Top 5 decorating secrets

It’s better to share, isn’t it? And it's in the spirit of spreading the design love that we’re going to reveal the top five secrets to decorating your home. But remember, it’s up to you to use them responsibly...

Top 5 decorating tips

Secret 1. Colour isn’t fixed. The orientation of your room (whether it's north, south, east or west), the time of day and the artificial lighting you use all influence how the colour on your walls appears. The solution? You know this one. It’s about looking before you leap and painting (lining paper is perfect) and hanging samples of your paints. Don’t just look and love it if you don’t like frequent redecorating. Check at different times of day, check in daylight and under artificial light. If it works in all conditions, it’s the right choice. This elegant living room (pictured above) features paints from Little Greene.

Secret 2. You aren’t fixed, either. By which we mean, of course, that you need to move through your rooms, not just sit at the table or lie in the bed. Neglect the circulation space in your room at your peril. You don’t want to move dining chairs backwards to stand up, and your partner won’t thank you if you climb over him or her to get out of bed. Interior design schemes that allow you to move easily through your home work well - it's as simple as that. This living room scheme doesn’t force you to go the long way round an armchair to get to the sofa every night, and the shutters (in case you're wondering) are from Shutterly Fabulous.

Secret 3. Shape matters more than size. If your rooms aren’t as big as you’d like, don’t downsize your furniture designs so you end up crammed together and upright on the sofa bus-shelter style. Furniture with long, low lines is the magic trick here, keeping the room feeling spacious without cramping your style – or giving you cramp. The fabrics here are from Villa Nova’s Kabuki collection.

Secret 4. One pendant light won’t cut it. Every room needs light from a variety of sources, otherwise even the most fabulous decorating scheme will fall flat. You do need general light for the room, but you’ll need to also think table and floor lamps, desk and reading lights, lighting to highlight pictures and so on. It also needs to be adjustable to create different atmospheres in the space. This lighting is  by John Cullen.

Secret 5. It’s not just carpet or hard flooring. We know you take care over your decorating choices – otherwise why would you be here? But it is very easy to choose flooring from the carpet-or-something-else standpoint. Designers think differently. The colour of your floor works with the walls to affect its perceived dimensions. Choose a dark floor and light walls and you’ll widen the space. This bathroom-proof flooring is Quick-Step’s Lagune.

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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor

View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor