Coming up with thoughtful, joyful and honest interior design ideas is Amy Wilson’s speciality. After appearing on BBC’s Interior Design Masters in 2021, Amy turned her attention to helping other people feel great in their homes, transforming her clients’ spaces into sanctuaries that reflect their unique personalities.
“Interior design is in my DNA. For as long as I can remember I’ve felt the positive effects of good design, from styling my childhood bedrooms and transforming student digs to bargain hunting for my first home.”
Sharing work on her Instagram page, Amy continues to empower others through her creative interior design ideas, playful use of patterns and upbeat style. We caught up with Amy to uncover her top tips on how to feel joyful in your home and where to make investments when it comes to the finishing touches.
How do you begin designing a home that makes you feel joyful and inspired?
I start with a single item that makes me smile – anything from a piece of art to a statement light or paint colour that excites me. Having something fun and unexpected in every room will bring a smile to your day each time you enter. Often the best schemes have drama in the form of surprises and unanticipated décor choices.
How would you use wallpaper to its best effect – e.g. feature wall, use it on every wall, wallpaper the ceiling?
There are some beautiful wallpapers that go way beyond the floral and tropical prints that have been so popular recently. I love wallpapers that create a particular effect, whether panelling, concrete, bare plaster or other textural effects.
I recently used a striking metallic paper that looks particularly effective when framed and placed into panels behind a bedhead or to create a feature in an otherwise plain room. Try using wallpaper on a ceiling, and once again, metallics work well here as they reflect and bounce around any light in the room, giving the illusion of higher ceilings.
Using wallpaper to highlight areas or features is also an effective and alternative way to incorporate some interest into your home. Picking out a window reveal, alcove, or wardrobe door requires very little paper and will quickly elevate your space.
What are your top tips for choosing timeless home accessories?
Always invest in touch points – the items you use and touch daily, such as light switches and door handles. Spend as much as the budget will allow on quality fixtures and fittings as they can elevate a space and make it feel indulgent and luxurious. Lighting is also a worthwhile investment, so I plan it very carefully when designing a space. Consider everything from functional lighting, floor lighting, sensors that activate lights on movement, and statement lights that can add some real impact and drama.
Which interior design ideas do people tend to overlook that actually make a big difference?
The view of a room is often overlooked and is something that, when considered, makes a home or commercial space feel cohesive and well-thought-out. When I say the view, I’m referring to what you see when entering and exiting a room – the through-point from one room to another, along with the view through any windows to the outside. A beautiful outdoor area will draw your eyes outside and give the illusion of an extension to your internal space.
When looking from one room into another, it’s always nice to see something that links the décor, whether that’s a colour thread or continuation of a pattern or design reference. I like to stand back and take in the view from one room to another, and in my case, there will always be something black with metallic accents in every room.
What advice would you give to clients when choosing lighting for their homes?
For lighting, I think more is more. If you’re considering four different light sources, go with six at the least. Overhead lighting is often necessary and can create a great focal point, but don’t rely on it entirely. Instead, consider wall lights, table and floor lamps to brighten corners and surfaces.
Choose warm white LED bulbs for a softer glow, and use dimmer switches as much as possible so you can adjust the mood throughout the day. When in doubt, scale up your lighting choices and opt for a bigger lamp or shade than you think your space can take. Oversized and scaled-up lighting will add drama to your room and give the illusion of a grander, larger space.
Head over to our Interior Designer Secrets page for more inspiration.