27 Professional Designer Tips For Decorating Your Home
If you’re planning a home renovation, these interior design suggestions from the world’s best interior designers will help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Look for high-end furnishings.
Of course, brand new furniture is beautiful, but renovated antiques will create a mood that brand new furniture simply cannot. Working with older furniture also has the advantage of allowing you to easily create an eclectic mix that is only linked by a finish, a paint color, or a handle type.
‘In London, we frequently Guides4Homeowners and collaborate with Studio27, One Brick Lane, and The Restoration.’ All three are experts at upscaling mid-century furniture to add warmth, color, and personality while staying true to the design and staying within budget.
2. Create layers for added comfort.
Layering is crucial in a room for bringing comfort as well as added color and design.
‘A cloth-covered table – whether it’s a console, center, or side table – is a simple trick. A conventional treatment with a big bullion fringe at the bottom or a more modern treatment with a pleated or graphic fabric are also options. A lengthy cover is also excellent for concealing items.’
3. Buy the best textiles you can afford.
High-quality fabrics will produce a high-quality finish, but they’ll also be more durable than less expensive textiles.
‘I recommend The Cloth Shop (used here) and Warris Vianni, both in west London, for economical yet inspiring fabrics.’
4. Keep utilities hidden.
‘Hide as many utilities as possible in an open-plan kitchen and living room. I have a wall of built-in cupboards with the refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, and all of the cleaning supplies hidden behind the doors. I’ve added framed botanical images to the fronts, which create a lovely focal point in the small kitchen.’
5. Open windows to let light in.
Light-filled rooms are far more enjoyable to be in than gloomy ones, although well-dressed windows do appear to be more appealing than neglected ones.
‘When it comes to window treatments, be as creative as possible. It’s not always necessary to use heavy lined and interlined fabrics; a simple unlined blind can be just as effective and cost much less.’
6. Install a pantry instead of kitchen wall cabinets.
‘Getting inventive with storage may help a room feel more spacious and bring the finishes to life. Create a task-oriented area by carving out a small walk-in pantry or laundry room. This keeps the kitchen walls clear of cabinetry and provides a task-driven area. It also comes at a lower cost, which is an unexpected bonus.’
7. Use color boldly, yet sparingly.
‘A bold color choice, especially in a small guest room, can dramatically enhance a scheme. To make a statement, concentrate it in one spot, such as a headboard or a bedcover.’
8. Change up your accessories to match the season.
‘Small modifications might have a big impact right away. As winter approaches, pile rugs with cushions and throws; as summer approaches, hang vivid silk and crisp linen at the windows.’
9. For a unique look, use paint effects.
‘Use a stencil to decorate the walls. As illustrated in this lovely diamond design in a children’s room, it’s an affordable yet effective method to create a gorgeous backdrop.’
10. Purchase a single statement piece.
‘A combination of high-street and statement pieces will help you get the most bang for your buck – just make sure the investment piece is actually one-of-a-kind.’
‘Edition94 in London’s South Kensington is a veritable treasure trove of vintage furniture and artisan homeware. India Whalley, the company’s founder, has a keen eye for unique designs that she sources from all around the world. I adore the vintage side tables she hand-paints in bright colors — each one is one-of-a-kind and can be customized in any hue.’
11. Include art in your interior design plan.
Include artwork in your design scheme throughout the planning stage; it’s possible that a piece of art will inspire a room’s new style.
‘We go to British Art Portfolio for reasonably priced art. It’s led by two females who scour the country for new and established artists’ work. They have a fantastic collection of paintings and sculptures.’
12. Make accessories a priority on your shopping list.
‘Pay attention to the accessories.’ Dress a bedroom with inexpensive plain textiles and a colorful bedspread and tasselled cushions, for example. They’re quite adjustable and will quickly give you a powerful look.
13. Combine high and low to create a unique look.
‘Keep in mind the guideline of mixing high and low end. On an 18th-century chest, a woven wicker basket will look nicer than a priceless porcelain jardinière. Also, one location where we never recommend scrimping is on the floors. ‘The most difficult thing to alter in the future will be this.’
14. Look for weathered finishes to give personality.
‘Aged brass as a finish is all the rage in the interiors sector, but you don’t have to buy new fixtures. Masterfix Solutions, for example, works with craftsmen and artisans to alter the surface appearance of existing light fixtures to an exceptional finish.’
15. Make advantage of indoor plants
‘Whenever possible, utilize house plants. Patch, which also provides information on what will survive where, is where we go for London-based clients. Collect unique and salvaged planters: zinc buckets work well for a rustic look, but anything will do.’
16. Use upholstery to your advantage.
‘When it comes to upholstering a sofa, be as creative as possible. If you find a fabric you like but can’t afford, don’t settle for a less expensive substitute. Instead, go with a basic sofa and utilize your favorite fabric on a single chair or a cushion. Having a sofa made up is costly, and if you believe your fabric is inferior, you will be disappointed.’
17. Consider repurposing what you already have.
‘Reimagine the things you already have. Moving or repurposing an old piece of furniture can completely change it. Take a look at the colors around it and appreciate the contrast.’
18. For a luxury look, add a pop of color to simple fabrics.
‘Border less priced, good-quality linen curtains with a more expensive, richly patterned fabric at an enormous window to maximize your budget without sacrificing flair.’
19. Keep an eye out for one-of-a-kind items and uncommon collaborations.
‘We scour flea markets and the high street for undiscovered jewels, and we’re always on the lookout for new collaborations.’ Sebastian Cox’s bedside table for Made was a recent favorite find.’
20. Shop throughout the world for the finest deals.
‘Rather than confining yourself to your home market when shopping for projects, think about buying globally.’ Furniture is made in the United States, while tapware is made in the Netherlands, and appliances are made in Germany.’
21. Incorporate lights into the cabinets
Fixtured wall lights installed on cupboards or bookcases are a good option.
Lampshades with pretty designs are a terrific way to create a modest but pleasant ambience. In bedrooms and sitting spaces, where you might want to avoid strong light, make sure the lighting is aesthetic rather than task.’
22. Incorporate craft into your interior design.
Including handcrafted elements in your design, whether it’s embroidery, framed textiles, or antiquities, is a great way to add personality.
‘From hand-painted murals to decorated cushions and headboards, we love to create one-of-a-kind pieces that make a home entirely unique,’ explains Kit Kemp.
23. Take into account the temperature of the room
‘Cooler hues are more calming, whereas warmer colors are more stimulating. Consider the type of area you want to create and how you want to use it.
‘Do you want your living area to seem like a tranquil oasis or as energizing as the metropolis around it? Do you want your bedroom to have a romantic feel to it, or do you want it to have the charm of an English country house? The color combinations you might enjoy will be inspired by the purpose of a room.’
24. Add detail with trims
‘Use trims to pull a color scheme together — they’re great for adding a pop of color.’ Choose a color from the artwork or other items in the space. They can also be used to dress up existing items like headboards and lampshades. Trims can be added to make them more attractive and to breathe new life into them.’
25. Make a moodboard to help you plan your scheme.
‘Creating a long-term mood board is an excellent idea. A smart architect or interior designer will be able to see past the obvious and figure out what it is about those images that appeals to you.’ You, too, can accomplish it with practice.
26. Use antiques to create a genuine atmosphere.
‘Antiques give an interior weight and depth,’ explains interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch. ‘They encapsulate a sense of history and legacy that aids in the telling of a home’s story. But how do these pieces work in a modern setting?’
Sharp lines, clean surfaces, and open spaces come to mind when thinking about a modern environment. While this is frequently the case, it does not necessitate the replacement of everything in the home. An antique commode, for example, can be transformed into a sleek vanity with a sink, adding character to an otherwise bland bathroom. Reupholstering antique dining chairs or a sofa in a bright or fresh fabric is also a great way to bring antiques into a modern room while balancing the old and new.
‘Heirlooms can be incorporated into a home in a variety of ways, including family photographs, furniture, and even board games steeped in family history. A dark wood grandfather clock, for example, can contrast well with the Cotswold stone of a converted barn or the fresh walls of a city townhouse that has been gutted and tastefully reconstructed.’
27. Use artwork to create one-of-a-kind appearance.
‘Artwork is a really personal element to an environment, so we recommend choosing a piece that speaks to you,’ Emma Sims Hilditch adds. ‘At antique stores and markets, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind, beautiful pieces to choose from. Once you’ve chosen the perfect piece, think about how you might use it to inform other design decisions, such as creating a palette based on the major colors utilized. If your favorite piece of art is looking a little worn, it can be carefully restored to become a striking and colorful addition to your modern house.’