You may have lofty ambitions for the look and feel of your home, or perhaps specific rooms, and might even have considered bringing a dedicated designer on board to explore the potential. If you’re still unsure as to whether to proceed or have grown in confidence in your own abilities to do what’s best for each room in your house, then the following 10 tips are for you. We’ve brought them together to allow each of our readers to get the little things right – with an eye for detail that home designers thrive on for outstanding results. Not all will be appropriate for every home, but we have attempted to remain as neutral as possible to enable each reader to interpret the tips in whichever way they see fit.
1. Go the Extra Mile to Get Furniture that Lasts
If you’re the kind of person that gets everything from Ikea, the chances are that you’re not in the same mindset as those at which this feature is focused. There is nothing wrong with that furniture – we use it ourselves – but if you want to bring a room to life and ensure that your work will last, it can be worth going more exotic – and more expensive. If you can find items of furniture that inspire you, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time working on the rest of the room or house. It could be something brand new and solid or might even be an antique. If you want to plan like a designer, there’s no getting away from the fact that sometimes you’ll need a budget to match.
2. Keep Things Organised
It is no coincidence that many designers go for a minimalist style, and while there is nothing to say that you always have to do the same, it can be a good path to follow. There is always a risk of overdesigning a room, and you should never be afraid to be ruthless. If something does not fit, or potentially even has a detrimental effect on a room, you should be ready to get rid of it. After all, the less clutter there is in a room, the more space there is to reach your goals.
3. Be Unique
There are no hard and fast rules in good design, and if every designer were the same, there wouldn’t be as many famous ones. You should never shy away from applying your own personal touch to a room, even if it goes against the norm. You are, after all, the person that will spend the most time in the house and it has to suit your tastes to build the motivation to keep going throughout other rooms.
4. Plants Can Make the Room
Some homeowners, especially those with particularly nice gardens, prefer a defined line between inside and outside in their home. However, many professional designers take every opportunity they find to bring the outside in. Plants are the simplest way to do so, and they can single-handedly boost the comfort and appeal of a room, and they can make any room feel particularly fresh and inviting. There are multiple options too – small trees and plants can complete a living room, while herbs can prove both attractive and functional in the kitchen.
5. Never Settle on Lighting
Lighting and the lights themselves serve essential functions in the home. For the latter, they often provide a flexible way to make a mark on the design and to enable your personal style to shine through. As for lighting, you can immediately change a room from being cosy and warm to bright and creative just by changing a bulb. You might also wish to consider smart lighting, which enables you to change the look and feel of a room with a couple of taps depending on your mood.
6. Avoid Over-designing
We have mentioned over-designing already, but it warrants its own tip in this feature. If you’re not a designer, but you’re attempting to think like one, it is easy to take things too far and try too hard. Ultimately, you can end up creating rooms that would be more appropriate in a show home than your personal living space. There is no harm in making a decision for everything in a room, but don’t forget to add a dash of personality and imperfection at appropriate moments.
7. Never Consider a Room Finished
If you’ve gone to the trouble of thinking like a designer, you should constantly evolve your approach to the point that you practically qualify as one! Even seasoned professionals make mistakes – it is the ones that can admit it and fix it that achieve the best long-term results. If you feel like something isn’t working in a room, be willing to change it at the earliest opportunity. If nothing else, you’ll have learned something for the future.
8. Do Something Different
You may not have any ambitions actually to become an interior designer, but that shouldn’t stop you finding a signature style. It could be an unusual colour or an item that pops up in various rooms when conventionally only found in one. Never forget that, at least for the time being, it is you that will live among these designs, so put your personality into them even if someone else might not do the same.
9. Expand Your Shopping Scope
If you pursue uniqueness in your designs, then you need to be prepared to put in the research. If you like contemporary, fresh designs, then you’ll probably find yourself spending a lot of time on Pinterest and craft sites. If you lean more towards vintage, expect to strike up friendships with local auctioneers and antique shop owners. You never know when you might find the ideal finishing touch.
10. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
It takes years to become a professional interior designer, and it is unlikely that you’ll reach the top-level overnight. However, whether your home is large or small, there is always space to refine your skills and find your voice. Naturally, it is better to avoid costly mistakes in the early days, but if you go in with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you’ll inevitably find fantastic results that are sure to work for you.