Design Myths and their Truths (Part 1)

Contrasting colours give the illusion of a smaller space Layering Mixing patterns, colours and fabrics can create fun and unique spaces! Modern and vintage in one. Perfect example of eclectism More than 3 colours are used in this space, and it works!

Here are some home truths about interior design, don’t believe everything you hear! I’ve narrowed the list down to what I think are the top 10 myths in interiors and have spread them out over two articles so keep your eye out for Part 2!

Bold colours make a room look smaller.

Although darker colours do absorb light therefore can make a space seem smaller, it is the contrast between two colours which really give this illusion. Meaning, white furniture and a red wall could indeed close a space up due to the contrast between the two colours. To open a space up use a low contrast colour scheme so the viewer’s eye can glide over the whole room as one beautiful whole space!

Everything must match!

So you’ve got yourself a blue sofa, so now all the decor like vases, pieces of art, even possibly the cutlery needs to have blue incorporated into it. Wrong! To make this easier I will bring up the subject of fashion. Just because you are wearing a green dress it does not mean your shoes, earrings and handbag need to be green! Using this technique makes the viewer feel that no style has been brought into the equation and it is a simple case of match, match, match! What happened to mix and match?! The truly talented stylist/designer would realise that certain colours go well together as a palette, therefore different colours can be used, the trick is to know which ones! With a royal blue sofa, I would include bright pink vases, lots of brass and a geometric black and white rug!

Don’t clutter!

Not necessarily true. There is a thing called organised clutter which looks fantastic! One thing I dislike immensely is empty shelving or which could potentially be even worse… half empty shelving. This is not pleasing to the eye, whilst a ‘lived-in’ look works much better. Try it for yourself. Have an empty shelf? What you need to do is ‘layer’. Grab a few books, an ornament, a couple of candles and a small oil painting and layer them on top of each other in a huddled presentation. (Please see image labelled ‘Layering’ above for inspiration).

Vintage design = not on trend design.

Funnily enough vintage has made a come-back and is here to stay. Being a small island very close to Italy, a lot of our inspiration comes from the Italians, who usually display very contemporary and modern designs. We should be more open about design in general (this is also true for fashion) and explore other countries for ideas. One of the most popular styles with designers today is ‘eclecticism’. This means a mix of both vintage and modern, so there’s something for everybody!

You should only use 3 colours in a room.

For colour, interior designers work on a colour scheme for a room. We have the colour wheel and we choose colours which go well together. First there is always the primary colour, which would be the main colour used, then there is the secondary colour, which as you can guess is the second colour most used, then there is the tertiary colour (you get the point!). The truth is this is just a guide as there always needs to be a dominant colour in the room, then a second dominant colour. The tertiary colour is usually used for accent decorating. All 3 colours can be used in different hues and tones so if you are going to use green for your sofa and for a vase, don’t try to match the colours, go for a different green. You can also use 5 colours in a room, remember it is not the amount of colours that you use, it is the way you use them. To create consistency in the room use the colours more than once so the space flows well.