Whether you're planning a large refurbishment or just contemplating a few design tweaks, you are likely turn to social media or interior magazines for inspiration. Though both can certainly be helpful, it is also true that what looks good on a page or screen won't necessarily work in your own home. So how do you avoid making a costly mistake?
If you are struggling with ideas, you could begin by looking in your wardrobe. This will give a great indication of what you would be comfortable with in your own home. For example, are there lots of different textures and patterns or do you prefer plainer fabrics? If your favourite dress is a deep coloured velvet, then a velvet sofa is likely to be a success. If you have lots of crisp cotton, then that velvet sofa might not be such a good idea.
Equally, you should think twice about including colours in your scheme that don't feature in your wardrobe. If you're not drawn to them in a clothes shop, you probably shouldn't be splashing them on your walls either.
Make a note of the colours that feature most and work your way through decoration and floor coverings then move on to window dressings and larger furniture items such as sofas. These are the big ticket pieces that can be costly to get wrong, so spend your time on them.
You can experiment more with design accessories not just because they're less expensive if you get it wrong, but also because they're easier to move around until you find the perfect spot for them. You can add to them over the years or change them.
As with your wardrobe, when you find an interior style that works for you it will make you feel more comfortable, confident and relaxed. It should also help you to save money in the long term as you'll make fewer mistakes.
And there's one final tip to take from your wardrobe: if you like to shake things up seasonally, moving from cottons and linens to wool and cashmere, there is no reason you can’t do the same with your soft furnishings, swapping a cotton throw for a cosy blanket, say, or replacing pale linen cushion covers with rich brocade ones for winter.