5 lessons i’ve learnt about interior design…

17th January 2023
If decorating and interior design are on your ‘to do’ list this year, here are the 5 lessons I've learnt about interior design...
Having spent the past few years obsessing over interiors (and recently redesigned Ali’s dressing room all by myself *flicks hair!*) I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from the girl who once-upon-a-time painted every. single. surface. of her first home white…
So thought I’d jot down what I’ve learnt along the way.
With that in mind, if decorating and interior design are on your ‘to do’ list this year, here’s what I wish I’d known at the start…
1. Nature’s colour palette never gets old

The seasons’ colour palette will never get old. With that in mind, whilst I can’t speak for everyone I know, I have a feeling that if I were to go off piste and move away from natural tones, I’d very quickly get bored and want to repaint. In my opinion, you can still have fun (and create a big impact) with earthy, organic shades. Want to make a statement? Think pine greens, autumn maples and burnt terracottas. Want a sense of calm? Think oatmeals, earthy mushroom and shades of seagrass or sage…

2. Don’t just pick the first white you see!

As I just mentioned, I painted every wall in my first home pure white. I thought it’d look crisp and clean – you can’t go wrong, right?! Oh how naive twenties Lydia was! Though I will always look back on my first home with the fondest memories, 34-year-old Lydia now knows that there’s a whole world of whites out there… and they can make a huge difference to the overall feel of your home. For me, warmer, traditional whites (as opposed to contemporary, cool whites) will always work best if you’re looking to create a cosy, inviting space. Farrow & Ball’s guide to understanding your perfect shade of white is a good place to start. 

3. Lighting REALLY matters

This is the one that often gets overlooked but it’s the one that can make or break a room if you ask me… Especially when it comes to light bulbs! Though there’s definitely such a thing as too warm a white (no-one wants to feel like they’re in a sauna when they pop round for tea!), I’d always opt for warmer bulbs over cool, white light… the latter of which just makes me think I’m off to the dentist!  Also, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that lighting = ceiling lights only. Play around with wall lights, floor lamps, desk lamps etc… and invest in dimmer switches if you can! They make the world of difference in the evenings when you want to wind down. You can thank me later on that one!

4. Shop pre-loved and antique furniture

Not only does sourcing antiques come hand-in-hand with a sense of satisfaction but more often than not, it adds instant warmth to a home. Not to mention, if you like the ‘weathered furniture’ look you don’t have to be precious around it. Plus, you typically pay less for it too! (Have I convinced you yet!?) Personally, I’d always seek out antique shops over dealers because so much of the joy comes from discovering treasures for yourself! The Cotswolds is heaving with beautiful antiques stores. Sites like vinterior, Facebook Marketplace and eBay are great too.

and finally…
5. You can never have too many cushions

I’m tempted to leave it there. #micdrop and all that! But I’m very passionate about this one – cushions are the easiest way to update your home when you’re looking to mix things up! My approach? Let the seasons guide you when it comes to colours and fabrics. In spring and summer, think light linens and fresh greens. Come autumn/winter, have fun with herringbone wools, opulent velvets and tweeds.


Interested in my favourite home & interior design accounts to follow?
Take a look here.

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