Decorating mistakes interior designers see most

a kitchen with a table in a room: Top interior designers share the decorating mistakes they see most and how to overcome them to create your dream home decor

© 2LG
Top interior designers share the decorating mistakes they see most and how to overcome them to create your dream home decor

Have a vision for your home that never quite pans out? Creative duo Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, aka 2LG, believe our personality traits can sometimes stand

in the way of the great interior design that makes a dream home – and they’re here to help…

Could it truly be that our homes would look better if we just started thinking differently?That’s what interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, aka 2LG, believe, claiming it’s our character traits that are standing between us and our dream homes.

The duo, based in south-east London, specialise in consultancy and interior design, and they say that time and again their clients share the same ‘blockers’, which means they find it hard to define a clear aesthetic or are too shy to create the dream home they really want.

a close up of a sign: Making Living Lovely: Free Your Home with Creative Design (Hardback)

© Waterstones
Making Living Lovely: Free Your Home with Creative Design (Hardback)


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The duo’s new book, Making Living Lovely (Thames & Hudson), helps you (and those with whom you may share your space) to understand your needs and create a home that meets them. It also helps you to determine how and when you’re sabotaging your interior design vision.

Here, Jordan and Russell share the most common problems they’ve encountered when designing dream homes and how to overcome them.

Dream home distraction: You’re a micro shopper

A magpie who is distracted by pretty or sparkly things, always on the hunt for a bargain, the next quick fix or the hottest home trend. Marble coffee tables, anything blush pink, succulents – whatever will be next, you want in. You’re easily distracted by new colours, shapes and things and you buy without thinking where your item will go. Made an impulse purchase that still hasn’t found a place in your home? This is you.

Dream home solution: Buy less and buy better

The accessories in your home, or the ‘things’ of life as we like to call them, are important, but they can be so much more than random objects when bought mindfully. Making the right things part of your life will help you to create a better living environment.

Think about the weight of things. This may sound odd or stupidly simple, but it really can help you to be mindful of those impulse purchases. Ask yourself, ‘Do I want this to come on the journey with me in my life?’ Is it important to you? Are you emotionally connected? Does it simply lift your spirits?’

Try to assess that impulse buy and imagine a home for it before you purchase. This will give each piece a meaning and filter out the things that have weighed you down in the past. Before you purchase anything new, for example, spend time with the things you currently have.

Go through a cupboard, thinking about what’s stood the test of time and what’s fallen out of favour. Set yourself a goal of curating a shelf or mantel with things you love. Some may already be on display, others may have been rediscovered in a drawer. You may find that unexpected things give you joy right now, and if there is space on that shelf to invigorate the most beloved things, then perhaps the purchase is a winner. This process will help you become a more mindful shopper, so you’ll buy less and buy better.

Dream home distraction: You’re home shy

Do you have things you hide away when people visit? You know, those random knick-knacks that only you will understand, a favourite blanket that’s a bit raggedy. Do you have stacks of paintings, photos or prints just waiting to be framed or hung, but you can’t decide where to put them? Are all your walls white or cream for fear of offending anyone with your favourite colour? Still living with a broken sofa as you haven’t seen ‘the one’ yet? Sounds like you are ‘home shy’.

Dream home solution: Focus on one space

If you have that secret stash of vintage Smash Hits mags or a collection of illustrative nudes (blush) that you are hiding away, you need to live in the now and use it or lose it. Get those stunners out and start making them part of your everyday life. Frame that print (there are plenty of affordable online frame options), curate that beloved collection and start using the precious pieces.

Invest some time in yourself by assessing why you are hiding that side of your personality. Is it simply that you’ve not had time to get organised? Or are you afraid to commit to your own passions? Perhaps you have been aiming for a particular style and certain aspects of design that you are drawn to don’t fit with that version of your style. Re-read those sentences, and if any ring true, you must remember that no one is judging you, only yourself.

Your opinion is the one that matters. Make a start on breaking your home shyness by focusing on one space. Use it to thoroughly express a different side of yourself. Embrace that freedom for one space. Think of it like putting on your wildest outfit for a party with your best friends. Let that space be a testing ground for your wilder side, paint it that shade you’ve been lusting after and show off a side that many don’t see. You may find you rather like it.

Dream home distraction: You’re an inspiration hoarder

It used to be scrapbooks and magazine tear-outs but in recent years, inspiration hoarding has moved online with Pinterest and Instagram: pins, likes and shares, and saved images galore. Do you have a back catalogue of images somewhere that are all super-inspiring, but they never make it into your real life? Struggling to see what it is you love about an image? Is it a feeling? Is it the exposed brick or the floors? You are overflowing with so much inspiration, you may scream a little bit. If this sounds like you, then we can help!

Dream home solution: Stop and think

Take time with the inspiration you see and learn to read the image for the details that will help you in your own space. This stops you from becoming overwhelmed by perfection and allows you to take control over small changes that you may be able to implement: a paint choice, a beautiful light, a tile, fabric or pattern that makes you feel good.

Breaking down the images you love will help you to stop hoarding inspirations and start using them in your own space in simple ways. You may realise that you only love the image because you were drawn to the exposed brick wall or it may be that the lighting is what’s grabbing your attention or the colour of the curtains.

Break down those elements and start to hone your eye so you can best apply the elements that work for the home you have. Collecting useful elements from what you see will help you to turn the inspiration into reality, and stop it from overwhelming your thought processes and decision making.

It is a great idea to write down the feelings the image is giving you and then think about why.Are you drawn to that calming pink bathroom because your own bathroom is anything but calming? It may not always be possible to change your bathroom, but you may be able to take that inspiration off the page and into your life by introducing some calming elements. Break it down, to break the cycle of hoarding images.

This feature is taken from the September issue of Red.

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