Top 10 Interior Design Tips

interior design tips
interior design disaster

We share our top ten expert tips before making new purchases, so that you can avoid making interior design disasters. From tips on how to measure properly yourself within the space and creating mood boards.

1. Try not to follow trends that are likely to outdate, instead consider your own style

It’s crucial to try and not follow crazes that are going to be short lived which result in a throw away culture. Purchase solid staples that will last you in years to come and you’re not going to get sick of. If you’re introducing blocks of vibrant colours, think of ways this can be done in a flexible way, e.g. paint colours, cushions, prints. All of these can be switched up and changed relatively easily, rather than a bright red sofa.

2. Check if this has been done somewhere successfully before

If you’re going to try something that is going to make a big statement, try and look on Pinterest at examples of where this has been done before, see what was successful about how they did it. If you’re struggling to find any examples of it being done before and you’re lacking in confidence with your idea, maybe go back to the drawing board or consider ways of executing your idea slightly differently. 

3. Consider the impact its really going to have on your day to day 

It’s important to not always just go for looks over functionality. Make sure you’re purchasing things that do have meaning and purpose to you. Will this piece have a real function and withstand a possible move in years to come or is it simply because it does the job for now?

Perhaps you’re on a budget and sit stand desk you would like is a little over budget. Something that you are using every day and is going to have a direct impact on your health and mobility is always worth saving a little extra for, kindly ask loved ones for vouchers towards it on a birthday. 

4. Check you’re not purchasing on impulse

Make sure you’re making purchases that you have wanted and needed for a while, try not to buy based on impulse. These decisions are often rushed and can lead to disappointment and lack of thought and meaning. 

5. Measure twice and cut once (or in this case buy once!)

We have all heard that phrase and its so crucial! Grab a tape measure, the product dimensions and be present in the space you are purchasing for. Move any obstacles out of the way, ideally a completely clear room but keep the existing pieces in there or measure out the other pieces that you are also purchasing. Use masking tape on the floor and outline each dimension. 

Also think about height. If you don’t want to use masking tape on the walls create a cardboard box template. Check the piece isn’t obstructing any natural light too much and at all if you can avoid it. 

Once you have your shape, walk around the room to check you’re happy with the space and how it flows, check you’re not dodging the item on a natural walk way. Check the distance of the walkways using a tape measure and your body. 

Make sure you’re applying the dimensions in the right way. For example some sofa’s are right handed or left handed. Try and make sure you apply the way in which it’s handed to the corner of the room to make the space feel as big as possible. 

If you’re unhappy for any reason about the size or how it flows in the space, go with your gut, ask friends or family members for a second opinion. Don’t just purchase if you’re feeling a little impatient, the right thing will come along.

6. Create your own mood board

Gather inspiration, proposed pieces, existing pieces, accessories, check all of the pieces work cohesively. You can create your own digital mood board so easily using the free canva app. Alternatively print off all of the images you have gathered and stick onto an A3 piece of paper.

7. Check the material description 

Read the product material description and learn about the material you’re buying into. If it’s an item which is going to be used everyday make sure the material is particularly long lasting. 

8. Order samples and physically handle the material

Now you’re happy with the shape, but are you happy with the colour and material? Best way to find out is to order samples from the manufacturer. Once you’ve obtained the samples, handle it in a way you would usually, consider pets and spilt drinks.

If you can’t order samples go to the showroom, take any sample cuttings to the show room of things you have in the space too. Make sure you’re happy with how the material feels. If the material looks a bit shabby in the showroom then chances it will get shabby at home too. 

If you’re struggling with obtaining samples and visiting a showroom and you couldn’t create a moodboard, print off a picture of the piece and hold it in the room with the other pieces, check you’re happy with how it looks. Refer back to your original inspiration too. 

9. Speak to the manufacturer

If you’re making a particularly large investment and/or you have any concerns speak to the manufacturer. For example, what is the guarantee on the product? Do they have an option to seal the fabric from spillages? Are the cushion covers removable and washable? See if the manufacturer can relieve you from any concerns, and if they can’t, try looking for something else that’s more suitable for you. 

10. Check the returns policy

 So you have followed all of the steps above and you’re ready to make the purchase. Its always worth checking the returns policy and getting a copy in writing for yourself, are you completely satisfied with the terms they’re offering?

If you’re getting something bespoke to you, the chances are slim on the returns policy. Speak to family and friends about what they think of your ideas too, they might have an idea that might be even better or just provide a bit of reassurance.