We’ve gathered the best kept interior design secrets of home decorators, stagers, stylists and other professionals to share with you here.
Many of these are surprisingly simple, yet incredibly effective and often overlooked.
The best interior design secrets
Lost in space
Interior designers told us to use our ‘eye’ more often than a ruler. For example, centre your artwork in the empty space created by furniture and decor in a room, not mathematically by measuring said wall. Picture a rectangle in your head, where the “empty space” is. This is where you would centre your art or other hanging pieces (mirrors, racks, etc).
Likewise, when hanging artwork, make sure it is at eye-level. Think of your wall as another frame for the picture. Choose artwork that fits the space.
Not every space needs something. A room needs to breathe. It also needs to be practical. For example, there is no point having a couch full of cushions if you cannot sit on it.
For more specific sizing, placement and hanging tips, take a look here.
Big is best
When it comes to accessories, choose a few, striking pieces allowing your eye to focus, as opposed to many small things. Bonus: this will also make dusting easier! You might even use one feature as your inspiration for the whole room, designing around it for added ‘wow’ factor.
Where you do have smaller things, give each piece enough space to represent itself.
Larger rugs are also recommended because they can help define a space, add softness, help reduce noise and protect your floor.
These common interior design mistakes are often made by home-owners according to professionals:
- Be sure to hang curtains high and wide and always make sure they at least kiss the floor.
- First impressions count. Give your front door and hallway some thought and attention when decorating.
- Always include plants.
- Use the rule of 3 for grouping artwork, arranging vignettes and displaying accessories.
- Move furniture away from the walls. It actually makes your space look bigger.
- Be mindful of what your mirror will reflect when you hang it.
- Think carefully about lighting in every room, based upon how you use the space.
- Don’t neglect your light fixtures. They are like jewellery to your outfit.
Limit your colour palette. Use a colour wheel to help you understand which colours work well together.
Consider the 60-30-10% rule for colour schemes. This means choosing 60% of one colour, 30% of another, plus a ‘pop’ of colour to accent (the 10%). Neutrals are not included.
Bright colours make a room feel larger and airy. Dark colours make a room feel cosy. However, if the room is small it may feel cramped, so keep clutter to a minimum.
With a monochromatic colour palette, use a lot of textures and layers to stop it feeling ‘flat’. Adding texture to a scheme is like adding seasoning to a recipe.
The most important interior design secret
By far the most common rule shared by our contributors was this: There are no rules!
Rather, do what YOU love and what works for YOU. Your home should reflect your personality. Choose pieces that ‘make your heart sing’. Buy art that you love. Include pieces that evoke happy memories and become talking points.
Try not to impulse buy the latest design fads. Rather, take time to curate a home that is uniquely yours.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Trust yourself. And most importantly, have fun!
So now you know the secrets of interior designers, try these in your own home and see what a difference it makes!