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Happy Advent: 24 interior design top tips from industry professionals

In celebration of Advent, and for Christmas this year, we wanted to give you something that lasts. So, we scratched our heads and had a think what would be helpful, beneficial, interesting and entertaining for you - and then, light bulb moment! It was so simple, we would gift you the knowledge of the best of the best in the interior design industry. We're sharing 24 tips (maybe 25, like that big ol' chocolate you get in your advent calendar) from interior design and industry professionals, that you can take with you to every house/property you touch! 

Merry Christmas - we hope you enjoy our gift of knowledge! 

 

1. Paint it all

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Image credit: Rock My Style

"Having ceiling and skirting boards painted in the same colour as the walls, blurs the boundaries and makes the room appear bigger."

- Elena Parker, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"One of the things for me is when people stop paint colour at the picture rail. This immediately means that your ceiling height drops because you think that's where the wall ends. So if you want a room to look taller then always paint as much of the wall as possible, it can even be from the bottom of the skirting to the top of the cornicing, this will make a room look much taller."

- Joa Studholme, Colour Curator, Farrow & Ball

 

"Paint is so much more than just some pretty pigment for your walls - it can be used to create amazing statement walls, patterns and give a new lease of life to a tired piece of furniture. If you want a super bespoke finish to your room, paint your storage, furniture or shelves the same colour as the walls. This makes storage feel less intrusive in the room and gives the effect of a more spacious area."

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

2. Layer textures 

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Image credit: Homes To Love 

"If you prefer a more neutral colour scheme, use different textures and materials to make a space more interesting. "

- Nina du Pre, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Layer with soft texture to create a cosy environment. Texture can be really key when working within a neutral colour scheme. Layer with different textures from soft woollen throws to textured weaves in your curtains and blinds to create an interesting space."

- Kati Raine, Stitched.co.uk

 

"Texture can make such a difference to the atmosphere of a room. The contrast of fabrics and materials soften and define an interior, adding depth, interest and warmth. More texture = more character and a more comforting finish."

- Roseanna Au, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

3. Check, check, check!

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Image credit: Future Houz

"Triple check your room dimensions and entryways before shopping to ensure you have no nasty surprises when your prized delivery turns up!"

- Emma Simmonds, @emma_simmonds_design, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

" Measure twice, cut once"

- Nina du Pre, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Looking to change your layout? An architect might be just the ticket. A designer can help transform your home by maximising on your existing space, create a better flow of natural light, and customise your home to your day to day life. Their eye for design often means you get better results for your budget and a bigger return on investment when it comes to selling your home. What’s more, if planning isn’t required, you’re likely to get a cost-friendly quote. "

- Heather Shaw, RESI

 

"The most important first step in a successful design is nailing the best layout options."

- Sarah Bradley, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

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4. Be the host with the most 

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Image credit: West Elm Blog 

"Bring a sideboard or home bar into the living room to avoid trips back and forth to the kitchen. Along with eye-catching mid-century styling, Swoon’s Fresco bar cabinet has a marble top, bottle storage and wine glass rack to keep everything close at hand. Nesting Seymour side tables provide the ideal place to set down glasses. "

- Debbie Williamson, Swoon Editions

 

"If you love being the host with the most, then having a dedicated drinks area for entertaining is crucial - at Christmas or any time of the year! This could be a compact and stylish drinks trolley, a gorgeous drinks cabinet or you could even make yourself a little bar area with an island and stools."

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Designer

 

"If you've opted for an ottoman over a coffee table, purchase a beautiful tray (there are so many on the market that could fit your scheme), to be able to rest a drink on - voila! A beautiful makeshift coffee table"

- Roseanna Au, My Bespoke Room Designer

 

 

5. Big renovation, small details 
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Image credit: Dominic McKenzie Architects 

"When it comes to renovation, it can be easy to get lost in the big picture. Where will your kitchen go? What kind of flooring do you want? But alongside this, don’t forget to pay close attention to those hidden concerns. Such as: foundations, plumbing, electrics, and your roof. These four things are vital to our everyday home lives but can be overlooked in the exciting first viewings. Not only that, repairing or replacing these items are incredibly expensive and not something you want coming as a surprise. If buying a property for renovation, get a surveyor on board to check for these issues.

If your home shares a wall or boundary with a neighbour, you’ll need next door’s consent for any renovation work that may affect it. In most cases, this can be a painless process. With a party wall surveyor (or by yourself) you’ll serve notice about your works and if you get written consent in 14 days, you’re good to go. However, if consent is withheld, then you’ll need to arrange a party wall agreement. This can often be a costly legal dispute, taking around 3 months to secure. To avoid any nasty blows with next door, make sure you give them plenty of notice about your project - a bottle of wine doesn’t hurt either!"

- Heather Shaw, RESI

 

"Never underestimate the help of an interior designer when it comes to a large home renovation. Interior Designers can really go into the detail  of the interior architecture, and think about how you personally would be using and styling the space."

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

6. Gorgeous greenery

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Image credit: The Interiors Addict

"Add a pop of colour and texture into a room through plants (real or faux!), they are a cost effective way of filling an empty corner and adding some height."

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

"Plants are a quick and easy way to add life, texture and colour to your space. Not only that they help purify the air in your house. A great purifying plant is Snake Tounge, it filters the air of toxins, and releases oxygen at night, which helps for a great night sleep. "

- Roseanna Au, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Plants are not only a beautiful aesthetic addition to your home, but they boast oodles of health benefits as well. They've been proven to increase your mood, have a calming effect, improve focus and relieve stress. Therefore, we really recommend plants in places that you need to chill out, sleep easy or focus! Living rooms, bedrooms and home studies are the perfect homes for your green friends."

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

 

7. Clash colours

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Image credit: Homes To Love

"We all know the old adage, ‘Blue and green should never be seen’. Traditionally, colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel were thought to grate against each other – but who doesn’t remember Princess Di’s flawless red and pink fashion moment? Designers are showing that the right tonal balance can achieve truly fabulous results."

-Jenny Branson,  @jennybransoninteriors, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Clashing colours used to be considered a huge interior or fashion faux pas, but actually it's something that we don't see enough of! Being brave with colour is the first step and then being daring and clever with colour is the next. Burnt orange and blush sound like a complete clash, but they work beautifully together. Deep jewel tones and autumnal muted shades also complement each other perfectly. Choosing colour is all about trial and error - we suggesting thinking about your favourite colours to wear or that make you feel good and going from there."

- Roseanna Au, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

8. Plan and research

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Image credit: Interior Style Hunter 

"The worst thing you can do when starting a room update is running full speed ahead with only a vague idea behind you or, God forbid, no idea at all. Always make sure you have a plan in place in terms of layout (so you know what size furniture you need), colour scheme and a good idea on the functionality and how the room will be used most of the time! I hate to be bias, but using an online interior design company like My Bespoke Room takes the stress and hassle away instantly and does all this for you, with your needs and style in mind! I think hiring an interior design definitely makes the task less overwhelming." 

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"A home update is always an exciting time, which can often become a stressful time quickly if you don't plan and research before starting, which takes the joy and fun away from the experience. It's important to have the big picture in mind but don't overlook the finer details! Colour schemes, lighting, accent materials and finishes, the use of the room, storage, layout... the list goes on. The easiest way to condense this and take the stress away is to remove the weight from your shoulders and give it to a professional who designs on a day to day basis!

Interior designers don't need to be expensive, we offer consultancy at a per hour charge and flat fee designs from just £95. The personal touch and professional handle on a project is just what you need to keep the process of home updates enjoyable and exciting and leave the heavy lifting to someone else!" 

- Laura Simpson, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

9. Be brave with colour 

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Image credit: Rose & Grey 

"Be brave.  Going dark isn't as scary as you think and you don't have to break it up with bright colours if they don't float your boat.  Leaving the ceilings and the trims white or light, will ensure you don't feel completely cocooned.  Lighter woods, tan shades, and gold tones will all still feel neutral, add sharp contrast to dark walls and bounce your eye around so the space doesn't feel oppressive. "

- Jess & Ben Spencer, Co-Founders,  Focist 

 

"Shy away from good old magnolia... be brave and add in some pops of colour to brighten your space. It may be a feature painted wall, a sofa, a rug or some coloured cushions that give your space some depth, warmth and wow!"

- Emma Simmonds, @emma_simmonds_design, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"A fresh coat of paint in a vibrant or bold colour can lift your existing pieces of furniture, easily transforming your room."

- Sarah Bradley, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"It is well established that colour can affect the way you feel and so if you want to create a home that promotes a sense of happiness and well-being then your use of colour should not be overlooked. With the launch of our paint collection with Craig & Rose and new book Extraordinary Interiors In Colour, we’ve spent hours immersing ourselves in the wonderful world of colour and have learnt a few top tips along the way…

Cool Colours
Cool blues and deep navy tones promote calmness and tranquillity and are the perfect choice for your living room, bedroom or guest room - typically spaces that you go to for escape and respite. Likewise, green promises to renew your connection to nature and is said to evoke feelings of balance, vibrancy, rejuvenation and even good luck, making it ideal for any space where you want to bring the outside in and embrace the beauty of the natural world. As one of the most versatile colours, green can be adapted to just about any décor style, whether you prefer soft sage tones, rich emerald hues or dark forest green.

 

Warm Colours
On the warmer side of the colour spectrum, red may be a bold choice but with its emotive and energising effect it’s not one to shy away from, especially in areas such as the hallway, home office or kitchen where productivity is key! For a softer approach to celebrating warm colours in your home, the joyful and positive optimism of yellow is a great choice and one of our favourite shades for any space has to be mustard. Mustard walls are vogue at the moment and the slightly darker yellow hues of ochre and mustard are a wonderful way to experiment with colour and create an uplifting atmosphere anywhere from your living room to the bedroom.

 

Dark Colours
We’ve always had a soft spot for dark colour palettes and are firm believers that you simply cannot go wrong with bold black hues. With the ability to make you feel strong, powerful, glamorous and sexy, black introduces a sense of drama and mystery to your home and is a colour that deserves to be celebrated. Like any colour, the trick with black is to find the right tone that will work for you. Shades of black with warming undertones of brown help promote feelings of cosiness and unity and are therefore ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. A fantastic colour choice for any interior style, black provides the perfect background for artwork and is great for making accessories pop and plants simply glow!"

- Jane Rockett & Lucy St George, Rockett St. George

 

 

10. Show off your personality

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Image credit: Domino

"Our home should be an expression of our personality, so if you can establish your personal colour palette and reflect it in your choice of paint, furnishings and accessories, you will be on the right path to create your very own happy space."

- Kati Raine, Stitched.co.uk

 

"Visit your local charity shops. They are full of amazing trinkets and treasures and won't cost you a fortune. You can find vintage glassware and accessories, to beautiful furniture which you can be updated with a bit of love, attention and a lick of paint. "

- Roseanna Au, My Bespoke Room Designer

 

"Home updates should always have the inhabitants needs, style and personality at the forefront of the design. Whilst, as an interior design company, it's important to create spaces that are functional and aesthetically awesome, it's so important to make sure it makes the owner of the home happy. Rooms should reflect personality and style as it's where you wake up every morning and come home to every day, after all."

- Laura Simpson, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

11. Play with pattern

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Image credit: Coco Kelley

" When adding some pattern to your room, I would recommend a mix of geometric and organic patterns for a more balanced look, rather than just one type of pattern."

- Elena Parker, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Don’t be afraid to play with patterns, whether it be through floor tiles or layering with different textures. This avoids a ‘too blended’ look.. "

- Sarah Bradley, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"When including pattern in your home, we recommend including two types rather than an overkill of geometrics or florals. Clashing patterns - it's pretty scary, right? Well, we're about to hit you like a cliché fuelled train with 2 very important points:

  1. Life, or a striking interior, starts when you step outside your comfort zone.
  2. The bigger the risk, the greater the reward (within reason).

Every job has it's risks and clashing patterns may seem like the dangerous side of interior design, but we urge you to be daring and play with some patterns. In the words of Alan Alda (not remotely involved in interior design but has written some pretty good biographies), 'be brave enough to live creatively.'

Of course, you can't break rules without having some rules on how to do said rule breaking, so we have kindly listed some helpful hints on how to clash patterns responsibly. The question is, do you dare?!  

1. Layer textures - Textures are great for breaking up patterns whilst still adding character and depth. Faux fur and shaggy cushions alongside patterned fabrics are the winning combination that you didn't know existed.

2. Keep patterns in line - Straight lines complement each other. We repeat, straight lines complement each other. If you are going for diamonds, houndstooth or geometrics then another linear-style pattern will integrate into the scheme nicely. Too many lines making your eyes go funny? Break it up with some florals.

3. Stripes are the new neutral - Beige? So '2006'. All white? Too 'new build'. Grey? Very 'show home'. Introducing your new favourite neutral: stripes! Ok, so don't get us wrong, if someone said to us, 'I would like a very neutral living room', we won't wallpaper the walls, carpet the floors and upholster the furniture in all things stripe. However, if you're asking us what pattern is universally complementary of other patterns, we'd probably direct you to the dependable stripe.

4. It's very black and white - Already feeling pretty colourful and pattern heavy? Time to go back to basics with the trusty monochrome palette; a great way to tone down a pattern is to make it black and white to keep the understated style whilst still letting the existing patterns shine in all their glory."

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

12. Remember a rug

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Image credit: Lulu and Georgia 

"Add a large rug to zone an area and also soften a space. Also, don't underestimate the use of an indoor/outdoor rugs - these are great for zoning a dining area, but still easy enough to clean spilt spaghetti hoops or dropped jam toast!"

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

"If we had a thread of wool for every time a customer asked what size rug they should buy for their room, we would be able to knot an XXXL rug on a hypothetical navy, turquoise and yellow MBR loom.

A rug should be a large part of your room decor, therefore an important part to get right. So, we want to help you make sure expensive mistakes are a thing of the past, or never have to happen at all. There are many ways that you can 'get it right':

1. In smaller spaces, the layout of your living room often includes a sofa against one wall, and the TV and/or fireplace sat comfortably on the wall opposite. Putting a rug closer to the 'sofa wall' bounds the layout and makes the seating space feel cosy and warm, whilst creating a walkway space between the fireplace or TV unit, therefore not inhibiting any access.

2. We LOVE a large rug, but if your budget doesn't allow an XL purchase or you have an unassigned smaller rug that you can't part with, don't worry, that can look great too! A smaller rug (usually about 130x180cm), can frame your coffee table creating symmetry and grounds your table, making it a centrepiece in the room. If you do go for this look, just make sure that neither sofa or armchair legs sit on either side of the rug."

3. Just add the front legs of furniture! Depending on the space, this still involves a pretty large rug. Place the front legs of your sofas and chairs on the edge of the rug, so about half the depth of the sofa sits above the edge of the rug. This still has all the benefits of the above, but you don't need such a large space to execute it."

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

13. Get creative with paint

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Image credit: Domino

"Paint is a cost effective way to add interest and impact to a space.  There are so many ways to decorate your walls and ceilings and you don't need to decorate your walls in one single colour right up to the ceiling have fun with masking tape and paint 2/3rds of the wall or paint in the skirting boards in with the wall colour...maybe try neutral walls with colour added to the woodwork and doors and don't forget your ceiling... it doesn't have to be white!  Wall decals are also a great way to add interest to a painted wall, especially in kids bedrooms and they can easily be removed if they outgrow them."

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

14. Arranging artwork

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Image credit: Honestly WTF 

"Don’t hang your pictures too high! It’s amazing how many homes I visit where their paintings or prints are hung so high up on the wall - it’s the first thing I notice. Take into consideration any furniture sitting beneath but a general rule of thumb is to have the centre of the picture be at 57 inches off the floor. This reflects the standard eye-height of the average person, and is used as a standard in most art galleries and museums."

- Diana Greenhalgh, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

"Cut out paper templates same size as the pictures you want to hang and blue-tac them to the wall to get the right layout! Be sure to number each template and picture too!"

-Olivia Boardman,  My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Gallery walls are a brilliant way to add personality and colour to your walls. You can mix and match fun prints, stunning photography or personal pictures. What is also great is that you can easily update the prints and pictures, especially if you use a picture ledge or command strips.

If you have kids a gallery wall can also be a lovely way to display your kids drawings, and swap them out whenever they make a new work of art! "

-Roseanna Au,  My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

15. The beauty of bespoke

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Image credit: Molem & Co

"The key to small–space decorating is to zone your space by activity — living, dining, sleeping. Flexible pieces like a table or island are great for working, dining + meal prep and can help section the space. Keep the colour palette light for an airy, open feel.""

-Pargol Malekirad, West Elm

 

"We have a real thing for bespoke benches, here at My Bespoke Room. A fitted dining bench is the perfect bespoke solution to your family living needs. It saves space, can include storage, provides a seat and looks stylish and cohesive with your design, all at once! What a fabulous little multi-tasker. 

Kitchen islands are fantastic for extra worktop space, storage and a centrepiece in your kitchen, however, they can take up a lot of floor space and room does need to be left so the kitchen can be navigated with ease. Make the most of your kitchen island by extending it with a lower dining table, or fixing a fitted bench onto the back to either provide an extra relaxing seat or a seat for dining purposes. The island is your oyster. 

A built in TV bench is as versatile of the bespoke dining bench. They're amazing for storage, a sleek and stylish TV unit, and can also act as an extra seat or a fireplace!"

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

16. Finishing touches

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Image credit: Harlowe James

"Swapping cushion covers are a quick and easy way for effective seasonal changes in your room - bold brights and linens in the warmer months moving to deep darks and velvets come winter. On larger furniture, try and group cushions in threes - aim for a print, a texture and a block colour for a less formal, design led feel"

- Ben Hanley,  West Elm

 

"Small details such as finishing touches, soft furnishings, artwork, photos and lighting can make a larger difference than you thought. These items don't need to be expensive either - this is a super affordable way to add style, character and your own personal touch to your home. 

Soft furnishings such as cushions and throws will make your new home feel instantly cosier and warmer, whilst giving you the opportunity to add colour and pattern to your home. 

Photos and artwork are brilliant for incorporating a personal element to your home, it's the easiest and quickest way to making a new house, feel like a home that really belongs to you."

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

"Purchase fancy soap dispenser bottles (Amara sell beautiful ones) and fill with shampoo, conditioner, even washing up liquid - to give a lovely aesthetic around the bath, shower or sink!"

-Olivia Boardman,  My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

 
17. Look up 

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Image credit: Rock My Style 

"Paint the 5th wall (ceiling) in the same colour as the walls for a blended and cohesive finish! "

-Olivia Boardman,  My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"The ceiling has long been uncharted territory when it comes to daring design choices. No matter how bold our walls have become, we have so far left this fourth dimension well alone. But just as a white ceiling opens up and brightens a room, it is only logical that darker paint could have a cocooning effect on a larger space. Going one step further and adding playful stripes or statement wallpaper can add real drama to a room of any shape and size."

-Jenny Branson,  @jennybransoninteriors, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"A statement ceiling, back in the day (we're talking way, way back), was a signifier of absolute luxury. Then suddenly, for one reason or another (a war or two), the ceiling got forgotten. Now, 70-odd years later, statement ceilings are back, completely reinvented, and we couldn't be happier about it. I've listed some ways to make the most of your statement ceilings:

1. Add some modern pattern to your ceiling by incorporating some geometrics above your head - these are evidence that statement ceilings don't need to be traditional or even the slightest bit dated. Don't feel like covering the whole space, corner to corner? Everyone needs some boundaries; frame the wallpaper or mural and suddenly your ceiling is a piece of artwork.

2. Wallpapering the ceiling gives you the opportunity to completely transform a room, and kids' bedrooms are no exception. Take them to an enchanted forest with whimsical wallpaper, or let them reach for the stars with a space themed mural. The only limit is your imagination... and your ceiling space, and your budget, and what you can buy, and maybe your artistic ability if you're hand painting. Nevertheless, let your imagination run wild.

4. Expose the beams - You heard us, completely expose those beams for what they are (absolutely beautiful). Whether you're going for a country chic look in a little cottage, or rustic industrial in an edgy loft, exposed beams are going to look great.

5. This might feel a bit counterintuitive, but just go with us on this one, ok? Paint your ceiling black or a super dark navy, we're talking as dark as the night sky. This is a super easy way to make your interior pack a punch, without a hefty price tag. Although, we should probably say that this is better for taller ceilings as it will make the ceiling feel slightly lower than before."

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

 

18. Think about furniture

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Image credit: Three Birds Renovations

"Placing all your furniture against a wall, especially in living rooms and bedrooms. Don’t be afraid to move sofas away from the wall, they can act as a great room divider and actually change the whole feel of the room and make it more interesting."

- Diana Greenhalgh, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

"Consider the larger furniture items and bespoke pieces before you get hung up on the finishing touches. Once you have the basics in place, let’s call them the headliners, you’ll have a better idea of which supporting roles you need. 

Even though many of the most expensive gifts come in the smallest boxes, as a general rule larger furniture does tend to cost more. It's definitely worth looking into buying your main furniture second hand - often the items are still in great condition, or can be rejuvenated with a bit of TLC.

This also works both ways - sell your old furniture for a bit of extra cash to spend on new items! 

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: make sure you know your dimensions. If you go in blind, deciding a layout is near impossible and you may end up with a sofa that takes up an entire room, a dining table lost in a large expanse, a chandelier hanging at shoulder height and your new home becomes more of an obstacle course than a functional living space.

Top tip: Lay out your desired furniture on the floor with masking tape, so you can have an idea of how the room will ‘flow’ before you purchase the furniture to avoid expensive and time-consuming mistakes!

Second-hand items don't need to be just for the big pieces - you can pick up some bargain finishing touches oozing with character at vintage and charity shops too."

-Roseanna Au,  My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

19. Wallpaper, wall murals & wall decals

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Image credit: Architectural Digest

"Wall decals are a great way to add interest to a painted wall, especially in kids bedrooms and they can easily be removed if they outgrow them. That's right. Wall stickers. They're so affordable, can transform a room and simply peel off when your daughter has had enough of zoo animals, or your son has decided that dinosaurs were so 70 million years ago. Get your own creative juices flowing and make a special spot for your little one, like the pixie door in the fireplace above!

Don't want to mess about with stickers? Mess about with paint instead.

One of the cheapest ways to create a statement is paint. Yes, that magical formula that creates the perfectly pigmented shade to add colour and character to a room. A bit colour-phobic? You don't have to paint every wall a fuchsia pink, or a lime green (and, actually, we really recommend you don't) so paint just one feature in the room - here we painted the fireplace and added touches of green around the room to tie it in.

Top Tip: For smaller areas, you can get away with just using a tester pot size, so no need to invest in a whole tin of paint!"

- Lucy Henderson, @interior.design.addict, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room

 

 

20. Soft play

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Image credit: Room for Tuesday

"Overnight guests, whether expected or last-minute, deserve a room that feels like home. Make their stay extra cosy with soft Purcell cushions and a Meridan lamp to cast a warming glow. Swoon has everything the home-obsessed need for festive inspiration. "

- Debbie Williamson, Swoon Editions

 

"Soft furnishings and finishing touches shouldn't be underestimated when designing a cohesive scheme in any part of the home, and a children's bedroom is no exception! Your kids could enjoy collapsing into a beanbag to read, an interactive rug for playing, or to be cuddled up with cosy cushions. 

Not only are soft furnishings especially fun AND functional for your little ones, they're perfect for adding colour and pattern to the room, without making the room feel like an assault on the senses. 

They're also the perfect solution for incorporating a 'theme.' Does your child dream of being an astronaut? Get some solar system printed cushions, instead of investing in a spaceship shaped bed. " 

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

21. Scale it up

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Image credit: The Zhush

"Introducing over scaled items into the room, such as a large table lamp, a large vase or an over scaled ornament adds drama and interest."

- Elena Parker, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Use taller pieces of furniture to help make the ceiling appear higher!"

- Sarah Bradley, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

"Scale is so important when it comes to using pattern in the home. If you're feeling a bit apprehensive about piling patterns, on top of patterns, on top of patterns? Don't worry, we've got your back. That's why this tip proves that clashing patterns isn't that scary and hopefully, this advice takes you a step closer to your comfort zone. All we ask, is that you take the same sort of pattern in one item and either supersize it or scale it right down for another. Trust us, it'll look fab and you will have achieved Level 1 in pattern clashing. Congratulations!"

- Claire Armstrong-Gautier, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

22. Let there be light

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Image credit: Best Decoration

"Get creative with light. Gone are the days of having one ceiling pendant to light your room. Instead think wall lights, desk lamps and floor lamps to create atmosphere and light up your world!"

- Emma Simmonds, @emma_simmonds_design, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

" Lighting shouldn't be an afterthought. A layered lighting scheme is just as important as any other part of the room design."

- Nina du Pre, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

 

" Choosing the correct light bulb to control the mood of the room and for energy efficiency is really important.
Updating light switches: elegant choices can add character to a modern home and a striking element to a period property.
"

- Sarah Bradley, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

""A variation in lighting sources is essential to decorating your room. Having different levels of lighting can help create different moods for different occasions. Whether having a space to be productive, or to create a more cosier setting. Before buying consider the purpose of the light, the size of the room, the mood you want to set and the look you want to create. Try and mix a match types of lights to create the perfect ambiance."

- Sophia Seroff, West Elm

 

"Lighting is your best friend and it's said that a room ought to have at least 7 light sources at multiple levels.   Warm white bulbs give a cosier glow, however you'll also need to think about bulb wattage to ensure you're not feeling gloomy. Turn down the wattage where the bulb is on show or you'll make the space too stark and blind yourself, but ramp it up a bit when you have a good shade or the light directed away from your eyes. "

- Jess & Ben Spencer, Co-Founders, Focist 

 

 

23. Make your bed 

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Image credit: Secret Linen Store 

"People often save on bedding, even though it's something that will be used every night. Here are 3 top tips when it comes to superior comfort bedding: 

- Use a flat sheet under your duvet cover when guests are staying, you can wash the fitted and flat sheet and save washing the duvet cover. 

- Try 100% Linen if you haven't already, it's amazing. Start with some pillowcases at first if you are not sure, but we promise you won't turn back. 

- Mix and match - colour your bed in with 6 pillows (yes, we love six). Buy pillowcases in 2s to match and try having 3 contrasting colours/stripes. This adds so much interest and makes your bed look fabulous. I have Ticking Stripe Grey, Charcoal 100% Linen and Cream 100% Linen with a ticking stripe Duvet Cover. Yum...' 

-Molly Freshwater,  Secret Linen Store

24. Small spaces, big impact

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Image credit: Deavita

"Painting a small dark room white to make it feel light and bright. This very rarely works! My suggestion is to embrace the darkness and go with it to make it a warm and cosy room, don’t fight it! Think about making an impact (perhaps if it’s a small downstairs cloakroom) and use a bold wallpaper for the extra wow factor."

- Diana Greenhalgh, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

"Traditionally, the smaller the room, the more neutral the decoration is, in order to encourage a feeling of space. But in today’s interiors world anything goes! The downstairs loo is the perfect place to exercise your creative side and dress to impress!"

-Jenny Branson,  @jennybransoninteriors, My Bespoke Room Interior Designer

 

25. Love your home

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

"If your home has characterful properties, let the interior architecture speak for itself. A great way to bring features like large Victorian bay windows to the fore, is to let them sing with the perfect pair of curtains!"

- Kati Raine, Stitched.co.uk

 

"Don't make your home an after-thought.  You spend half your life in your home, and the other half probably at work wishing you were at home!  It should be a place that you can't wait to be in, not somewhere that will do whilst you sink another glass of wine and blur it out.  Test the paint, order the artwork, buy the random ornament, and curate a space that you truly love. "

- Jess & Ben Spencer, Co-Founders, Focist 

 

"Make sure that you design not only aiming for that inspirational interior that you saw on Instagram but also for a design that you love, that is functional for yourself and your family and also works within the property. If you have a new-build flat, traditional panelling might not look completely at home on the walls. 

The idea for My Bespoke Room came from mine and Diana's own frustrations after buying and renovating our first homes. Interior design as a whole was inaccessible and costly, and although Pinterest was inspiring, it was a nightmare trying to find the products displayed so beautifully in the photos! It's always important to go back to the basics and remember who you're designing for."

- Laura Simpson, Co-Founder, My Bespoke Room

 

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