Interior Design

Tricia Guild's interior design dos and don'ts – tips from the Designers Guild guru

The founder of Designers Guild shares inspired ideas in a trio of themes – they will enhance your home in both style and spirit

Tricia Guild's interior design tips
(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

Tricia Guild OBE is a British designer and the founder and Creative Director of Designers Guild – an international home and lifestyle company. 

Here, she tells us just some of her decorating dos and don'ts – from how to use color, florals and texture to how to avoid making interior design mistakes, and how to be braver with your decor choices. 

Read on to reap some wonderful interior design tips from the design powerhouse in our dedicated feature. 

1. How to use color

Tricia Guild design tips

Surimono wallpaper in Amethyst, £68 a roll, Designers Guild

(Image credit: Future)

Here's what Tricia Guild advises that you should do when using color in your rooms:

  • Identify a palette of three or four shades and start to weave in patterns in this color family. 
  • Use confident tones, but consider how they’ll work with whites and naturals – a counterbalance to control the strength and provide a harmonious feel.
  • Plan at scale. Represent colors and patterns in the correct proportions on a mood board – we have a useful tool on our Designers Guild website which may help. 
  • Intensify the tone of a palette to create a richer feeling – this is brilliant in small rooms where deeper tones work best.

And here is how to avoid making mistakes with color, according to Tricia:

  • Overlook the woodwork. It’s more interesting when painted in a color other than white – try muted shades of green or blue. 
  • Use just any white. A rich cobalt will demand a clear blue-based white; a yellow-based white will look dirty.  
  • Forget a neutral – it’s the very color that underpins a scheme, providing a consistent melodic note. Go for a pale grey, ecru, chocolate or even a plaster pink. 
  • Settle on one color. Hues enunciate myriad moods, so choose with feeling – cool colors with hot vivid accents is a dramatic combo.

2. How to layer texture

Tricia Guild design tips

(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

This is what Tricia Guild advises you do to make the most of texture:

  • Ground a room with rugs. Layer them to reveal certain elements of the designs, or overlap them to create a new shape.  
  • Blend textures. A home needs layers, so a deft mix of color, pattern and texture will add personality and spirit.  
  • Embrace plains to bring a sense of balance and harmony. A pick of tactile textures playing off each other gives a dynamic energy. 
  • Swap linens for heavyweight velvets in colder seasons. Add extra cushions and throws to create warmth, texture and depth. 
  • Focus on the tactility of fabrics and consider small details, such as laying the table with linen napkins. 

Here's what not to do when layering texture, according to Tricia Guild:

  • Ignore finishing touches. Artwork, photographs, ceramics and sculptures all tell a story.
  • Use the same fabrics. Velvet works beautifully with raw linen; a contrast that evokes the inherent beauty of each. 
  • Forget balance is key. Color, fabric and pattern are your building blocks, so use all three with equal consideration.

3. How to decorate with florals

Tricia Guild design tips

(Image credit: Future)

Here's how to use florals in your decorative schemes, according to Tricia:

  • Hang large-scale floral wallpaper in small rooms – it’s grandeur at its best and draws the eye. 
  • Balance overt feminine florals by pairing with plains, stripes or geometrics, or all three.
  • Frame windows with prints that complement outside flora to invite the world beyond in.
  • Bring life into the house. Fresh flowers and potted bulbs have the power to instantly lift the mood.

And this is how Tricia advises you avoid making mistakes with florals:

  • Follow trends – they’re ephemeral, so always choose fabrics and colors that you really love and make you happiest.  
  • Be afraid of abundance. The mechanics of florals and how they engage with each other is what really makes a room perform.  
  • Ignore your instinct. Be passionate in your own belief –  if you love a particular color or a certain pattern go for it. 

See more: Matthew Williamson shares his interior design tips and secrets with H&G

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.