Whenever we are asked to give advice on interior design we suspect we are expected to give an instant set of rules: style guidelines that can be applied to every home guaranteeing perfect results every time. What we can tell you is if something has been badly designed it will be apparent, as it will not work properly, it will not look quite right, and will age badly. Read more, ‘Improve Your Mood With These 50 Decorating Tips.’
Bad design will give you very little lasting pleasure.
We would never want to go into someone’s home and find it entirely furnished by one brand. Your home should reflect your personality, not somebody else’s from a TV show.
1. The three most important things you need
Having worked in interior design all our lives, and for top brands and magazines all over the world, we are well qualified to comment on the positive and negative effects an interior can have on your mood. When the magic ingredients are present, a thoughtfully designed interior can lift your spirits and make you feel alive. Read more, ‘Don’t Decorate a Home Without These Rules.’
Space, light and colour, are intrinsically interwoven and connected.
But each element has its own impact, which can be revealed in the simplest of alterations to your surroundings. One of the easiest, but most dramatic, ways to change an interior is to improve the quality of light. Flood a room with natural light and your mood with improve straightaway.
2. Delight all your senses
For most people home is the heart of life and is defined by a variety of functions – cooking, eating, washing, relaxing, entertaining and sleeping. To live a comfortable style of life, things must function properly in all these spheres. Things that work well, look beautiful, evoke memories, restore quality to everyday living, have a profound effect on happiness. A beautiful table picked up in Provence, a traditional Japanese bowl, a lamp bought at the night markets in Paris. Read more, ‘This is How You Keep Your Interior Looking Fresh, Not Dated.’
Home is greater than the sum of its parts – it is where we feel at ease, where we belong.
3. Don’t follow fads
Creating a home where we feel comfortable is about discovering the elements that convey a sense of place. Following fashions will not necessarily bring you happiness in your home – but notions of comfort and intimacy are timeless. Read more, ‘What Interior Designer’s Hate to See on Instagram.’
Ultimately it is more important to find out what you like and what suits you. If you find a satisfying combination of space, light, colour, materials, and products, it will continue to refresh your spirits.
5. The logical steps
These are things you can’t skimp on: big squashy sofas upholstered in creamy white with wicker chairs with large crumpled cushions and stone or timber floors with a beautiful rug.
White linen curtains with shafts of sunlight overlooking endless lush green landscape or perhaps out to sea will bring endless joy.
6. Design as a problem-solver
Design should be about solving problems and making people’s lives easier, not making them more complicated. It’s not about spending astronomical amounts of money to impress others and demonstrate how wealthy you are. Because in reality often these places don’t function properly and are not very inspiring places to spend time in. Read more, ’10 Ways To Master The Perfect Room.’
Most people overdo everything. Simplify what you own.
7. Home as autobiography
A home should always feel like a portrait of the person who lives there. Home is the ongoing story of a person, and should be filled with things that please the eye, soothe the senses and move us in some way.
8. Go for Harmony
Use the same colours, tones and textures in connecting areas, such as halls and stairways. A sense of flow throughout a home gives the impression of space and perhaps more than any other element, the feeling of a happy environment. Read more, ‘This Is The First Thing An Interior Designer Notices When Entering a Home.’
9. Focus on the simple things
Things that make you happy and you are more likely to enjoy your surroundings and – most importantly – they will work well and allow you to live a life free of complexity. Which is perhaps the greatest luxury in these increasingly chaotic times we live in.
10. Small touches can transform a space
Things like beautiful pencils on your desk, or an artful display of jewellery on your bedside table. A rule of thumb? Buy only things that you want around forever. Buy only what you love.
And don’t forget to throw a little curve ball in from time to time.