Podcast, Ep. 357: Common Design Mistakes with Minhnuyet Hardy

Interior Designer Minhnuyet Hardy

Atlanta-based interior designer Minhnuyet Hardy joins us this week to discuss common interior design mistakes and how to avoid them. Minhnuyet shares her expertise on proper rug sizing and orientation, as well as drapery width, hardware placement, and lining importance. She gives some great tips for measuring spaces and hanging artwork at the ideal height, pesky furniture delivery challenges, accessorizing with trays, and grouping small items.

The “Luxurious Loft,” decorated and designed by Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors.

What You’ll Hear This Episode:

  • Common rug size mistakes and how to properly size and orient rugs.
  • Custom rug options for unique spaces.
  • Drapery hardware placement and width considerations.
  • Hanging drapery too low or not having it wide enough.
  • Proper artwork hanging height and placement tips.
  • Furniture delivery challenges in tight spaces.
  • Why the tallest person in the house shouldn’t be the one hanging artwork.
  • Accessorizing with trays and grouping small items.

Decorating Dilemma:


I live in Florida and we recently moved into a 1926 home. It’s like a classic old Florida bungalow, and the front sitting room has this really beautiful, original fireplace. You can see all the original woodwork is there. Everything is in great shape. The marble you can see around the fireplaces. You know, I’ve seen better days, but overall, it’s really, really beautiful.

I would love to find a way to highlight this fireplace. Maybe with really cool art or something like that, while still, well, not taking away from the details of it.

I’ve been on the lookout for like a vintage fireplace screen or something. The fireplace is not working. And here in Florida, we really don’t need it. So, yeah, I’m just looking for some advice for how to highlight this specific area of our home because it’s going to be the centerpiece of our holiday mantel.

It’ll be right near our Christmas tree. And I should probably mention I have a four year old, a two year old and a two month old. And so they’re not super destructive or anything, but I have to keep that in mind when setting this area up. And I would love your thoughts. I included pictures of just stuff I have over there right now as a placeholder and then a couple pictures of the woodwork without anything.

Thanks so much. Love the show.

– Amylynn

Hi Amy Lynn!

Thank you so much for your question – this is a great question. Here are some suggestions:

First, painting the mantel trim the same color as the wall will help create a cohesive backdrop that draws the eye to your artwork. We would stack larger art pieces on the mantel that lean against the wall, layering smaller pieces in front.

A large mirror with art displayed in front would also look very striking. Additionally, placing some birch logs inside the fireplace will add visual interest year-round. You could also consider stringing battery-operated twinkle lights during the holidays for a festive touch.

We hope these ideas help highlight your beautiful original fireplace mantel! Also, be sure to check out our Essential Stocking Holder, it will be sleek and is great for kids!

How to Decorate

Also Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect finishing touch. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.