Blog Post

An Interior Designer's Top Tips: The Most Asked Questions, Answered.

  • Interior design
  • styling
  • tips
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Ed Hawes
grey sofas

Having spent nearly 15 years immersed in interior design, Swyft’s interior designer, Kelly Collins, addresses some of the most common questions she’s received. In doing so, Kelly shares invaluable tips and tricks that are guaranteed to transform your space – and make it feel like a professional interior designer has worked their magic in every corner.

What colours go with grey or neutral sofas?

When working with neutral sofas, you're presented with many styling possibilities. One aspect to keep in mind is to harmonize the sofa with complementary colour tones. For instance, if the sofa boasts a cool grey hue, opt for shades of blue, green, or black to maintain cohesion. Alternatively, if the sofa’s colour leans towards a warm tone like pumice with underlying hints of yellow, consider pairing it with warmer colours such as oranges, yellows, or reds to create a cohesive and inviting ambiance.

What colours go with green?

When styling, green offers versatility and ease, and can seamlessly be integrated into established rooms. The ambiance you aim for, and the shade of green you choose, play a crucial role in achieving your desired look. For a modern, crisp space, opt for a green with a hint of blue undertone like turquoise or sapphire. For a cosy atmosphere, lean towards warmer greens with yellow undertones; vine, conifer, or fern.

If you've embraced cooler greens, complement them with colours like blues, stone, or even a rich burgundy. When it comes to wood tones, stick to lighter or mid-tones to maintain balance; dark wood or black may create too harsh a contrast.

Warmer greens pair beautifully with colours like orange, mustard, red, and even purple. These hues harmonise effortlessly with mid to dark wood tones, fostering that desired cozy cocooning ambiance.

How do I make my room feel bigger?

Creating the illusion of space is a common goal, and here's a breakdown of proven techniques to achieve it:

  1. Declutter strategically: Ensure every item has its designated place, eliminating unnecessary clutter. Minimize open storage, as it can contribute to a cramped feel.
  2. Maximize floor visibility: Opt for furniture with legs rather than solid bases, allowing more floor space to be visible. Consider a glass coffee table and side tables on legs for an airy aesthetic.
  3. Direct focus upwards: Avoid a uniform eye level by incorporating tall floor lamps, large mirrors, and artwork strategically. Steer clear of busy gallery walls to maintain a sense of openness.
  4. Embrace natural light: Prioritize natural light by opting for minimal window coverings or lighter fabrics like linen or cotton. Integrate large mirrors to enhance light reflection and brightness in the room.
  5. Play with wall colours: While white and taupe are classic choices for small spaces, don't shy away from soft, muted tones like sage green, plaster pinks, or light blues. Consider painting ceilings in lighter hues to visually expand the space.

By implementing these techniques, you can transform any space, making it appear more expansive and inviting.

How do I create a cosy space?

Creating a cozy sanctuary at home is a growing desire, even during warmer seasons. Let's delve into some techniques to achieve this inviting ambiance:

  1. Embrace soft textures: Introduce soft furnishings such as plush throws and cushions to add tactile comfort. Drape a soft throw over the arm or back of your sofa and scatter cushions on inviting wingback chairs. Opt for warm-toned colours like soft beiges, oranges, reds, and greens, evoking a sense of warmth and comfort.
  2. Layer lighting: Lighting has a pivotal role to play when crafting a cosy atmosphere. Incorporate a variety of low-level lighting sources, including table lamps and candles, to create a soft, ambient glow. Dim the harsh overhead lights to enhance the inviting ambiance.
  3. Create intimate spaces: Arrange furniture in cozy clusters to encourage intimacy and conversation. Consider creating a reading nook with a comfortable armchair and a soft reading lamp, or a snug corner with floor cushions and a warm throw for lounging.
  4. Natural elements: Integrate natural elements such as wood, stone, and plants to bring warmth and texture to your space. Wooden furniture, stone accents, and lush greenery can contribute to a sense of groundedness and tranquility.
  5. Personal touches: Infuse your space with personal touches such as family photos, cherished artwork, or sentimental objects. These elements add character and warmth, making your home feel truly yours.

By incorporating these techniques and infusing your space with warmth, texture, and personal touches, you can create a cozy haven that welcomes you home with open arms, regardless of the season.

How do I know what style goes in my room? 

Answering this question can be difficult, as it hinges on various factors such as the age of the space and its existing features. My approach is always to align with the inherent character and ambiance of the house. Embracing the essence of the space often involves a blend of contemporary and vintage elements.

Begin by identifying features and items you admire within the space. Look for commonalities in style or era. Creating a list or mood board can provide clarity and serve as a compass for your design journey. Pinterest is an invaluable tool for gathering inspiration; by curating a board with your favourite images, they will start suggesting similar design ideas tailored to your tastes.

If technology isn't your forte, traditional methods like perusing interior magazines such as Elle Decor or Architectural Digest can be equally effective. Collect pages that resonate with you and assemble your physical mood boards to refine your style direction.

By immersing yourself in these exploration processes, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your design preferences. Armed with this insight, selecting new items for the room becomes a more intuitive and enjoyable process, ensuring a cohesive and personalised result that reflects your unique style sensibilities.

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