picture-27 Perk up tired projects with fresh ideas, avoiding typical design faux pas which others unwittingly fall into. Create better ways with free-flowing function, captivating coziness and visual bliss.

1. Reflective or lackluster paint sheens. Most paint professionals guide well, yet paint offenses continue. Eggshell on walls looks best, yet some experts hype satin or semi-gloss in bathrooms, kitchens, or high traffic areas like entries and kid rooms.

2. Blunderous paint colours. Mushroom turns pink, Butter appears yellow and Rose resembles Pepto-Bismol. Experienced design advice sidesteps expensive mistakes. Select muddier and lighter than you think. Paint functional halls, stairways, laundry rooms and grooming washrooms in light, bright hues. Save darker tones for cozy bedrooms, dramatic powder rooms and living areas.

3. Television focal points. Another unnerving design deficit is spatial planning, notably in awkwardly shaped spaces. Float more inviting furniture groupings away from walls.

4. Clutter. Another design oversight has mementos and knick-knacks as overpriced dust collectors, pictured. If ditching gifts makes you feel bad, photograph, then donate. If you can't bear to part with a mash of collectibles, combine like with like, displaying only a few.

5. Lack of personal presence. Spaces masquerading around as places they're not, in one disguise or another, won't truly reflect those living there.

6. Denial. Small spaces are small spaces. Budgets can be sexy. Kids' toys in the master bedroom are life's current circumstance. Accept where you are today, without living in fantasy or memory.

7. Trying to perfectly harmonize. Trying too hard by attempting to match woods at the mercy of sunlight, time and other factors hopelessly misses the mark. Eclectic colour contrasts of various woods are stylish. Simply unite red-yellow tones with warm woods, grey tones with ashy species.

8. Artificial plants and fruit. Abandon the counterfeit and opt for the real deal. Get rid of dried flowers like potpourri and floral swags. Living things create positive energy in Feng Shui.

9. Pictures hung high. The centre of a picture ideally measures five feet from the floor. Group photographs with matching mats and frames for an expert touch.

10. Bingo blinds. Replace one-inch plastic blinds with two-inch woods with decorative tapes. This instant update far outweighs any other design stratagem.

For more information about interior design and Feng Shui, visit www.manobluedesign.com or email Marie Burgos at marie@manobludesign.com