I’ve never been the most adamant adherer to the so-called rules of interior design as I think that depending on a space, a style or a personality, most rules can be broken. However, here are some practical do’s and dont’s that may assist you to design and style your home
Do: Leave Sufficient Space around Furniture
Not all furniture should be pushed up against walls! Leaving sufficient space between items of furniture is especially important in a lounge area where you want to create a conversational seating place which is optimized at a minimum distance of 1.2m to a maximum distance of 2.4m.
Don’t: Use Undersized Bedroom Rugs
This is a real pet peeve of mine! Imagine a luxurious bedroom with soft cushions, a layered bed, beautiful window treatments and then a little rug next to the bed that ends up looking like a used bathroom matt. This can really spoil a great room.
Do: Test Paint Colours
When painting your house or a new room it is advisable to paint a quite large area with your possible samples to give you a better idea of how the colours will look in the room. I use 800mm x 800mm patches. Trying to visualize a whole room on a tiny swatch from the hardware store is not the way to go. Also, look at your painted patches at different times of the day to see how the light will affect them – you will be surprised at how much colour can change doing a day.
Don’t: Forget to Interlink Room Styles
While I personally think, it is best to paint all the living areas in your house the same colour to create a seamless flow, even if you decide not to do that, you must still be mindful of the overall style and story of the house. A space which is modern in one room, rustic in another, and cottagey in yet another, will never have a feeling of tranquillity. Know your style and try to stick to it throughout.
Do: Use Focal Points
Each room you design should have a special feature or focal point whether it’s a feature wall in an interesting wall paper, or simply painted another colour, an oversized artwork or a stylish item beautifully lit to show it off.
Don’t: Play Matchy-Matchy
Be careful when choosing paints, finishes, fabrics and floors for a room that you don’t fall into the trap of making everything the same colour. Allow for contrasts in both colour and of course textures.
Do: Use an Interior Designer
Well of course I would say that! But seriously, if you find yourself getting confused during the design process, it is always a sensible idea to get an interior designer to assist you even if it’s just for a short-term consultation. A good designer will save you money in the long run and ensure that you get the best finished product.
Don’t: Use your Builder as a Designer
Asking your builder to choose your paint colours, taps, tiles and other finishes may seem like a convenience as they are on site, but it is not their realm of expertise. While I am not saying that builders are incapable of it, it is still better to use a specialist.