After working as an interior designer for more than 20 years, I have had the pleasure of designing spaces for clients with a range of tastes and needs. During that time, split mostly between London, Milan and Rotterdam, I have learned the importance of creating functional and beautiful spaces that reflect the client’s personality.

Before you start

Before beginning any interior design project, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, as well as what you are willing or able to invest in these changes. Take the time to consider what the space will be used for, how you want it to feel, what your style preferences are, and what you want to prioritise in your interior design project.

If you’ve got an interior design project in mind, you’ve probably been saving lots of images and spending evenings on Pinterest. However, it can be easy to get sucked into the vortex of Pinterest and come out even more confused, so I always tell my clients to follow their gut feelings rather than the current trends that might be dominating their social media feeds. Having a clear vision will help guide your design decisions and ensure that the end result meets or exceeds your expectations.

Here are my top 5 interior design tips

1. Understand the importance of space planning:

Effective space planning is the foundation of any successful interior design project. Before diving into decor and furnishings, take the time to analyse the layout and flow of the space. Consider the functionality of each room and how you envision yourself and others using it.

Plan furniture arrangements that optimise traffic flow and create comfortable areas. By understanding the importance of space planning, you can ensure that your design is not only aesthetically appealing but also functions harmoniously.

This is always the first step that I take with a new client, looking at the layout together and seeing how the space can work best for them. In a recent project, we completely swapped the positions of the living and dining room to better fit the needs of my client, and to maximise the space that we were working with.

Rotterdam Townhouse II


2. Use colour to set the mood:

Did you know that colour has a powerful impact on our emotions, and the overall atmosphere of a room? Consider the mood you want to evoke in each space. Soft, cool tones like grey blues and muted greens create a calming ambiance, while warm colours like burgundy red and terracotta promote energy and vibrancy.

In my projects I emphasise the significance of using colour strategically. Looking at my portfolio of past projects, you’ll see I don’t use bright colours, but instead use colour washing and subtle layering of tones. Neutrals can provide a versatile backdrop, allowing you to inject pops of colour with accessories or artwork. We’ll experiment with different colour palettes to find the perfect balance for each room.

Rotterdam Townhouse I


3. Invest in quality pieces of furniture

Furniture and decor are investments that should last you for years, so it’s important to choose quality pieces that won’t fall apart quickly. I usually suggest investing in a luxury sofa, or bed, which will actually save you money in the long run as you won’t have to constantly replace them. Well-made pieces also add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any space. I always prefer to invest in key pieces and then choose lower priced accessories or items that compliment them. You can update the smaller accessories over the years to refresh the feeling of the interior.

Penthouse, The Hague


4. Play with textures and patterns

Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and patterns to add depth and interest to a space. A chunky rug, woven throw, or velvet cushions can add warmth and comfort to a room, while a bold colour, wallpaper or even thick weave curtains can create a statement wall. Just be sure to balance out busier patterns with more neutral pieces to avoid overwhelming the eye.

In a recent Rotterdam Interior Design project, my client wanted an almost completely off white living room – to give space and relevance to his artwork. We layered tones and materials; a concrete floor, fabrics, tiles, wood, stones all in tones of off white, but still created a dynamic interior, with the artwork providing pops of colour and standing out like the client had imagined.

Zalmhaven Terrace, Rotterdam


5. Consider lighting carefully

Lighting is an often underestimated aspect of interior design, or at least it’s often not the first priority. But the right lighting can dramatically influence the mood and functionality of a room. A combination of both natural and artificial lighting sources is important.

Natural light is always ideal, but if that’s not possible, invest in warm, inviting lighting fixtures. Avoid having only harsh overhead lighting, and instead opt for floor lamps, table lamps, and sconces to create a layered, cosy atmosphere. Use task lighting for specific activities, such as reading or cooking, and add accent lighting to highlight architectural features or artwork. Dimmers allow you to adjust the lighting intensity according to the time of day or desired atmosphere.

Rotterdam Townhouse II


I hope these interior design tips will help you consider how to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and personalised. From thoughtful space planning to understanding the impact of colour, achieving balance and harmony, paying attention to lighting, and incorporating personal touches, these tips will guide you in transforming your home into a haven that reflects your style and enhances your daily life.

To discover a selection of my Rotterdam Interior Design projects, click here.

If you’d like to work together on your Interior Design project, please feel free to get in touch.