Carmo sofa and Lugo coffee table


Ripple Vase
Group 157

When it comes to interior design there are no hard and fast rules that you must follow. Every space is unique, just as the functional requirements and owner’s personal style are too. What may be the perfect solution for one project might be completely inappropriate for another. That said, there are some common pitfalls that should generally be avoided in order to create a space that is liveable and harmonious. Here our design consultants share some advice to help you avoid common mistakes when designing your own home.

Design Outlook


People forget that their homes should be a representation of them...not a version of something they have seen on an aspirational tv show, or within the pages of an interiors magazine.

Yes, take elements you like from them, but don't allow yourself to be drowned in someone else's aesthetic.

Putting your own personal stamp on a room or a design is one of the most exciting parts of any home transformation.

Sometimes a piece of artwork or furniture will form the starting point for a room and create a central theme that ties everything together. As designers our job is to work with these elements, to find an aesthetic that suits them, or pieces to sit in juxtaposition to them in a way that creates a feature.

If you are a person that loves to be energized by a riot of colour, then do precisely that. If you are a person that loves to be enveloped with objects and textures, then you do precisely that. Our job is to identify how to bring out your personality and make sense of it, enhance it and make it magical.

Always remember "you do you...because nobody can do YOU better than you!"

- Dori Houston; Design Consultant, BoConcept Tillicoultry

Planning and Preparation


The best interior designs really engage with their setting, but to get this close relationship working just right the designer must become familiar with every detail. The materials and construction of the immediate architecture will affect what is possible within the space, so failing to check the composition of key elements is a recipe for disaster.

A great example of where this would be necessary would be when considering any kind of wall mounted unit. Whilst there are only a small number of wall types that cannot support this type of furnishing, the tools and preparation needed vary widely so it is critical to understand exactly what work is to be undertaken in advance.

Many furniture retailers or installers will happily include a home visit in advance of placing the order, to make sure that everything is accounted for and you can enjoy a hassle free installation of your furnishings.

- Tanzeem Ashraf; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh


Most interior design projects incorporate a number of pre-existing elements, from statement architectural details to treasured furniture or much loved possessions. When bringing in new pieces it is vital to consider the design as a whole, and make sure that new and old sit alongside one another harmoniously. It is all too easy to be blown away by a new design that you have seen in a showroom, and if you truly love it there is no harm in building your new design around it, but to create a well balanced space it's important to think about the big picture.

That doesn't mean everything should match, contrast is great! But it should be complimentary.

As designers there are different methods for creating the space. In some circumstances, when you're only adding 1 or 2 pieces, you kind of have to work from the outside in. Other times, you can make the piece you're buying the focal point. It really depends, but the takeaway here - always consider the whole concept and existing surroundings

- Tom MacDonald; Design Consultant, BoConcept Tillicoultry

Design Solutions


In larger spaces avoid placing all furniture along the walls. Bringing pieces into the centre will energise the space, improving the flow and creating a more dynamic design.

- Veronika Hajdu; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh

Sofas in particular, don’t need to be positioned against a wall. Sometimes this can make a room feel empty as there is so much space between items of furniture. Bringing them in slightly can zone the room and make it feel much more sociable.

- Sarah-Jayne MacNaughton; Design Consultant, BoConcept Glasgow


Often, it is a mistake to place dark furniture in small spaces. Dark decor instantly makes a space feel smaller and in small spaces it can look cramped.

That doesn't mean you can't have any pieces of dark furniture if that is your preference. Take in to consideration the lighting of the room and the location of the windows - I would put smaller darker pieces of furniture where there is most light coming in to the room and I would avoid it completely if there is no to minimum light in a space. This will allow a space to reach its full potential and create a harmonious look.

- Hannah Kelly; Design Consultant, BoConcept Tillicoultry

Rooms with dark walls or small windows almost always feel cramped. The dark colour absorbs light which leads to an even darker room. Consider painting the room a lighter colour and hang light curtains by the windows. To brighten up a space even more, you can also hang a mirror opposite the window so that it can reflect back natural light and create a more spacious feeling. In dark corners a statement floor lamps can really make a difference.

- Veronika Hajdu; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh


The lighting of a room completely transforms it and sets the mood for the whole space. Being left as an afterthought can ruin the design.

Layering the lighting makes for a much more relaxing and beautiful space. Think about the reading nook where you're going to need a floor lamp, wall lights above your seating or the areas where a soft decor lighting would brighten up the room.

This tailors each space to its purpose, and improves the overall composition.

- Rachel Scott; Senior Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh



There are no Rules

Remember, while the advice above applies to the majority of interior design projects there are plenty of examples that do the exact opposite and are a great success. If you feel strongly about something, go for it! It is your space.

Everything that has ever become a trend or a so called "design rule" was once done by someone one day just trying something different out and being brave enough to go for it, and then someone copying it because they liked it.

I like to look at it as there are suggestions, but they don't always work for everyone and all design needs to be interpreted in a way that is going to work best for the client, its subjective.

We are like the adhesive as designers, we take all the elements that the client loves and wants to incorporate and along with our suggestions and knowledge we pull it all together into a comprehensive solution.

So really, I don't think there are mistakes.

- James Bruce; Senior Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh

Holiday Home in West Scotland


Browse more stunning homes and explore examples of how others have made BoConcept designs part of their extraordinary self-expression.


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