Interiors expert reveals the top 3 design 'icks' – and how to avoid them

biggest interior design 'icks', according to the experts
Top 3 interior design 'icks'House Beautiful/Homebase

We're all aware of dating 'icks', the things that put us off potential romantic partners, making us immediately see them in a less flattering light. However, have you considered the interior decorating 'icks' that are a design faux pas in the eyes of interiors experts?

We spoke to Simon Ribchester, head of design at Beams, a digital platform for simpler, green home renovations, who talks us through his top three home design 'icks', and importantly, how to avoid them.

1. Too many design elements

'It's easy to get over-excited when designing a space, which results in an overload on the eye. The room can feel overwhelming and creates an overly busy, loud space.'

The solution: Embrace some negative space in your decorating scheme and ignore the urge to fill every surface and corner. Less is more, and leaving some extra room around carefully selected colours, patterns, textures, and objects will enhance their visual effect. 'I love playing with subtle textures, for example, corrugated tiles add some interest, but keep the palette simple,' says Simon.

bright dining room
Create balance and avoid clutter by introducing negative space in your decorating schemeHouse Beautiful/Carolyn Barber

2. Bad lighting

'Lighting is a crucial element of design. It has the power (pun intended) to make the room feel cosy, warm and inviting – or quite uncomfortable! The most common lighting mistakes include bright light and too many switches.'

The solution: Breaking lighting down into three categories is incredibly useful. Ambient lighting to light an entire room, task lighting for areas where we need extra visibility (e.g. cooking or reading zones) and accent lighting to highlight areas or features deserving of extra attention (such as artwork). 'Try to achieve three layers of lighting for the perfect glow,' Simon says, who suggests putting incidental lamps on their own circuit so they can be operated from one switch.

blue wallpaper and statement floor lamp
Use layers of lighting to achieve the perfect glowHouse Beautiful/Carolyn Barber

3. Not enough bathroom storage

'It's all too easy to underestimate storage in a bathroom design to achieve a more minimal look and feel. However the reality for most people is that you end up with lots of clutter on the sides which can become distracting and unsightly on the eye.'

The solution: Integrating storage solutions into your bathroom design is an ideal way to create extra space to keep things organised and out of sight. But if you're beyond the designing stage, additional shower caddies, cabinets and shelving will help. Simon suggests 'utilising the height of a room to maximise storage solutions for bulkier items, such as large towels and cleaning products'.

house beautiful elements mirrored wall bathroom cabinet

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