Most of us dream of having an Instagram-worthy home - but how exactly do interior designers create those beautiful rooms? Here are some of our favourite tips from those in the know.
1. Begin by working out your colour palette
A designed room will typically use around three colours - a base colour, a second and an accent. Use the colour wheel for ideas and pairings - two colours next to each other will complement and those opposite will provide contrast and a visual pop. Look online and in style magazines for colour schemes which are on trend. A neutral is always easy to use as your base shade and you can then incorporate brighter or more seasonal colours for a changing interior. Dusky pinks and copper accents are very on-trend right now, and work very well with a soft grey for example.
2. Position your 'hero' pieces carefully
When a designer creates a visual, they will place their statement pieces in the front and centre of the space. This anchors the eye and immediately draws it to the most important part of the room. The trick works particularly well with interior pieces such as statement baths, bright sofas, artwork and flooring. For example, a Moroccan tiled floor, a richly patterned rug or gorgeous parquet flooring can act as the visual focus for the room.
3. Consider furniture for height and space
Designers will use low furniture to create a sense of height within a room and they will choose elevated furniture - pieces on narrow legs - to create a feeling of space. This is because the more floor that we can see, the bigger the space is perceived to be. Another designer trick for creating space is to position mirrors carefully around a room. A large mirror in a dark corner can reflect light back from a window and vastly brighten and enlarge the area.
4. Use texture and metallics
Where neutral schemes are used, the trick to adding visual interest is to apply plenty of texture and layers. Imagine a neutral room for example. Now add a thick cream sheepskin rug to the floor, a mink-coloured fake fur throw, warm tonal copper cushions, and a gold candlestick. Choose rich golden wood flooring with a buffed shine, and velvet neutral curtains with a metallic tie-back. Add a large mirror with a French-inspired ornate edge. Suddenly your neutral room is packed with visual interest, warmth, tone and depth.
5. Start from the floor up
Another good design trick involves starting with your flooring choice and then working upwards. If you are investing in high-quality flooring, then it can be a feature all of its own. Remember that good design is also about functionality, so consider purpose. You might choose a grey cushion vinyl floor for a child's playroom, or hard-wearing LVT, natural wood or laminate for a hallway. Why not add on-trend rugs with bold patterns for colour and warmth? Remember that a light floor will create visual space by reflecting natural light, but a dark floor is wonderful for creating a rich and cosy interior.
Which of your favourite interior design tips would you share?