India Mahdavi on Decorating

home chic

Everyone loves design and dreams of re-designing their outdated or unfinished rooms, but most of us have absolutely no clue where to begin, so what do we do?

You could try reading back issues of House + Garden like I did, or you could buy the latest shelter magazines, or you could take a note or two from Parisian architect and interior designer INDIA MAHDAVI.

India’s designed some of the world’s chicest interior spaces and is always in demand, but thankfully she wrote her latest book HOME CHIC for those of us who don’t know what we don’t know until we’re standing in Home Depot uncertain of which paint or window treatment is the best choice. One of the more informative design guides in a long while, here are some of India Mahdavi’s tips for decorating…

coburg bar

Connaught Hotel’s Coburg Bar, London

1. To create a fluid space, especially in small apartments, choose a unified floor treatment whether its carpet, sisal or wood.

2. Use strong paint colors for small spaces, in a larger room, use color on one wall only, preferably on the wall that’s perpendicular to the windows.

3. Use common sense when positioning your sofa but pay attention, if no one ever plops down on your sofa, it’s in the wrong place!

4. When your window overlooks something ugly or depressing, camouflage the view with something that will let in as much light as possible, like a folding screen.

5. Transform a hallway into a family portrait gallery.


6. Each room in your home should feel lived in and unique. So don’t be afraid to add humorous touches that will bring a smile to your guests faces.

7. Your living room should be the liveliest room in your home, so try scattering bold accessories throughout.

8. Avoid the unholy trinity of console table + mirror + bunch of flowers. It’s so cliche!

9. For perfect bathroom lighting, place lighting at face height, from the front or side, combined with ceiling lights.

10. Avoid “empty dining room syndrome” by creating a dining room with a library.

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