“Don’t push all of the furniture up against the walls. Your living room should feel inviting and should be conducive to conversation. It’s not a middle school dance!” says designer Paloma Contreras, who suggests floating at least one substantial piece in the room, like she did in this living room. (Kerry Kirk)
Badly hung curtains: Decorator Betsey Mosby, based in Jackson, Miss., says her biggest decorating peeve is curtains that are not hung appropriately. “It’s a mistake to hang the rod right above the window molding and have the rod only extend to the edge of the windows.” Instead Mosby hangs the rod directly below the crown molding (unless the room has unusually tall ceilings, in which case she raises the rod a couple of feet above the window). “I also extend the rod past the windows horizontally so that when the curtain is open and stacked, it is not overlapping the window.” The overall treatment makes the window seem larger. Feldman also hates curtains that are too short or too puddled on the floor. “I like my curtains to fall like nicely tailored pants,” breaking a half-inch onto the floor.