shalini misra interior designer on staircase in home

What To Expect From Your First Interior Design Meeting

shalini misra sketching with pencil design idea

Introduction To Your Interior Designer, Team And Project

So, you have engaged an interior designer to design your dream home. Or you are ready to breathe new life into your living space? Maybe you've always had a vision for your home, but you just don't know how to execute it. That's where an interior designer comes in! An interior designer can help you bring your home to life and create a space that you love.

When you first engage with an interior design team, you'll be introduced to the key members who will be working on your project. This team will be your go-to for everything design-related, and they'll be with you every step of the way. They'll be there to answer any questions you may have, and they'll make sure that your project stays on track.

Interior Design Preferences

At your first meeting, you'll be asked about your likes and dislikes and the design aesthetic you prefer. It's important to have an idea of what you want before you meet with your designer. Think about your favorite places, your influences, and the hotels you love. Even things like washrooms with great designs can give you an idea of what you like. What feel do you want for your home, and what journey do you wish to experience when travelling through our home.

Some clients may struggle with expressing their ideas, but don't worry if this is you. Your designer will have ways of extracting this information through time, examples, vision boards, and questionnaires. They'll work with you to create a design that reflects your personality and style.

Your Furniture, Art And Accessory Inventory

Your designer will also take a look at your current inventory of furniture and possessions. They'll meet with you to discuss what items can be kept and which pieces can be "reinvented" by moving them to different locations or by making minor modifications. For example, a sofa may be reupholstered to fit the new design style, or a coffee table may be refinished to match the new colour scheme.

shalini misra interior designer on staircase in home

How Your Lifestyle Defines Your Design

During your first meeting, you'll also discuss the aesthetic of the space with your designer. They'll ask you questions about your lifestyle, such as how much entertaining you do and the number of guests you typically host. This information will help the designer determine how much crockery, chairs, tableware, cocktail glasses, and barware will be needed. (This applies to every space of your home)

You can expect to discuss a range of topics that will help them understand your vision and preferences for your home. One of the areas that your designer might look at is how to utilise small areas and unused rooms in your home. For example, they might ask if you want to create a gym, study, reading nook, extra storage, walk-in wardrobe, extra bedroom for guests, kids playroom, prayer room, or extra washroom.

dining room table & chairs

Flexible Spaces

Creating flexible spaces is another topic that your designer might discuss with you. This involves designing spaces that can be used for multiple purposes, such as a living room that can also serve as a home office or a dining room that can be transformed into a space for entertaining guests.

We love using sliding walls and screens to compartmentalize spaces in various ways. They create private spaces within an open floor plan, separate spaces without creating a permanent wall, add texture to space, and enhance natural lighting. However, when using sliding walls and screens in interior design, it is essential to ensure functionality, consider the space, create balance, and choose the right material. By following these rules, interior designers can create unique and functional spaces that meet the needs of their clients.

interior design mood board

How To Visualize Interior Design

To help you visualise the design ideas that your designer has in mind, they may use Pinterest boards. This allows you to see images of different design elements, such as furniture, lighting, and decor, and how they might work together in your space.

Your designer may also show you examples of their previous projects and ask you to point out any standout moments or elements that you like. This will help them get a better understanding of your design preferences and style.

If your designer is sourcing pieces, lighting, or art for you, they will spend time finding out any artists, designers, or makers that you love. With their extensive knowledge and relationships in the industry, they can source unique and beautiful pieces that fit your style and budget.

Your first meeting with an interior designer will involve a lot of discussion about your preferences, vision, and goals for your home. By understanding your needs and style, your designer can create a unique and personalised design that reflects your personality and lifestyle.

garden table design

Home Interior Design And How To Visualise A Space

living room & storyboarding

The first step in designing the interior of your house is to visualise the space you want to decorate. Think about the style and atmosphere you want to create, and what you want to achieve with your design. It’s important to consider the practical aspects of your space, such as the size and layout of the room. Once you have a clear idea of what you want, it’s time to start gathering inspiration.

How To Get Interior Design Inspiration

When looking for interior design inspiration, we start by searching for images that match the style you want to achieve. Look for colours, furniture pieces, heritage and influences, and materials that appeal to you. Pinterest is a great platform to search for inspiration, as you can easily save and organise images into different boards.

It’s important to keep your options open and not limit yourself to one style. You can mix and match different styles to create a unique and personalised design. Look for images that catch your eye and create a mood board of different styles, colours and textures.

We encourage working with your current inventory of furniture in a number of ways to create a cohesive and harmonious design.

bedroom view from hallway

Here Are Some Ways That We Can Use Existing Furniture Pieces

Repurpose furniture

An experienced interior designer can repurpose furniture to create a new function or purpose in a room. For example, they can turn an old dresser into a TV stand or a bookshelf into a bar.

Upcycle furniture

Upcycling is the process of taking old or discarded items and transforming them into something new and useful.  We strive to upcycle furniture pieces by painting, reupholstering, or adding new hardware to give them a fresh new look.

and match

Mixing and matching furniture styles can create an eclectic and unique look in a room. Designers can mix and match your existing furniture with new pieces to create a cohesive look that reflects your personal style.

Create a
focal point

We try to use existing furniture pieces to create a focal point in a room. For example, they can use a statement piece of furniture, such as a bold sofa or a unique coffee table, as the focal point of the room.


We love to use your existing furniture to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. We help to arrange your furniture in a way that maximizes the use of space and creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Connecting With A Piece Of Furniture

When searching for furniture pieces, it’s important to look for pieces that you connect with. You should feel a sense of excitement and joy when you see a piece of furniture that you love. It’s important to consider the practical aspects of the piece, such as its size and functionality, but also consider how it makes you feel. Never keep a piece that doesn’t fit your overall design aesthetic, I know its hard to part with items but a large looming piece that doesn’t fit or work will demand all the attention and destroy the feel of the space. Either factor it in from the get or part ways.

Please take a moment to read our blog post on visualising design.

Connecting with a piece of furniture is an essential part of the design process. When I look at a piece of furniture, I try to understand its history, its style, and the emotions it evokes. I believe that every piece of furniture has a story to tell, and it’s my job to find a way to incorporate that story into the design. By connecting with a piece of furniture, I can create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and personal to my clients.

Imagine Yourself Within A Space

When creating an interior design board on Pinterest, it’s important to imagine yourself within the space. Think about how you want to feel when you enter the room, and what activities you will be doing in the space. This will help you to create a design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

garden table design

Exercises To Help You Visualise What You Want

If you’re having trouble visualising your design, there are exercises you can do to help you. One exercise is to create a vision board of images that inspire you. This can include images of colours, textures, furniture pieces, and accessories.

Another exercise is to create a list of adjectives that describe the atmosphere you want to create in the space. This can include words such as cosy, luxurious, modern, or rustic. This list will help you to stay focused on your design goals and create a cohesive design.

In conclusion, creating an interior design mood board on Pinterest is a great way to visualise your design ideas and bring your vision to life. By following these tips, you can create a board that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Remember to keep your options open and to connect with pieces that bring you joy.

wall art in living rooms

Small Room Ideas and Small Space Design

small living rooms

When you're looking for ideas to design a space for a small room first, consider the size of the room. If the room is very small, a dark or bold ceiling colour may make it feel even smaller. In this case, it's best to stick with a light and neutral colour to help maximize the space.

You can experiment with bolder colours for the ceiling. A darker shade can create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, while a brighter shade can add energy and vibrancy.

Next, think about the overall colour scheme of the room. You want the ceiling colour to complement the walls and other decor elements, rather than clash with them.

If you're not sure which colour to choose, consider using a shade that's a few shades lighter or darker than the wall colour. This creates a subtle contrast and adds depth to the room without being too overpowering.

Finally, remember that the ceiling is often overlooked in room design, but it can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of a space. Don't be afraid to experiment with different colours and finishes to create a unique and personalized look.

Reflective Surfaces

One of the easiest and most effective ways to make a small room feel larger is by incorporating reflective surfaces into your décor. Mirrors, glass, and metallic accents can all help to bounce light around the room.

Consider adding a large mirror or a metallic wallpaper to one wall to reflect light and make the room feel brighter. If you have a window, consider opening up the wall with a glass window and incorporating a wall art installation on the outside. You can also incorporate glass or mirrored furniture, such as a coffee table or side table, to add a touch of glamour and make the room feel more spacious.

small bedroom

Small Bedroom Design Ideas

When setting up a small bedroom, it's important to choose furniture that doesn't take up too much visual space. Low profile furniture, such as a platform bed or a low dresser, can help create a sense of openness and make the room feel less cluttered.

Instead of a headboard, consider adding a simple feature on the back wall, such as a statement wallpaper, a small lateral board or a piece of artwork. This can add visual interest to the room without taking up valuable space.

When it comes to lighting, avoid drop lighting or large chandeliers, which can make the ceiling feel lower and the room feel smaller. Instead, opt for wall-mounted or bedside lamps to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

Adding pops of color can also help liven up a small bedroom. Consider using colorful accent pillows or a bright area rug to add interest and personality to the space. Just be sure to keep the overall color scheme simple and cohesive to avoid overwhelming the room.

wall art in living rooms

Tips On Accessorizing A Small Room

Follow these simple ideas when designing a small room:

1. Use mirrors

Mirrors can help create the illusion of more space and reflect light to brighten up the room. Hang a large mirror on one wall or use smaller mirrors as accents.

2. Choose the right size furniture

Make sure your furniture is proportional to the size of the room. Don't overwhelm the space with large pieces that take up too much floor space.

3. Add plants

Plants can add life and color to a small room. Choose plants that don't take up too much space, such as succulents or small potted herbs.

4. Use wall art

Hang a statement piece of art on the wall to add visual interest and draw the eye up. A gallery wall of smaller pieces can also work well in a small room.

5. Incorporate functional storage

Use decorative baskets or boxes to store items and keep the room clutter-free. A storage ottoman or bench can also provide extra seating and storage.

6. Choose a color scheme

Stick to a cohesive color scheme to create a sense of unity in the room. Use pops of color in your accessories to add interest and personality.

7. Don't overcrowd

Avoid cluttering the room with too many accessories. Keep it simple and choose a few key pieces that make a statement.

How to create a snug room from a small room

sofa and coffee table

Colours That Work (And Colours to Avoid)

Choosing the right colours is essential when decorating a small room. Light, neutral colours are best, as they reflect light and make the room feel brighter and more open. White, beige, and light grey are all excellent choices for walls and ceilings.

When it comes to accent colours, choose one or two colours that complement each other and stick to a simple colour scheme. Avoid using too many different colours or bold patterns, as these can make the room feel cluttered and overwhelming.

Dark colours should be avoided in small rooms, as they can make the space feel smaller and more enclosed. If you do want to incorporate darker colours, use them sparingly as accents or in small doses.

blue sofa in living room

Never Forget a Small room in a large House

If you have a large house, it can be tempting to focus all of your attention on the larger rooms and neglect the smaller ones. However, small rooms can be just as important and deserve just as much attention. The example above of this sitting area is open planned and incorporates the kitchen to the right and the main living room leads from this area.

By decorating your small rooms with care and attention to detail, you can create a cohesive and harmonious look throughout your entire home. Consider incorporating the same colour scheme for wall finishes and opt for pops of colour or design elements from your larger rooms into your smaller ones to create a sense of continuity and flow.

living room ornate fireplace mantel

Home Staging and Styling To Help Sell Your Home

living room ornate fireplace mantel

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. You want potential buyers to walk in and immediately feel at home, envisioning themselves living in the space. This is where interior design, home styling, and staging come in. By strategically designing and decorating your home, you can make it more appealing to buyers and increase your chances of a quick sale. Here are some tips to get you started.

Entrance and First Impressions

The entrance to your home is the first thing potential buyers will see, so it's essential to make it welcoming and inviting. Start by decluttering the area and making sure it's well lit. Add a rug or a welcome mat to make the space feel homier. You could also consider adding a potted plant or some fresh flowers to add some colour and life to the space.

Colours to Use and Colours to Avoid

When it comes to colour, neutral tones are the safest bet when it comes to staging your home. Shades of white, beige, and grey are timeless and create a blank canvas for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. However, don't be afraid to add pops of colour here and there to add some interest and personality to the space. Just be sure to keep it subtle and cohesive.

On the other hand, there are some colours you should avoid when staging your home. Bold, bright colours can be overwhelming and distracting, so it's best to steer clear of them. Additionally, overly dark colours can make a room feel smaller and cramped, so it's best to stick to lighter hues.

How to Style Accessories

Accessories are a great way to add personality and interest to a space. When it comes to staging your home, it's important to strike a balance between too little and too much. Too many accessories can make a space feel cluttered and overwhelming, while too few can make it feel sterile and uninviting.

Start by selecting a few key accessories that help to tie the room together. This could be a piece of artwork, a decorative vase, or a statement lamp. Try to choose items that are cohesive in style and colour to create a cohesive look.

How to Make Rooms Look Larger and Less Cluttered

One of the biggest challenges when staging a home is making it look as spacious and open as possible. Here are some tips to help you achieve this.

Remove excess furniture

Too much furniture can make a room feel cramped and cluttered. Remove any pieces that aren't essential to the function of the room.

Use mirrors

Mirrors are a great way to create the illusion of more space. Place a mirror opposite a window to bounce natural light around the room and make it feel brighter and more open.

Keep it simple

When it comes to staging a home, less is more. Stick to simple, streamlined furnishings and accessories to create a clean, uncluttered look.

Front Door Colour: The First Impression

The first thing potential buyers will see when they visit your home is your front door. It’s important to make a good first impression, and choosing the right front door colour can help you do that. According to a study by Zillow, homes with black or charcoal grey front doors sell for $6,271 more on average than homes with white front doors. Other popular front door colours that sell well include navy blue, dark grey, and red.

How to Use Lighting

lighting living room

Lighting is another key element of staging your home. Natural light is always the best option, so be sure to open curtains and blinds to let as much light in as possible. If your home doesn't have a lot of natural light, consider adding some lamps to create a warm, inviting glow.

When it comes to selecting light fixtures, choose ones that are simple and timeless. Avoid overly ornate or trendy fixtures that could turn potential buyers off.

How to Use Mirrors to Bounce Light

As mentioned earlier, mirrors are a great way to bounce light around a room and make it feel more spacious. Here are some tips for using mirrors effectively:

  • Place mirrors opposite windows to reflect natural light.
  • Use mirrored furniture, such as a mirrored coffee table or console table, to add a touch of glamour and help bounce light around the room.
  • Hang a large mirror on a blank

Storage Ideas: Show Off Your Space

Storage is a big concern for many homebuyers, so it’s important to show off your storage space when you’re selling your home. Here are a few storage ideas to help you do that.

Built-in storage

Built-in shelves or cabinets can be a great selling point for your home. They not only provide ample storage space but also add to the overall aesthetic of the room.

Closet organizers

A well-organized closet can make a big difference in how buyers perceive your home. Consider investing in closet organizers to maximize your closet space and show off how much storage your home has to offer.

Floating shelves

Floating shelves are a great way to add storage space without taking up floor space. Use them to display decorative items or to store everyday items like books or kitchen supplies.

Dressing Your Bedroom: Create a Relaxing Space

bedroom eaton place

The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home, and it’s important to create a relaxing space that potential buyers will love. Here are a few tips for dressing your bedroom to sell your home.

Neutral colours

Use neutral colours like beige or grey for your bedding and curtains. These colours create a calming atmosphere and allow buyers to envision their own decor in the space.

Add texture

Adding texture to your bedding and pillows can make your bedroom feel cosier and inviting. Consider adding a soft throw or a few decorative pillows to your bed.

Remove personal items: When you’re selling your home, it’s important to remove personal items like family photos or personal knick-knacks. This allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Items to Include in Your Living Area: Make it Inviting

The living area is where potential buyers will spend a lot of their time, so it’s important to make it inviting and comfortable. Here are a few items to include in your living area to help you sell your home.

Area rug

An area rug can help define your living space and make it feel cosier. Choose a rug that’s the right size for your space and complements your existing decor.

Decorative pillows

sofa cushions

Decorative cushions can add colour and texture to your living room furniture. Choose cushions that complement your existing colour scheme and add a pop of colour to your space.


Adding plants to your living space can make it feel more inviting and bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Choose plants that are easy to care for and complement your existing decor.

Accentuating Views to Your Garden: Highlight Your Outdoor Space

garden view & window treatments

If you have a garden or outdoor space, it’s important to highlight it when you’re selling your home. Here are a few tips for accentuating views to your garden.

Use window treatments

If you have a great view of your garden from your living space, consider using window treatments like curtains or blinds to frame the view.

Add outdoor furniture

Adding outdoor furniture to your garden can make it feel like an extension.