We all like to think we know what we're doing when it comes to home interiors, but the truth is that it's extremely easy to make mistakes. Whether you're following the misinformed design tricks your mam told you or picking a garish room scheme you may come to regret, there are loads of very common mistakes you can make without realised. So before you rush out to buy endless tins of paint, let these seven Irish interior designers tell you the biggest interior design mistakes they see in people's home, and how you can avoid them. Here's what you need to know!
1. Forgetting to add personality with smaller items
"If you really love that loud patterned paper and fabric go for it. I see so many people tire and dislike the sofa or curtains they had custom designed. The larger investment pieces I suggest using neutral tone on tone fabrics with texture, adding pops of colour with pattern in smaller less expensive, easy to replace items when you want a new look and colour scheme."
- Margaret of Pearl Redesigns
2. Forgetting about lighting
"Lighting is one of the most over looked yet important elements of good interior design and it is such a shame. There is little point purchasing luxurious fabrics, artwork and furniture items if the lighting is not adequate to fully appreciate their beauty. Ideally lighting should be considered as early as possible as part of the overall scheme in conjunction with the proposed layout."
- Caroline of Level Design Solutions
3. Being afraid to use colour
"I would like to see people stop being afraid to use colours, especially dark or vibrant colours. I have heard so many times people using the excuse that dark colours will make a room feel smaller, and although it is true, it’s far from being a bad thing. In very small rooms, white, greys and pastels will only accentuate the walls, making us more conscious about their presence. This is where dark colours will excel, moving the focus from the walls to the room in its entirety. A small bedroom in dark colours will feel cosy and inviting and it will not give the impression that we are trying to compensate the lack of space or light, but rather challenge it."
- Dana of Black Fox Interiors
4. Not sizing furniture and accessories according to the space
"My biggest pet peeve when it comes to interiors is dated bulky furniture and generic accessories. Most Irish homes are on the smaller side, so choosing large furniture pieces that manage to achieve that perfect balance of comfort and practicality while not taking up all the space is really important. Similarly, accessories clutter contributes to making the space feel smaller, and can make a home look like a shop or showhouse, which is a pity because one's home is an opportunity to show your unique personality."
- Diana of Home Lust
5. Painting the chimney breast a statement colour
"Stop making the chimney breast a feature wall. The chimney breast usually protrudes into the room so don’t emphasise this by painting or wallpapering a dominant colour."
- Noelle of Noelle Interiors
6. Painting first
"Painting a room before choosing fabrics and textiles. Put down the paint brush! Why? Because it is so much easier to find a paint to suit your fabric than a fabric to suit your paint!
- Jill of Dandelion Lane
7. Being afraid of interior designers
"I think people still feel that hiring a designer is extravagant and intimidating. It really is the sensible approach to redesigning your home when you need a fresh pair of eyes that know what works. Be honest with the designer, let them know what you don't like as well as what you do like, we love working with clients because then we know they'll be happy!"
- Catherine Murphy of Re-interiors