8 Lesser Known Interior Design Tricks


Tired of the same old advice when it comes to sprucing up your living space? In today’s post, we have compiled a list of lesser known design tricks that are frequently used by the pros to great effect. We hope these industry secrets will give you some fresh inspiration for your own home!

Unusual Interior Design

Rio Range from SofaSofa

1. Get Rid of Your Coffee Table

Who says your coffee table has to actually be a coffee table? For a more eclectic look, try one of these alternatives:

  • Use an old vintage tea chest tilted on its side so it can also be used for storage. You can even create some simple shelves inside for remote controls, TV snacks and other supplies.
  • Replace the traditional coffee table with a large ottoman or storage stool. Perfect for storing magazines, remote controls and the general bric a brac that seems to accumulate in every living room, storage stools are a very practical alternative. Consider a contrasting colour or texture or even a leather fabric combination.
  • Stack two or three vintage suit cases on top of each other for a whimsical, well-travelled look. It’s all about looking at existing objects with a new perspective!

Cambridge Leather Storage Stool

Cambridge Leather Storage Stool from SofaSofa

2. Pick Your Paint Colour Last

Sure, it might be kind of a hassle, and it is way easier to give your house a fresh coat of paint before moving your things in, but how will you know which colour looks good with your things unless you have everything in the room already?

By arranging your furniture first and picking a paint colour last, you can ensure that the colour you choose will be the best match for your furniture and accessories.

3. Breathe!

It may sound a little esoteric, but when picking paint colours, remember to breathe at the same time! Many people feel an intense amount of stress when it comes to choosing a paint colour - they feel as though they are proposing marriage to the paint. Remember, it’s only paint, not a lifelong partner!


If you do decide you don’t like the colour you end up choosing, take a leaf out of Kate Middleton’s book and just paint over it. The Duchess was said to have had a change of heart during the middle of her Kensington Palace remodel. She originally had several rooms painted in shades of lilac, but after returning from giving birth, decided she hated it and had the rooms repainted!

4. Examine Paint Under Different Lighting Conditions

Of course, nobody really wants to repaint a wall immediately after they’ve just painted it, so you should at least maximise your chances of getting it right the first time around.

When picking a paint colour, make sure you buy several sample pots and paint extra LARGE sample swatches (at least 1 meter by 1 meter). Then examine the paint under different lighting conditions, including natural day light, halogen and fluorescent lighting. Colours can look drastically different under different lighting conditions, so pick the colour you like best under the lighting you will be using the most.

Bonus tip: if you have young children, consider testing the paints with crayons and pencils to see how easily marks can be wiped off!

5. Hang Pictures Without Leaving a Mark

Have you ever tried to hang a picture frame and ended up with 10 extra holes in your wall because you just couldn’t get it right the first, second, or even third time around?

Hanging Pictures

If you aren’t keen on having your wall look like it just had a bad case of chicken pox, try using 3M Command Picture Hanging Velcro Strips. These little strips go on your wall and you can adjust the picture to the perfect position without using a single nail! The strips can be easily removed without residue if you decide to take down the frame at a later time.

6. Less is More

Leave some breathing room for your furniture. Resist the temptation to fill the room to the brim with ornaments, pictures and other furnishings.

Have you ever wondered why a luxurious hotel room feels the way it feels? The plush atmosphere usually owes a lot to the fact that there are usually very few items in the room. Furthermore, the pieces in that room are usually chosen very carefully and nothing is superfluous. So focus on purchasing fewer, high quality pieces of furniture that are capable of being a focal point without a lot of clutter around to support them.

7. Stop Placing Your Furniture Against the Wall

Resist the urge to always place furniture items against your walls. People often think placing the sofa against the wall will make the room look bigger, but on the contrary, it could make your room look like a dance floor.

Don't Place Sofas Against Wall

Balmoral Range from SofaSofa

Think about the flow of the room and its purpose. To help you visualise what a new sofa or large furniture item will be like in the room, you can use some large empty boxes and position them in various places to see what works best. More often than not, you’ll find placing furniture away from the wall will create a more inviting atmosphere.

8. Tricks with Mirrors

A well placed mirror can add more light and sparkle to any room, with the additional benefit of making the room look bigger. You may also have noticed that people are vain and like catching a glimpse of themselves in the mirror! Have you ever wondered why there are often mirrors placed inside elevators or lobbies? Supposedly people perceive shorter wait times and less boredom when they can admire their own reflection!

If you do decide to decorate with mirrors, you want to make sure you position each mirror in a suitable location. Try to avoid placing a mirror directly across from a window, which will just reflect the light back outside.

We hope these tips and tricks are useful in helping you put together your perfect living space. If you have a favourite design trick of your own, please share it with us on Twitter! Happy decorating!

Posted in Uncategorized on 3rd Oct 2014


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