The Bulletin

Behind the Curtain: Interior Designer Tips

Some inside knowledge can go a long way in helping you achieve a winning interior. But some tips and tricks of interior design aren’t always so obvious.

Here are some surprising things that Interior Designers know that can make a big difference to how you look at your home.

Small rooms need big furniture
Contrary to popular belief, small-scale furniture in a small room actually makes things look, well, really SMALL.

We all know how to make our legs look longer, or minimise our midriff. The same concept applies to furnishing a home – we need to fool the eye.

Guide the eye to “reading” or “assessing” the size of the room with a BIG visual reference. This could be a 3.5-seater sofa in a small room, or a high, grand bed in a small bedroom.

You may not need a sofa in your living room
Some lounge rooms look great without a sofa. Think boutique hotel lobbies, cocktail bars, restaurants, pop-up events. Think luxe, over-scale chairs. High-back, upholstered, vintage clubs.

Even a pair of Eames lounges and ottomans can give you more lounging opportunities than a generous four-seater sofa.

You can get almost anything custom made
Sofas, furniture, lights, art, you name it, you can have it custom made. You will be surprised that the end result will be on par with a large retailers’ offerings, both in terms of pricing and lead-times, but the end product will be perhaps more meaningful, and bang on brief.

Many furniture suppliers also offer a custom service. All you have to do is ask. BUT: you need to be 100% across the design process and understand what the specifications mean.

Double check that your item will fit through the doors (and in an apartment block, the lift too).

Open-plan spaces can be overrated
Every renovating show seems to pull out all the walls and voila a miracle occurs! In reality, you need to think carefully before you get out the sledgehammer.

Open-plan is completely fabulous for relaxing on Sunday arvos and entertaining but they can be busy and noisy, and it’s impossible to hide the mess. Open-plan is at its best when they incorporate secondary spaces – snugs, nooks – that remain quite separate.

Colours look different in different contexts
Remember the blue vs white dress saga? Classic case of colour metamerism. Colour metamerism is a phenomenon that occurs when colours change when viewed in different light sources.


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