Sophie Paterson has become one of London’s most popular interior designers for her rustic chic aesthetic.

Here, the designer gives her top tips on planning your perfect room from where to start to its most important elements.

Tip 1. Assess Your Space


Although Sophie admits that the first stage is perhaps the most boring of the design process, the designer explains that it’s critical – “You really have to do your planning and preparation [to] see if there are any problems with the room.” She recommends that features like low ceilings or lack of natural light should be noted.

Tip 2. Find Your Star Piece


Sophie tells us that to achieve a really unique look the first thing you should choose is your star piece. “Hopefully that will have a lot of colour, texture and pattern in it and then you can pull the colours from [it and] introduce it into the colour of the sofa or the rug; patterns, […] I might pull into the fabrics for the cushions.” In fact, Sophie suggests that a room can be designed around a single cushion.

Tip 3. Prioritise Quality and Timelessness


“It’s important to me that [an] interior is going to look good in five years time. I don’t want to have the sofa falling apart, the rug wearing through or the floor scratching because that’s not going to be the perfect space for the client if that happens.”

Tip 4. Embrace Your Room’s Natural Features


In speaking of the sometimes dark spaces of London’s historical buildings, Sophie sagely observes, “Quite often, people will tend to try and overcompensate […] and try to make a dark space a bright space, whereas I tend to go with the darkness and emphasise that. Rather than try and fight against what the room naturally is, go with it.”

Tip 5. Carefully Consider Your Lighting Scheme


“Lighting for me is so important – it’s going to make or break a room,” Sophie reveals – “I think the one mistake people make with lighting is they try and plan their lighting far too early on. You shouldn’t design your lighting layout until you know absolutely everything that’s going to be in your room. What that [will] allow you to do is emphasise the bits in the room that you want to emphasise.”

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Video filmed by Nikola Milcic; produced by Jade Thomson and Carina Bartle.