Interior Design Course Week 6: The Finishing Touches


Welcome to the final part of the Interior Design Course. Over the last 6 weeks, we have shown you how to create a design analysis, how to identify your style, how to use colour to your advantage, how to enhance a room using texture, and how to choose furnishings and accessories to help build and complement your scheme. Now, in this last installment, we’re going to tie it all together! We’re going to look at creating the base of your room (using tiles), we’re going to look at ideas for updating your dated existing furniture, and we’re going to look at those finishing styling touches.

Creating your the base for your room

Last week, we talked about the benefits of using tiles over bare wooden floorboards, carpet, lino or laminate. Wood effect tiles are a very versatile option, and look great on floor spaces throughout the house!  If you do choose to go for tiles, then you have one of two options. You can pay a professional to do the tiling work or you can tackle the tiling yourself. If you choose the latter, and it’s your first tiling project, then fear not! You’re in good hands. Check out our How To Tile section for handy step-by-step video tutorials. If you have a technical or styling question related to your project, send it across to Paul Collins, the Tile Guru. He’s our resident tiling expert, and he’s always more than happy to answer any of your queries.

Country kitchen tiles

Upcycle your existing furniture, or create new pieces

Last week, we looked at what new products you could afford to buy within your budget. If new furniture isn’t allowed for, have you considered updating your existing furniture, to make it fit your scheme? ‘Upcycling’ is a major trend when it comes to interior design. It allows for creativity, it doesn’t break the bank, and it’s less wasteful.

If you’ve got a piece of wooden furniture that is dark and dull and doesn’t quite fit your scheme, then Annie Sloan chalk paint is a quick, easy and effective way of transforming it into something personal and unique. Don’t be afraid to be clumsy when painting – brush strokes add character and a shabby chic finish. Complete with a wax coat to seal and protect. For example, in my botanical living room, I would use a green paint.

Side table ready for upcycling

Upcycled side table

If you’re on a tight budget but you want to bring some new furniture into your room, then use the upcycling process to make your own for next to nothing! Acquire some old wooden wine crates, and give them a lick of paint to tie them into your colour scheme. Then it’s simply a case of using your imagination. You can stack the crates on their side and fix them together using wood glue. This creates an interesting and characterful shelving unit, which fits to any shape or size by simply adding more wine crates.

Wooden crates shelving furniture

Alternatively, if you want to create a new side table or coffee table, then visit your local tip or car boot sale, and find a cheap table with a leg frame. Take it home, smash the worktop off, paint the leg frame, and then fix your wine crate on top of it! Voila – a bespoke piece of upcycled furniture, made to purpose, that is completely your own.

Accessorizing your sofa

If your sofa doesn’t fit into your new scheme, but you haven’t got the budget to replace it, then here are a two simple tips to help inject your scheme into your existing sofa…

  • Add the primary colour or colours of your chosen scheme or style into your sofa in the form of cushions and throws. Experiment with layers and using different textures.
  • Try buying a patterned rug or pouffe, and sitting it in front of your sofa.

Update sofa with cushions

How to make a display on a coffee table or shelf

To dress a coffee table or shelf in an interesting way that ties in with your scheme, choose one of the colours we addressed from your styling scheme in an earlier week, and buy some accessories that tie in around this colour. Use a mix of textures to add interest. Group them together on your coffee table, or on a shelf. For example, for my tropical botanical scheme, I would collect together green candles, brightly coloured parrot ornaments, etc.

Choose some fresh (or faux) flowers that match your colour scheme, sit them in a vase, and place them on your coffee table or shelf for a refreshing pop of natural colour.

For a casual look, add a stack of magazines to the under-shelf of your coffee table.

She;f interior accessories

There you have it!

So there you have it. Your room should now contain a healthy dose of your own personal style! It should also tie in with the functionality and briefing of the Design Analysis you completed in Week One! So enjoy your completed room, and show it off to your friends!

Enter your transformation in our Before and After Competition

If you want to be in with a chance of winning back the cost of your tiles, enter Before and After pics of your transformation in our latest competition!


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