Interior Design For A Home You Can Actually Live In

When I’m designing for clients, I’m always wary of putting in place things that are very on trend or faddish, that are hard to change, such as tiles and tapware. We all see a lot of beautiful images on Instagram and Pinterest and in print magazines. We’re constantly bombarded with fabulous pictures every day and yes, these photos look stunning. I often have clients bringing me these photos, saying they want their house to look just like them.

I’m very happy to put that in place if that’s what you really, really want. However, we need to think in terms of longevity. Some of these items might not make you happy in a year or two.

Another thing we need to be wary of is styling rooms that are totally non-functional. Again, we see these rooms decorated in these stunning looking pictures all over social media, but when you really look hard, you can see that these are spaces that you could not happily function and live in. Insider tip, some of them are set up in a studio and are not really living spaces at all. Many are, but keep in mind that they are being highly styled for the photos.

You may be lusting after a picture of an amazing looking home office that looks so pretty, but it has absolutely no practical storage and is obviously not a working space. You might be drooling over a dreamy looking picture of a children’s room that includes swings in the bedroom. That might have the novelty factor for a couple of months but then what are you going to do?

Of course these photos look beautiful, and hey, it’s great to draw inspiration from them, but we need to find a happy medium of bringing in that stunning look and creating a space that’s beautiful but also functional. We need a space that is visually amazing and makes us feel happy too. However, we also need to be able to live in it and it needs to stand the test of time. Functional spaces don’t have to mean hitting snooze on the design front. Believe me I too spend a lot of my time (more than I should!) going down the Instagram rabbit hole of design. These pictures are fun, fabulous and brilliant inspiration but let’s bring it into real spaces and real homes that are going to inspire us for years to come.

We all want our homes to look current and as though they’re on trend but there are ways to do this without going all out and putting in place expensive pieces that we may, in a short period of time, live to regret. For our big ticket items, such as flooring, tapware, tiles, I like to advise my clients to keep it current but let’s try and keep it current with a classic twist so that it will stand the test of time and in a couple of years when something different is doing the rounds on Instagram you’re not going to hate it.

A great way to approach it is with the big ticket items, keep it classic and fairly neutral and bring in trends with things that are easy to change, things like cushions, throws, décor and affordable artwork. These can all be updated without too much money spent and too much fuss. You can still have your home looking like Instagram but just be sensible about it. And remember, longevity is the key for your big ticket items and your investment pieces, and bring in trends with your affordable décor.


Happy decorating!


Amanda x


Style Your Way


Tired of having design block when trying to pick colours, décor and furniture?

Ready to turn every space in your house into something functional AND beautiful?

Created for both aspiring amateurs and professional interior stylists alike, awarded Australian interior stylist Amanda Smythe’s new ebook is a perfect balance of the practical and the inspirational.


Love the space you live in