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Common Interior Design Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them.

05 October 2022
5 minutes read

Are you renovating your home? Encountering problems seems to be par for the course when it comes to renovating a property!

We have teamed up with Lyndall Fernie, the Interior Design genius and Design Maestros' co-founder to learn about common interior design mistakes, and how to avoid them.



Lyndall Fernie has been an interior designer for nearly 30 years, renovating residential properties across London.  She has also been teaching interior design for several years, so not only does she know how to renovate a property, but she also knows how to convey the information in a fun, interesting and a memorable way.





Encountering problems seems to be par for the course when it comes to renovating a property...

As an interior designer I have made some mistakes over the years, especially when I first started. In fact, there were so many, initially, that it was my pure enthusiasm that got me through. Now after nearly 30 years of designing people’s homes, I am happy to say that mistakes are now rare. But what a learning curve!!!


... Let me tell you about the time that I had a bespoke sofa made which didn’t fit through the door!  It was just a couple of millimetres too big, but it was impossible to get it in. If this had been an item of furniture bought from a retailer, then I could have returned it. But as it had been made especially, that was not a possibility. So how did I overcome the problem? Well, it ended up being an extremely expensive and stressful remedy where problems just kept unfolding.

First, I had to pay someone to remove a window.
Then I had pay for a crane to lift the sofa through the window.
To do this I had to pay the council to close the road.
On top of these costs, I had to pay to have the window refitted
... and finally I had to pay to have the window and wall redecorated.

An expensive mistake, so ensuring that your furniture can actually fit through your doorways is if utmost importance.

Imagine if you have chosen everything for your space and it all coordinates perfectly, only to find that your perfect sofa has to be returned and a less than perfect alternative needs to be found.


From left to right (1) Olivia 4 seater loose cover sofa ;  (2) Arc coffee table with storage in walnut, 66 cm ; (3) Alpha arch floor lamp with marble base. The living room interior concept Tranquil Moment by Topology Interiors.


This won’t be just upsetting at that moment in time, in fact you will be upset every time you sit down. Not an ideal situation to help you relax at the end of the day.

But I hear you ask!!!!  How can an interior designer not think about measuring the doors to make sure the items will fit?  Well, I did measure the door, but I measured the height of the actual door without taking into account that the door jamb is usually 1 cm lower, hence the problem. Can you imagine so much chaos all because of measuring the door incorrectly.  But these are the types of problems that people face every day when renovating a property.

Another common problem is purchasing furniture that is the incorrect height for the room.


Most people have the following checklist when shopping furniture :

(1) Do I like the design /shape /colour?
(2) Is the price within budget?
(3) Will it physically fit properly in the room?
(4) Does it compliment the rest of the furniture and fittings?

But rarely to people take into account the height of a furniture piece.  

I would advise that rooms with low ceilings require especially low furniture.  



Low backed sofas paired with low coffee tables and extra-long low storage cabinets will give the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. Look for items such as futon style beds with built in low bedside tables .  


From left to right: (1) Low round side table - Centrum, burnt orange ; (2) Eva Bed Ottoman with Cane headboard


The same is true if you have particularly high ceilings and especially true of double height spaces. These spaces require extra high pieces of furniture. I love high ceilings but when small, low furniture is used then the proportions look all wrong.

I would like you to imagine a spacious bedroom with very high ceilings. If a normal bed, with a standard headboard was added, it would look like the bed had shrunk in the space.

From left to right: (1) Dark Grey 3 Drawer Chest Tower ; (2) Wooden Frame Super King Bed with Velvet Headboard - Island  , (3) Sierra Oak Coat Rack


This is where tall headboards, four-poster beds and even feature wall decorations behind the bed, really come into their own. The height of these pieces really compliments the space, and it looks meant.


From left to right: (1) Mouth Blown Glass Pendant Lamp Horizon, 36 cm ; (2) Eclipse - Ceramic Top Chest of Drawers, Cream Lacquered , (3) Axel Linen Emperor Bed


The same goes for the bedside tables. European bedside tables tend to be small and fairly low, but for a spacious room with high ceilings, I use sometimes use side cabinets or a chest of drawers instead. The scale of a tall bed combined with side cabinets looks amazing, especially with extra-large statement table lamps or even chandeliers or pendant lights.


If you are renovating a property you may interested to attend Lyndall’s three-day course "Guide to renovation" to learn how a designer would approach a project. Covering numerous topics including design ideas, to which finishes to use, and even how to work with contractors, this course is full of extremely useful information that could save you a lot of stress and money.


About Lyndall Fernie and DESIGN  MAESTROS

Lyndall Fernie is an Interior design consultant for London based residential clients as well as property developers. She specializes in remodelling existing properties, restructuring the entire layout to ensure that it flows beautifully. She has a wealth of knowledge; she is passionate about Interior design and her enthusiasm is highly infectious. Lyndall is lead tutor for Interior design for short courses at Chelsea College of Art, as part of  The University of the Arts London.



Design Maestros, Lyndall Fernie, Marcus Steffan and Matteo Bianchi, are now back to their original purpose! passing their vast and practical knowledge on to future generations, and being inspired to see them become successful designers.  If you are interested to learn from the experts, check out short-term courses line-up available this season.


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