vaile says more is always better: "It drives me crazy when there are only two sad throw pillows on a sofa." Not to mention that multiple throws will make your couch so much cozier.
All the little items.
The smallest items in the room catch interior designer Eche Martinez's attention: "I'm obsessive about spaces being uncluttered and personally prefer minimal styling," he says. "So many times I walk into beautiful homes only to encounter endless tiny memorabilia sitting on the mantle gathering dust!" Permission to ditch those 10-year-old crafts, granted.
How shelves are arranged.
Apparently, how you organize your books says a lot — at least, according to interior designer Frank Bostelmann. "Books stacked in piles generally show that no one is reading them and they are there as decorative props," he says. Personally, he likes his collection of hardbacks to be more accessible.
All the woodwork on the walls.
We're talking the trim, crowns and other millwork casings on your walls. "Investing in well-proportioned trims can establish the look and foundation of a room," says Bostelmann. But a cheap stock trim or casing can't be hidden, he warns.
Who actually lives in the home.
It's all about the clients for interior designer Amy Berry. "Design is so personal and ultimately I hope to create spaces that reflect the people and families that inhabit them," she says. The clues she's looking for? The size of the family, if they entertain and what's on their wish list.
What it smells like inside.
Listen, candles have their place, but Barfield says there's nothing worse than an overwhelming fragrance as soon as you enter a home. "Whether it's too many candles, a powerful diffuser or incense, I can't help but wonder what they are trying to hide."
If the curtains touch the floor.
Sure, it seems like a minor detail to you, but many designers said they (unfortunatly for us) notice gaps when they exist. "I am always hyper aware of things that are out of scale," says Berry. Fair enough.
How the bathroom is stocked.
To Barfield, hand soap and clean hand towels are not only subtle, elegant additions to a powder room, but also important ones. "As a new mom, hygiene is definitely on my mind so why not encourage and elevate the hand-washing experience," she says.
If the decor is matchy-matchy.
Before you panic, Berry wants you to know it's not personal. "There honestly isn't any judgment, if anything it helps point me in the right direction," she says.
Where their furniture would go.
Here's proof a designer's mind never stops working: "When I walk into a friend's home for the first time, I'm rarely (if ever) aware of their belongings," admits Wood. "In my mind, I'm always trying to decide how I would arrange my furniture in their house — not their furniture." Talk about passion for the job.
Courtesy of HouseBeautiful