Interior design living room ideas

Interior design tips the pros don’t want you to know

Sprucing up your home? Steal these interior design secrets from the professionals!

By Amy Lewis, 04 December 2015
Interior design tips the pros don’t want you to know

Decorating a new home from top to bottom or even just sprucing up a single room can seem a daunting task when you don’t have a plan.

We’ve got the inside track on the clever interior design tactics to make the most of your home

But with these brilliant tips from professional interior designers, you’ve now got expert knowledge at your fingertips!

From how to create the illusion of a bigger space in a small area to making dark rooms feel more light and airy, we’ve got the inside track on the clever interior design tactics to make the most of your home…

PLAN IT OUT WITH A MOODBOARD

Whether you use an online method like Pinterest or a big sheet of card with pages torn from magazines and cuttings pinned to it, a moodboard can help to collate all your ideas and give you a clearer sense of how everything will look and feel. It’s also a good idea to try and sketch a floor plan of each room, so you can look at where you’ll place furniture, accessories and feature walls etc. This is the secret weapon of every organised interior designer!

DON’T BE RULED BY TRENDS

Home decor trends can be a great source of inspiration, but if you let them guide your entire interiors plan you’ll end up with a scheme that soon feels dated. Instead, scour trends and inspirational images for the aspects you really love - it might be a colour, a theme or a styling trick - and use them to build your own timeless decor.

CONSIDER HOW YOU USE THE ROOM

For an interior design idea to really work long-term, you need to consider how you and your family use the room. There’s no point adding elaborate accessories or statement furniture pieces that simply end up getting in the way - or are in danger of being damaged by little people! If in the evenings you love to cosy up in the living room with a blanket for example, make a comfy sofa and fabulous throws a priority in your decor plans.

BRING IN THE GREENS

Plants are the ultimate home accessory. Not only do they brighten up the place and help us to relax with little cost, they also help to purify the air in your home by absorbing pollutants! If you’re not green fingered, look for easy-to-care-for houseplants that need minimal effort on your part.

PAINT THE ROOM BIGGER

Make small spaces look bigger by painting the walls in softer, lighter shades. It’ll help to make the room feel airy and more open, giving the illusion of a larger space. Similarly, if you need to make a big room feel more cosy, do the opposite and use darker, richer colours on the walls to bring things in.

USE MIRRORS FOR MORE LIGHT

If you’ve got limited amounts of light in a room, placing mirrors strategically across from the windows will instantly reflect the natural light and brighten up the whole space. This trick is especially useful in smaller rooms, as more light and reflective surfaces will make the space feel bigger too.

ADD YOUR OWN PERSONALITY

What makes a house a home are the small touches unique to you and your family. Accessories are an easy way to add more soul and personality to a room, be it wall art that captures a favourite memory, ornaments you’ve bought on trips away or an overarching theme like nature that you all enjoy.

UPCYCLE STATEMENT FURNITURE

Bespoke furniture can be expensive, and often it’s tricky to find exactly the kind of statement chair or coffee table you really want. Work around the challenge by reupholstering an old chair with a fabulous printed fabric you’ve found in a haberdashery, or add a new finish to an old table with a lick of paint. By designing your own centrepiece you can create something completely unique to you.

FAKE THOSE PRISTINE WHITES

If you love the idea of a white sofa to help lighten and brighten the room, but shudder at the thought of your kids being let loose on it; invest in covers. Designers often suggest this as an easy fix for families, because who can really keep a bright white sofa that clean? Either look at white throws that you can simply drape over the cushions, or get slip-on covers made so that you can simply peel them off and pop on another set should a spill or mishap strike!

GLOSS A LOW CEILING

If you have a room with a particularly low ceiling, use a high gloss finish paint to create the feeling of more space. The reflective surface will do exactly what mirrors do for closed-in walls; give the illusion of a wider room and more head space.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR

Even in rooms where you want to create a feeling of calm and tranquility, don’t be afraid to introduce an accent colour via accessories or small touches. Even if it’s just using curtains and a few scatter cushions. An overly pale room will feel cold and ‘unfinished’ without a few bolder highlights to pull it together.

USE RUGS TO SOFTEN THE ATMOSPHERE

If a large expanse of hardwood flooring is making your room feel cold or unwelcoming, introduce softer textures with a fluffy rug. Try a single large rug or arrange a few small ones in overlapping patterns, to create a cosier, more homely feel.

For more home decor ideas see the latest from George Home here