Interior Design Do's and Don'ts

10 Nov 10 Interior Design Do’s and Don’ts

Interior Design Do's and Don'ts

We often get clients asking us for advice when it comes to designing the interiors of their homes. Interior design doesn’t have fixed rules, so these do’s and don’ts are just designed as principles to consider during your next interior design project.

Do: Find tips on your travels


When you travel, take a look around you and observe different styles. Sometimes your best ideas come to you when you’re relaxed and that’s why holidays can be a great source of inspiration. Using these ideas can help your home to be unique. If you only brainstorm in the DIY shop, sure, you might end up with something clean, but its unlikely to be unique or original.

Don’t: Ignore architectural details


In New York, one of the most up and coming areas is an area in Brooklyn called DUMBO. Despite its position right by the East river, with incredible views over Manhattan, until recently, it was known as an industrial wasteland, with many disused factory buildings. Then some of the arty crowd realized that these factory buildings could be turned in to the most awesome loft style apartments. Large factory windows, exposed brick, iron pillars – all make for some fascinating design features. Now, these apartments are some of the most desirable in New York City. The same goes for your home. If you have exposed brick or a fireplace – don’t cover it up. Make a feature of it. It’ll give your home that extra wow factor.

Do: Make the most of lighting


Make sure you consider lighting when planning your budget. A well chosen light fitting can transform the feeling of a room. Sometimes lighting gets forgotten or ignored in an attempt to reduce budget. Lighting more than other features asserts style, like beautiful jewelry with a simple outfit. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality with a statement piece. Once you’ve chosen the perfect light fitting remember not to be satisfied with an on/off switch. Choosing dimmer switches gives you the ability to create the appropriate mood in the room at the right time.

Don’t: Push the furniture against the wall


If you allow breathing space around your pieces of furniture, you will end up with a much more interesting space. Allow the furniture to float in the room, away from the walls. This will help create a conversation grouping.

Do: Put dead cushions out of their misery


If your cushions are looking a bit sad, get rid of them! Also avoid tiny postage stamp cushions or overly matchy ones. A great tip: Interior designers often stuff a 20 inch cushion in an 18 inch cover to give it that professional look.

Don’t: Skimp on Drapery


If you leaf through interior design magazines, you will notice that professionals often use two to three times the fabric in comparison to the width of a window. Often curtains are for show, so using being generous with good quality fabric will give your room that finished feel with a professional touch.

Do: Create flow


Flow is one of those things interior designers talk about a lot. Essentially creating flow between rooms means creating a link from one room to the next. For instance if one room has elements such as an accent colour, a pattern, or a furniture detail, include that in the adjacent room.

Don’t: Make impulse purchases


Often people see something they love in the shop and they buy it. The problem is when you get it home you need to find somewhere for it to fit. The chances are, if you haven’t considered that before you buy, it will never look quite right. If something is on offer, it might not be a good buy. It might not be the right colour and it may not fit with the overall style of the room. It all comes back to having a plan.

Do: Choose your paint colour last


This is a tough one, because most of us want to choose the paint colour first. We want to have a freshly decorated room before we start bringing new furniture in. The problems arise when you try to match cushions and fabrics to your paint colour. If your paint has been selected, it’s much harder to find these items in the right shade. If however you buy the fabrics and cushions first, then you have a virtually infinite choice of paint shades to choose from.

Don’t: Be too “Matchy Matchy”


If the thought of Carol Smilie style design makes you shudder, you’ll probably know what we’re talking about. By all means subtly match colours which complement one another, but if everything in the room links back to your accent colour it can start to look a bit contrived.