Interior design ideas to live by
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Interior design ideas
Visualising your ideal home interior is one thing. Transforming a blank canvas or out-of-date decor into the showstopping style you desire is another.
Unless you have experience or qualifications in interior design, you’d be forgiven for finding the task of designing your home interior very overwhelming.
We’re here to fix your interior design paralysis. We’ve broken the process down into step-by-step guidance to help you create the building blocks for your ideal home.
House interior design in five easy steps
Part of the challenge when designing your house interior is knowing where to start. There are so many beautiful interiors out there, how on earth do you choose?
The good news is that there are generally no right or wrong choices with interior design. Sure, there are some rules to guide you, but your home interior should be a reflection of the needs and likes of you and your family.
Starting with a list of pointers used by the experts, we’ll then showcase a range of house interior design ideas to get your creative juices flowing, room-by-room, helping you to create a home that meets both style and function. So sit back and prepare to be inspired!
Don’t forget, before starting work, plan your budget to help keep your spending on track. And if you need tradespeople to help with your interior design, use our request a quote form to get multiple quotes straight to your inbox.
Step one – form and function
The first stage of planning your home interior is finding the balance between how you want your home to look and feel and what you need it to provide for you and your family.
So, as well as thinking about how different home interior designs make you feel and which styles you’re drawn to, consider how you use the rooms in your home and what’s important to you.
For example, if you enjoy hosting friends and family, it makes sense to design spaces that will easily accommodate visitors.
Take the time to consider the history of your home and how this might impact your style choices. Edwardian house interior design ideas, with their large windows and wide hallways, will differ from those for a new build property, for example.
One of the final points to bear in mind is flow. Unless you’re designing a studio apartment, you’ll create a more cohesive feel in your home if you think about the flow from room to room when making your design choices.
Step two – room layout
With step one complete, you’ll then need to plan your room layout. Let’s take the dining room as an example.
So many of us are guilty of using a dining room for other reasons that it begins to lose its identity. Hands up if you have piles of paperwork on the dining room table, a ‘home office’ desk in the corner with inadequate storage, and one ceiling light to illuminate the whole room regardless of how it’s being used.
First of all, consider the function of the room to give it a clear purpose. It’s entirely possible to use one room for more than one purpose, but aim to ‘zone’ the room into different areas when planning the layout.
Make the dining table the focal point. Lay a rug underneath and arrange a vase of flowers or an oversized bowl of fruit on the table to stage the area. Hang a pendant light above the table to create a warm ambience for dining and socialising.
Lastly, ensure there’s enough space to comfortably move around the room – ’empty’ space is key to help increase the feeling of spaciousness.
Step three – colour scheme
Now it’s time to add your personality to the space. With lots of inspiration out there, it can be hard to know how to narrow down your choices. Our top advice? Start with a mood board. You can either do this the old-fashioned way, cutting out images from magazines, or use an app such as Pinterest.
Colour-drenching, neutrals, or feature walls; your mood board will help to steer you in the right direction. By putting together the images you’re drawn to, you’ll begin to gather a clearer picture of the styles, features, and colours that you like. So when it comes to selecting flooring, window dressings, soft furnishings, and accessories, your design choices will be much easier.
Having said that, when it comes to your colour palette, there are a few pointers that will help to guide you, based on the size of the room, the amount of natural light it receives, and the mood you wish to create. Read our guide how to choose the perfect paint colour for any room for more help.
Step four – lighting
Do not underestimate the importance of good lighting when planning your house interior ideas.
Many experts agree that it’s best to have between five and seven different lighting sources in each room. Why? Because as well as looking good, the primary purpose of your lighting is to illuminate specific areas.
So for overall lighting (general lighting), consider recessed ceiling spotlights. For task lighting, you might opt for a desk lamp or a reading lamp by an armchair. Spot lighting can be used to illuminate items in a cabinet or a piece of wall art, whereas atmospheric lighting could be a dimmable lamp or some string lights.
The right combination of these varieties of lights in a room will help to create a warm, homely (and functional!) space. Always use a qualified electrician for your lighting installations.
Step five – Finishing touches
Your home should be somewhere you feel comfortable and serve as an accurate reflection of those who live within it. The finishing touches you select will help to achieve this.
Taking inspiration from your mood board, opt for accessories, decorative touches, soft furnishings, and artwork that align with the concepts you were drawn to, helping to add all-important accent colours. With any luck, you’ll have some personal treasures and momentoes that’ll fit right in too.
And last but not least, remember to include mirrors and plants within your interior design ideas. Hanging a mirror is not only a practical addition, but it opens up the room, creating the illusion of more space. Plants can bring energy and life to your design scheme alongside health benefits and a pop of colour too.
Fancy some help pulling your interior design ideas together?
Our leading directory boasts an array of creative professionals. Simply add your postcode to the box below to see the interior designers who come highly rated in your area.
Bedroom interior design ideas
By no means have we completed the theory of interior design in this short post, but hopefully you now have a few tricks and tips to help guide you with your interior style. Now for some room inspiration to help bring your ideas to life! We start with bedrooms…
The master bedroom
Using a neutral colour palette of white and grey creates an ultra-calming, timeless bedroom. Incorporating wooden accents brings warmth to the look, while pops of greenery help to energise the space. The sumptuous cushions, throws, and rug offers luxurious textures, while the artwork adds personality.
The guest bedroom
In a room that only has occasional use, we think it’s the ideal space to be bolder with your interior design ideas. Whether you’re drawn towards Scandi-style rooms, vintage looks, charming cottage-style bedrooms, or something more contemporary, don’t hold back on your creativity in the spare room.
Patterns are big for 2024, so take inspiration from this homeowner, decorating with different patterns across the soft furnishings but maintaining a cohesive colour scheme.
Whether your ‘box room‘ is used as an additional bedroom or a home office space, there’s no reason to skimp on the design details. Stuck for ideas? You’ll love our post on designing compact bedrooms. Three key things to remember about designing for smaller spaces? Colour scheme, lighting, and storage.
Nursery, toddler room, child’s bedroom, or teenage den, we have plenty of inspiration to help design the perfect space for the younger members of the family. Theme it, colour-drench it, wrap it with decorative lights … tap into the creativity of your children to design something unique to their taste and needs. Our advice? Invest in good quality furniture that’ll last, have fun with upcycled items, such as painted storage crates, and be playful with paint techniques and decorative accents.
Living room interior design ideas
A mood board is invaluable when planning your living room interior design ideas to help create a clear vision of how you’d like the space to look and feel. If you’re keen to be ‘on-trend’ with your design choices, you’ll not go far wrong with a blue colour scheme in your living room for 2024, sustainable attributes, wall panelling, and a touch of ‘minimaluxe‘.
Neutral living rooms
This inviting living room is perfectly balanced with muted pastel tones, luxe soft furnishings, and a spattering of sustainable, hygge elements. Who wouldn’t want to cosy up in this lounge?
Blue living rooms
‘Blue Nova’ is Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year for 2024, so we expect to see more of this calming, harmonious colour in UK homes. Pastel blue, navy blue, or neighbouring teal, if you’re not sure where to start with this soothing shade, take a look at our blog post on decorating with blue for inspiration.
Designing your dining area
It’s more common nowadays to have an open-plan living room/dining area rather than a separate dining room. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not still important to consider the interior design ideas for your dining room to set the right mood for this sociable space.
Check out our post on decorating a dining space, which offers expert guidance for selecting the best dining table, optimal lighting, suitable colour scheme, and decorative features.
Related content: If you’re fortunate to have the additional living space offered by a conservatory or orangery, you’ll find plenty of conservatory design inspiration here.
Interior design ideas for a hallway
As well as creating the right first impression for guests, your hallway is the space that welcomes you home each day, so give it some love. Selecting the right flooring and storage and making clever decorative choices will transform a dull, dim hallway into an enticing entranceway. And adding some smart home tech will make it cosy, inviting, and secure.
Create a homely hallway
Clever storage baskets under the console table help to keep this entrance hallway clutter-free, while the mirror enlarges the space and the terracotta-toned rug adds both warmth and texture to this muted scheme.
Elevate your stairs and landing design
The stairs and landing are so often ignored when it comes to house interior ideas, but it needn’t be that way. Let more light in with a glass stairway, go for a monochrome look with black spindles, or add decorative detail on your stair risers for the wow factor. Check out our guide to decorating your stairs and hallway for more design inspo.
Interior design ideas for kitchens
If you’re looking for some help designing your dream kitchen, you’re in luck. We have a complete guide to kitchen renovation including planning and layout, design choices, and selecting the all-important finishing touches.
The rustic kitchen
One of the key concepts in the future of interior design is sustainability. A rustic-style kitchen looks good and can be sustainable too.
Antique fairs and local thrift stores can be treasure troves for finding well-loved wooden tables and chairs, wall storage units, and reclaimed worktops. You might even pick up an original Butler’s sink if you’re lucky. Blend the old with the new to create your own unique style.
A useful utility
A utility room is often the true workhorse of the kitchen, housing appliances to keep the kitchen more streamlined and less noisy. Make yours a utility space to be proud of with these 25 practical utility room design ideas.
A stylish boot room area
Interior design ideas for boot rooms have grown in popularity as UK homeowners wrangle with finding practical storage solutions for muddy boots and coats. The good news is that you don’t need a dedicated room to create this enviable space. Our post on boot room design walks you through the core components of a boot room including flooring, wall coverings (hello panelling!), storage, and furniture regardless of your available space.
Home interior design ideas for bathrooms
Spa bathrooms and luxurious finishes are all the rage, but that’s not to say traditional bathrooms aren’t still popular. The key thing to bear in mind is that the bathroom is one of the few places in your home where you’re nearly always guaranteed peace and quiet, so design a space that helps you to feel calm and relaxed.
The master bathroom
Our guide to bathroom renovation planning will help to guide your design choices, looking at trends, colour schemes, sanitaryware, floor and wall materials, mirrors, and lighting. If in doubt when planning interior design ideas for your bathroom, remember tiles will always be a timeless addition.
Interior design ideas for an ensuite bathroom
In an ensuite bathroom, why not plan in some luxe features to create true indulgence in your private sanctuary? We’re talking freestanding baths, sleek fixtures and fittings, and underfloor heating to create a cool, contemporary finish.
Decor ideas for the downstairs toilet
You can afford to be playful with your WC design ideas. A cloakroom is typically a small space, so the budget will normally stretch a bit further, should you wish.
Garden room interior design ideas
It’s no surprise that garden room interior design ideas are also on the up, given the rise in the number of people now working from home.
Creating an additional room within your garden is a genius way of managing the demands of a busy household. Whether it’s for a home office, hobby room, or hang-out space, a stylish garden room is a surefire way of adding value to your property.
The garden room office
The shortest commute in modern history, your own private space to increase productivity, and a view of the outdoors … what’s not to love about a garden room office? Read our post on garden office planning to learn the top ten reasons to invest in this project, all the key design decisions, and what you need to know about planning permission and building regs.
Related content: Not too enamoured with the current view? Get some help zhuzhing up your outdoor space with our ultimate garden redesign planning guide.
Plan in a garage conversion
If a garden room isn’t possible and you’re sitting in a cramped corner working from home, perhaps your garage could offer you the space you need. Anything but a dumping ground, this stylish garage conversion is uber-professional, organised, and sleek.
Get help from the experts to bring your interior design ideas together
An experienced interior designer will listen to your needs and take the time to understand your style preference before creating detailed plans to transform your home. To find a quality designer to help with your house interior, look no further than our leading directory. Simply add your postcode to the box below to get started.