Editor's Pick

Ten top tips for affordable interior design

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

How to avoid common mistakes and make sure you upgrade your home in style

Interior design might sound like it’s reserved for the most wealthy, but what about the rest of us? Where do you go if you want to upgrade your living space, but don’t know where to start?

Suffolk-based interior design Portia Robbins has published her top tips on what homeowners should and shouldn’t do to boost the appeal of their homes.

The things you should do

Do always incorporate nature into a room: Whether it be plants, wood or even stone, elements of nature will always help to bring a space to life.

Do mix metals: Mixing metals is no longer a design taboo. Mix brass and nickel hardware or copper and chrome. The results can be stunning and timeless.

Do make it personal: Adding a sense of personality to your home needn’t mean a shrine of family photos. Frame your favourite vinyl record, display your book collection or have your granny crochet you a cushion cover.

Do stay cohesive: Keeping elements of your home consistent throughout can greatly improve the flow and transition between rooms. Pick up details or colours that you can incorporate from room to room.

Do take risks: If you are in a toss up between a safe option and a bold one, don’t be afraid to take a leap and go bold. Sometimes all we need is permission to be daring and the results are great.

Don’t make these design mistakes

Don’t get too matchy: Don’t buy all your furniture in a matching set, or strictly colour coordinate your pillows and throws. This can date a room very quickly. Variation elevates a room’s style-factor.

Don’t hang your pictures too high: Pictures should be hung at eye level, meaning the centre of the picture should be level with your line of vision.

Don’t crowd the room: It can be tempting to fill every bit of floor and wall space available with furniture and decor. But, strategic empty space can really enhance a room.

Don’t copy and paste: Just because a design looks successful in a room you see online, it doesn’t guarantee success in your own home. So many factors play into a good design. Natural lighting, ceiling height, even window placement. One size does not fit all when it comes to interior design.

Don’t overdo the trends: Trends are fleeting. Be inspired by them but don’t let a current trend dictate your entire room or home design.

Accessible design

Robbins is on a mission to give homeowners the knowledge and tools to create the space of their dreams, along with expert advice and support, without the hefty price tag.

She’s launched two online services to fill a gap in the market for those who want interior deisgn help at a lower price, including a masterclass on creating a home with wow factor, and a package providing everything from personal consultation to final design concept and post-design support.

She said: “Great interior design can transform lives, but the gatekeeping is old and tired. I want to break down the barriers by offering a service that’s personal and bespoke, but accessible, transparent, affordable and simple.”