Crimes against Design is a phrase you might hear grumbled under the breath of a hangry graphic designer before their second coffee. Less often do you hear about Crimes against Interior Design. In this our inaugural blog post, Katie shares some bug-bears and some advice around domestic interior design in this eclectic and useful list.
A Very Sad Hallway.
A hallway is something we pass through on the way in or out of our home but it’s also somewhere we welcome guests. Let your hallway give you a virtual hug when you arrive home, make it warm and inviting. Use texture & rugs if you’re afraid of a strong bold colour. Although I’m a sucker for a fancy wallpaper and bold accent. Do it!
A Depressed Bathroom.
Another poor room that always seems to draw the short design straw. The motto I use is- you’re not in there for long so enjoy the space. If you can’t afford to tile it all, paint it funky with a minimal tile for maximizing the effect. Add towel ladders, Ikea do great pot holder as a cheap alternative. Use patterned and coloured towels, plants, pictures or dare I say - paint the ceiling a dark sexy colour.
Now you see me now you don’t? Make use of natural light. Reflecting the light back into a small or dark space is vital, you don’t have to follow trends and hang your lonely mirror above your fireplace. Opt for a wall opposite the window to dance that natural light back into your room. Use three mirrors, start collecting mirrors for goodness sake, but think outside the square-framed mirror!
“I think I’ll paint just the chimney breast red!”
Why oh why?! Let’s keep red out of the living-room. Red raises the heart rate, it’s used to promote action and not relaxation - there’s a reason Sale signs are always red. Let’s just steer clear, there’s a whole other paint swatch to choose from!
A Poor Excuse for a Rug
Let’s go big and bold or let’s just all go home. We tend to use the same flooring throughout the house. Although cost effective and it being easy to keep clean, it comes with its own challenges. Separating out open spaces then becomes difficult so using rugs and lighting is an ideal way to set locations internally. But please don’t make them small, it’ll defeat the purpose, even if it goes under the legs of the couch or the bed frame a bit, that’s ok. High-pile rugs are much nicer to place your pretty toes on than a typically cold tile. Unless your build includes underfloor heating. (Not jealous at all!)
Matchy-Matchy, Beigey-Beigey, Boring-Boring!
The reality is, the lifespan of an Interior design is 5-7 years, meaning we tire of everything whether it’s hot pink or cream! Too often people opt for a neutral-base cream/wood floor, cream/ brown couch, pale walls, maybe a fireplace breast in colour and the deadly pop of colour all red! No! Enjoy your space, provoke a reaction. Maybe not everyone will love it but, let’s face it, we don’t need them to anyway. So design for you. Use colour, everything can be changed - so go for it! Fool around on Pinterest and put together a board that you consider very you, a fantasy of interior luxury! Then think about beige or grey walls and the leather couch alternative? Like I thought, no contest!
The I’m Bored Looking At You tiles.
Ok so following on from my last point, the let’s keep it neutral it’ll be here for years attitude. I’ll agree tiles will be there for longer than a splash of paint or a roll of wallpaper! But when picking a tile look at shape. Herringbone, hexagonal, silver edge trims. Run a border tile through the floor tile. Try panelling as an alternative. There are many ways to stay neutral while adding visual interest with shape.
“I like it but I don’t know if it’ll suit my room?”
Don’t let this stand in your way. Nearly every good furniture shop, tile shop, rug shop or light shop will let you borrow and take home a piece so that you can see it in your space. Leave it there for a day or two and then make your decision if you’re really at an impasse.
“Well I spoke to my Mom and she loved it but then my friend said absolutely no way”
Really, and when are they moving in? My guess is never. So, go with your gut. If you love it - do it! I promise you won’t regret it. Interiors are just another form of expression. You get up every morning and choose your own clothes without a two-day debate with half the country so why not your house!
“Sure they’re just the little bits, I’ll worry about them after”
Eh, bad idea! Because we never do the little bits after! Incorporate every little detail into the overall look you want to achieve and cost it - be realistic. Hold off on doing the next room until you’ve finished the first one, if you have to save the pennies! As a home-owner we’re never truly finished decorating our home anyway. As a designer I get finished and then start again!
Keep your eyes peeled for more tips, tricks, case-studies and the ocassional rant from all of us here at Urban Design & Print. Thanks for reading!