101 interior design ideas

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Interior Design Ideas

Learn the basics of home decorating, including where to find ideas, design principles.
56. Try retro colours
Designer Mark Gillette makes careful use of colour and lighting in his flat, proving that even small spaces can handle a dark, dramatic palette of jewel like amber offset with black and white. Im not afraid of colour, but I like to keep it contained, he says. The well positioned light above the bed is useful for reading but also spotlights the white bedding, bringing light and space to the centre of the room. The clothes storage is also a clever design feature, both practical and beautiful.

32. Light filled living room
Designer Ann Boyds tiny London pied a terre is packed with useful ideas, including making use of natural light and mirrors to expand the space. Ann has forged a reputation for creating crisp, elegant, predominantly pale interiors even on a small scale. Its not in my nature to live with strident colours; I like serenity, she says. Most of the furniture, has been recycled from her old flat; putting favourite things into a new environment creates a fresh mood straight away. There is no point in change for the sake of it, says Ann. Moving is expensive. Sophie March, of The Order Restorers, was enlisted to help her with decluttering.

8. Table service
Dont think you have room for a dressing table? Try this idea from interior designer Jane Taylors London flat. Here, a mirror lined dressing table fits into the window reveal in the main bedroom. If youre extra short on space, the table can also double as a stylish desk.

55. Downsize
Simplify your life pass on anything you havent used in 18 months to a charity shop or put it on Freecycle. Clothes, shoes, crockery, the works. The owners of this house, decorated by David Bentheim, disposed of much of what they had collected over the years to downsize and start again. If they can do it, so can you. A neutral colour scheme keeps things streamlined, while the bench, artwork, books and flowers add a punctuation of colour.

98. Dressing it up
In a neutral decorating scheme, painting the hardware and features a contrasting colour is a subtle yet distinctive way to introduce some colour into a room.

71. Mezzanine bedroom
A mezzanine bedroom is the ideal solution for a small space, especially if you fit in a built in wardrobe behind the bed. But designer Maurizio Pellizzoni had to jump through several hoops to get planning permission for the staircase, which links the mezzanine bedroom to the sitting room. First the staircase had to be craned in, then the council had to close the street while giant glass panels for the bedroom were hoisted up into place. Maurizio refers to this project, done for his friend Andrew Daniell in Londons Shoreditch, as the James Bond flat, because of its technology and slick looks. Its a bachelor pad, but the striped blanket adds a soft splash of colour in an otherwise monochromatic scheme find a similar one from Welsh weavers Melin Tregwynt, ?95 at John Lewis.

24. Small wonder1
This tiny attic bathroom in the country cottage of designer Paolo Moschino makes maximum use of the space, without scrimping on style. In order to allow room for the sink and bath, they are cleverly fused together.

54. Tree mendous
This clever tree like shelf on which you can also hang coats and bags is perfect for itty bitty entryways and can also be used in the kitchen. Stack plates, bowls and mugs underneath and hang utensils like sieves from the pegs.

4. Behind the bookshelves
If you dont have space for all your glassware in the kitchen, listen in. Designed by owner and decorator Emma Burns of Colefax & Fowler this gem of a pantry is concealed behind a bookcase. Long shelves store her collection of crockery and picnic paraphernalia.

7. Hide and seek
This living room by Philippa Thorp is actually much smaller than it appears. Every drop of space has been utilised, and every trick in the book employed, to make the space feel bigger and lighter.
We needed to fit a three bedroom house into just 93 square metres without its seeming squeezed, says Philippa, so we had to make excellent use of space. It was also very dark. We basically gutted it and started again, to bring in as much light as possible, and increase the sense of space.
Every nook and cranny cleverly camouflages storage. Even the window seat and custom made table conceal touch catch drawers, and a false bookcase to the left of the fire incorporates a rise and fall mechanism that reveals the television. I went to a second hand bookshop and bought books to the exact measurements, then had to chop them up for their spines, says Philippa. I felt very guilty but the result looks genuine.

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