20 things ONLY an Interior Designer will tell you...

You'll have a multitude of important choices to make throughout the course of a design project. Knowing how each single choice is affecting the others is often the trickiest part! Pattern mixing, visual balance, continuity throughout the spaces and the nuts and bolts of buying furniture and furniture placement can be a challenge to say the least! If you get it wrong, you may not realise until its too late! Fixing it may cost a bomb not to mention the stress.

You shouldn't rely on various sales people and trades to put it all together because they don't have big picture insight for your project and they don't have design qualifications either! Its all up to you to pull the elements together for a stunning end result. Don't ask you painter for colour advice, he doesn't have design or colour selection skills, he just knows how to apply the paint right? The guy in the tile shop, doesn't know how this tile will look with the paint colour that you chose and so on. You are in the drivers seat and your suppliers and trades don't always have the skills to help you.

Every decorating decision you make impacts every subsequent decision and shuts the door on some options. Don't overthink it but if you are scared or worried about getting it right, you should engage an interior designer and work closely with them - capitalize on their vast experience and get it right the first time.

Here's a few insider tips to keep you under control throughout your project and...hey, if you get stuck, you know where to find me right?


Measure your furniture BEFORE you go out to shop for coffee tables

"Okay, so you're going out the door to the shop to buy new occasional furniture..., STOP RIGHT THERE! Get out a notebook and measuring tape, measure the height of the sofa arm or chair arm you want a tables beside, you will need this measurement to find an end table.

Measure the width of the seating area of your sofa (between the arms) and measure the height to the seat, you will need these measurements to purchase the right width of coffee table and height.

Follow these guidelines:

End tables should be 1 to 2 inches lower than sofa or chair arm.

Width of coffee table is no more than 3/5 th 's between the arms of sofa.

Height of coffee table is not lower than 3 inch difference to height of seat (if not the ergonomics of the pieces will be off and feel and look wrong) If you find that you have end tables that are too high, move them at least 5 inches away from the sofa.

"Most clients come into our store with no idea of what they need. I think more buy the wrong size and height and have to live 15 years with their mistake, no one and I mean no salesperson will tell you to go home and measure and come back so we can find you the right piece, because you might not come back!" - Furniture salesperson

So you'll just buy something that day and might never know what's wrong, you'll just know that somethings not right with your room.


Use sentimental and found items as Art work

Vintage magazines and old books often have neat drawings that when framed in a grouping provide instant character and originality. . . and it won't break the bank! Collections and sentimental bits and pieces can create great interest and fun in your home. Art doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be meaningful or appealing to you.

Montages have become very popular and I have one on my staircase that I LOVE! Memories of past adventures and family members, sketches and other memorabilia...It looks amazing. Just plan the placement of the elements on the floor, photograph them and then hang them referring back to your image for placement and spacing. It's not as hard as it looks. See the 'best tip for hanging art work' below for other ideas...


Paint your low ceilings black

Painting a low, exposed ceiling black helps it to recede, think night sky. This black hole background will provide emphasis on all other light coloured elements in the space. You want people to notice your furnishings, art, statement light fixtures–NOT your ceiling height (or lack there of). This method is perfect for theater rooms or rooms primarily used at night.