Interior designers on television are out of touch with the mainstream homeowner
Designing a room from the ground up is about using common sense, not following celebrity designers on television
If you watch the myriad of television shows on cable television today, you will no doubt get a lot of input from interior designing shows and the designers. Unfortunately, many of these designers don't factor in that many homeowners do not possess the know-how, or finances to achieve the look the designer is suggesting.
Placing furniture on the diagonal was a big interior designer trick for the past decade or better. What television designers fail to explain is that if your room is not overly large, chances are this is ill-advised. Large pieces set on the diagonal need at least five feet of space around all sides. Many homeowners have placed furniture on the diagonal and many end up with a congested space that is in fact "off-balance".
Placing area rugs on the diagonal was also a brainstorm of television designers for some time, here again, the room must accommodate this. Remember a focal point needs to always be established and worked around. Large rugs that are askew often times come off as being disconcerting. In design, balance is far more important than fads. Pulling furniture away from the wall in some designers minds "creates space." This too is not always true, and can not usually work with large-scale furniture. Reducing the amount of visible floor space makes a room feel smaller, not larger.
Mixing finishes and furniture pieces is yet another recent and recurring suggestion of television designers. Again, this is not practical for those that are not well schooled in just how to make these pieces and finishes work and what a homeowner is likely to end up with is something that looks thrown together, and too haphazard. It is smart for your investment to in fact do just the opposite, do match your finishes, do match your furniture pieces. You can mix finishes and furniture but this comes with some education and should not just be done on a whim.
One designer on television said stay away from "something ninety-nine deals", stating "you know those sets you buy from furniture store that always end in ninety-nine cents?" This is bad advice for those on a budget, with limited know how on design. Better to buy furniture that is in a set and have a pulled together and uniform room than to have a blend of pieces that look like a room full of hand-me-downs from family.