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6 Common interior design mistakes that are costing you money (and what to do instead!)

These are the mistakes we see time and time again, that may seem irrelevant but are actually costing more than you think...

Not ordering samples

I cannot stress this enough, order samples for EVERYTHING. The Internet is very misleading and colours/textures vary so much from screen to screen…if the images are even a good representation in the first place!

Better to know the tile you loved online is a dudd from a £1 sample, than when 20sqm turn up at your door and the company charge you a restocking fee. Or the paint colour you loved online suddenly looks different once the decorator's painted it on the walls in the room.

Having samples also means you can see all your finishes together so you know exactly what’s going where and that everything works before anything starts on site. This is exactly why we send out sample boxes to all clients, because we don't want you turning up on site and hating what you find!

Screenshot of an Instagram story showing interior design samples for high end HMO

Not planning upfront

Moving a doorway or wall is super easy on a digital floorplan…moving in real life…not so much.

Planning ahead, identifying problems and making changes in the early stages avoids unnecessary cost and stress later on. Of course unexpected things crop up, but at least this won’t be adding to the million and one things that you already have to think about changing.

Interior Design electrical plan showing position and type of all lights, sockets and switches.

Being vague with your builder (i.e. not agreeing a scope and spec upfront)

It’s a classic, contractor quotes for 60 x 60 bathroom tiles for wall and floor, you rock up with a metro style tile that you want laying in a herringbone pattern…cue the sharp intake of breath and extra £££ on your bill because “that wasn’t what we quoted for”.

Builder’s will generally quote for basic items unless you tell them otherwise. Being organised and having a spec drawn up early really does avoid those extra hidden charges down the road and gives them an indication on the level of finish you want. If they’ve signed it off and quoted against it - that’s what you should get, and you can argue it!

Not challenging your contractor

Some — not all — builders will try and take the easy route wherever possible so they can move onto the next job…or try and put you off an idea because it’s not “how it’s usually done”. Stay confident! If they do something you’re not happy with and want to change later down the line, they will no doubt add it to the bill. Plus some can be stuck in their ways, and take a rinse and repeat view, which leads to a standard product at the end. Do we want a standard product? No!

Poor communication

It takes effort to build the relationship, but open communication with trades is the secret to a successfully designed and executed project. Getting it off the moodboard and into reality is much easier this way!

Being upfront about what you expect means there’s no grey areas. Continuous communication means there’s no nasty surprises on site when the electrician “made a call” on lighting placement that then needs changing.

Not applying for trade accounts

This is more for those on the first projects but apply for trade accounts EVERYWHERE you can! Don’t think they’re just for the big players with huge developments…the worst they can say is no.


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