INTERIORS Decorating dos and don’ts


Decorating dos and don’ts


Interior Design
Niamh Tuohy

Some things in life go together. Like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Or peas and carrots. And some just don’t. Like the creationists and Dawkins. Or leopard skin sofas and, well anything. But there are no hard and fast rules as to what works and what doesn’t, which can make redesigning your house tricky.
But don’t despair just yet. While there may not be definitive procedures one must go through in order to come out the other end with the ultimate in home design, there are certain tips and tricks which will help you along the way.

DO consider the style of house you’re living in and the area that you have to work with. A period property, for example, should have its features retained and restored and the interiors should be sympathetic to the overall space.

DON’T jump from theme to theme as you move through the house. This can be very distracting and take away from the core ‘look’ that you want in your home. Instead, try to marry ideas through from one room to the next either in the material you use for the floors or the colours you choose for the walls. This will create a flow, which in turn will make the space an easier and calmer place to spend time in.

DO your homework and start putting together a small folder of pictures from magazines and web sites of designs and ideas that you like. This will help you focus on what exactly it is that you’re trying to achieve and will also give you ideas you might never have thought of on your own.

DON’T let a professional interior designer brow beat you into getting something that you’re really not comfortable with. It’s fairly safe to say that while many people may not know what they DO want, the vast majority know what they DON’T! A good interior designer will take a combination of what is desired by the client and what is dictated by the space involved and deliver an end product that reflects your style and personality, not theirs.

DO consider balance within any given space. We learn from a very early age what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and what is not. From the placement of furniture to the hanging of mirrors/paintings to the use of lighting, symmetry is of paramount importance when planning any room.

DON’T get caught up in the trends of the season. Because this is exactly what they are. Trends. They are unlikely to last the test of time. Instead, choose something because you really like it. Simple as. That said, remember to keep the overall look in mind at all times.

DO pay adequate attention to the different materials you use and remember, less is more. Introducing a myriad of different textures can complicate a room beyond belief and make it uncomfortable to be in.

DON’T be afraid to play with colour but try to keep it to one particular section of the room – say, walls, floor or prints – otherwise it’s what we in the industry call ‘overkill’. You want your home to give a feeling of calmness, not angst.

DO consider the spatial constraints of your home and choose your furniture accordingly. There’s nothing worse than too much clutter in a room. It’s frustrating to have to navigate around it, and it only makes the place look smaller.

DON’T feel that you have to do everything at once. There’s a lot to be said for taking it slow and doing one room at a time. Financially, it will give your wallet a breather as you take a break between finishing the sitting room and starting on the bedroom.