You don’t need to see ghosts or hear voices to live with a scary room. Scary rooms don’t just  appear at night or at the onset of a serious thunder storm – and they go well beyond creaky  floorboards. In a scary room, something just isn’t right.. objects may be misplaced or simply out of sync with each other. 

See if one of these types of scary rooms are haunting your home… and find out how to avoid them!

The Decomposed Room
Scary rooms often have a dismembered or disjointed quality. Items that are similar in look or function, are spread evenly around a room rather than grouped together. Pictures are hung anywhere rather than closely aligned with furniture. Sofas and chairs are lined up along walls rather than grouped together to create an inviting conversation area.

Decomposition is common in large rooms where there’s pressure to ’fill space’. But it’s just as likely to occur in small rooms where furnishings are scattered too randomly around a room. But the fix is easy. Simply bring furniture closer together and anchor it with rugs, accents and pictures. You can then leave the rest of the room empty and it’ll look just fine!

The Faceless Room
You don’t need to be a headless horseman to suffer an identity crisis. A room without a style, or point of view can be as faceless as a phantom at the Opera or a horse rider from Sleepy Hollow who lost his head.

A faceless room occurs when furnishing styles, colors or patterns are combined without enough regard to compatibility.

Without a definable style or attitude to furnishing selections, a room can feel a bit like a skeleton—all bones with no flesh to fill in the physical features that create differentiation or personality.

The fix? Find a style you like and stick with it! Choose items that share a similar style type, color palette or texture.

The Scaly Room
Rough, dry textures can be irritating enough. But a scaly room has more to do with proportion problems, or too much contrast in size between items. A    coffee table that’s too small for the sofa, a picture that’s too large for the cabinet under it, a window that’s too small for the room… all add up to a sizable issue.

Fixing a scaly room means balancing the objects on either side of it – the same way you’d balance weight on a boat or plane. That doesn’t mean everything has to be the same size… large items can be balanced with a collection of smaller items.

The perceived size of an item can also be adjusted with simple tricks. Long or wide curtains make a too-small window look bigger. A rug makes a too-small table look more substantial. A too-big piece of furniture looks smaller when the wall behind it is painted a similar color.

For examples of scary rooms, and ideas on how to fix them, click on the RoomPlanners issue (left). To receive our free online magazine, subscribe here.