It might seem that interior design trends come and go faster than you can say “what colour velvet sofa do I want?” But there are some solid tips and tricks that you can always rely on for elegant, timeless, style in your home…

Mix old and new

A great trick employed by interior designers is to incorporate old items, including antiques and inherited pieces, with newer furniture. The best way to approach this is to tailor your new purchases to the older items that you already have. Go for natural woods and simple designs in new furniture to compliment antiques without looking too mismatched.

Think about your bulbs

The lightbulb you choose makes a massive difference to the overall look of a light fixture. More than that, the type of lighting you have can alter the whole mood of a room. Do you want the room to be bright and bold, or snug and cosy? Lightbulbs themselves can be a great statement item – there are loads of interesting filament bulbs available and the prices have really come down since they first arrived on the market. A great filament bulb can even work in a bare fitting, with no need for a lampshade.

Clashing can be great

Carefully curated items that technically ‘clash’ can be a great style choice and help to give a room more personality. This works best in moderation. If your seating clashes, for example, go for a cohesive colour scheme for your walls and floors.

Keep it personal

Make your home really feel like your own by making personal items the central focal point of a room. Interesting interior design doesn’t mean turning your back on your own personality and going along with fads and trends. Put your favourite ornaments and mementos on display, or perhaps create a dedicated area for certain memories, like a shelf for holiday souvenirs or an area for wedding photographs.

Keep the kitchen classic

It’s said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. The kitchen is likely to be the room where your interior design choices feel more permanent. Installing a breakfast bar, shelling out for new cabinets and worktops, these are major decisions. As a general rule, keeping the kitchen simple and classic is always a good choice. For kitchens, go for something that will never go out of style.

Make it look lived in

Good interior design is forward thinking. Consider your lifestyle when making decisions about how to style your home. Got four dogs? Maybe not a white rug, then. Small children? Is a cream velvet sofa the best plan? You should feel relaxed in your home, and making interior design choices that are practical and suited to you doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style.

Think about taps and sinks

A small detail but one that can make a big difference to the overall look of a kitchen or bathroom. Spending a little more on a stylish sink and taps can really elevate the room.

Buy less but buy well

Whether you’re moving into a new home and need a whole set of furniture, or you’re looking to update your home, don’t shop without a plan. A good way to break down the task is room by room. Think about how you want the room to look, and start with a few essential pieces (like the interior design equivalent of a capsule wardrobe). Then you can gradually build on this. Don’t try to force your home to look perfect overnight – part of the joy of interior design is seeing how your living spaces evolve.

Play around with seating

Changing up your room’s seating arrangement can be a great way to refresh the look of a room. You could even have different arrangements for different seasons, creating a more cosy feel in winter and a more airy and open feel for summer. Having one statement piece of furniture is also a great way to add a splash of colour.

Think about areas, not rooms

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a room should only be used for one thing. Some of the best interior design utilises space in creative and multi-purposed ways. You can easily add a study to the corner of a living room, or make a beautiful dining room in a kitchen. Think about dividing spaces with clever use of furniture. For example, in the picture above, the combination of a corner sofa and a large rug clearly section off a cosy lounge area in a much bigger reception room.