The House

Tricia Guild

A guide to interior design basics

Award winning British designer and founder of renowned international home and lifestyle brand, Designers Guild, Tricia Guild OBE is known for her bold and original fabric and wallpaper collections. We asked Tricia to share her best tips for creating a home you’ll love. Keep reading to learn from a pro.

Tip 1

Tune into your sense of colour


A question I am often asked is how to use colour in one’s home, but this is a completely subjective and personal question. I believe we all have a colour sense and that it is just a case of tuning into it. I would suggest spending the time discovering what emotional reactions certain colours evoke – do they make you feel restful, invigorated, happy or sad? Colour is emotive and it is important to understand how these emotions are triggered when considering introducing colour into your home.

Tip 2

Research and take inspiration



As well as being aware of your own colour sense, you can also discover more about your own style through research- it is about looking at the world around you and taking inspiration - whether that is an art gallery, exhibition, a novel, play or magazines – all help to discover the things that you are drawn to and to develop your own sense of style.

Tip 3

Don't overwhelm a space


When using lots of print and pattern with fabrics and wallpaper I would suggest keeping floors and ceilings neutral or white to prevent a space from becoming overwhelmed.

Tip 4

Try before you buy


If you are nervous of committing to papering a room, but are drawn to a design, then try a wallpaper sample on the wall and see how you feel living with it.

Tip 5

Acessorizing is key



Accessories are a wonderful way of bringing an instant update to a space, I would suggest adding in a cushion or two for an immediate change.

Tip 6

Keep it fresh


It is unrealistic to change your interiors every season, but you can evolve the space with ease – for example by moving a favourite chair or piece of art to a new place – not only will the room seem different you will notice the individual pieces and see them afresh.

Tip 7

Add a rug


Rugs are a fabulous accessory as they instantly add character and can really ‘ground’ a room. I like to use them in different ways – sometimes layering them one over the other so that you can see elements of the different designs or overlapping them to create a different shape.

Tip 8

Contrast textures


Texture, as well as colour and pattern is key when designing a space and choosing in fabrics. Just think of the difference between a shimmering velvet, lustrous silk and the flat, matt texture of wool. Combining and contrasting different textures together can give a really unique edge - as well as highlight the interesting and inherent qualities of the different textiles – upholstery is a great place to start, and by combining different fabrics you also create your own individual piece.

Tip 9

Never fear colour



There is a belief that you may become tired of colour in your own home, but I think that if you love a colour than why not use it – opting for a blander scheme for fear of using colour will only result in a boring interior that will bring you no joy. We are always making decisions based on colour, even though we might not be aware of it – think about what colour your toothbrush, coffee cup or car is…

Tip 10

There are no rules



There are no set rules that you have to follow when designing a space. Some say that if you have smaller room you have to keep it neutral and plain, but I think that if you use a large-scale wallpaper on one wall this can in fact create a trompe l’oeil, drawing the eye and actually extending the space. I would prefer to have a small room with character and personality than an uninteresting, plain canvas.