When I started to design rugs, which were very modern, I found people were frightened of using something so new in old rooms full of antiques. But I enjoy proving that you can have an eighteenth-century piece next to one of my rugs. 4 Match your decoration to your lifestyle. Living room ideas apartment If you have young children, as I do, consider ways to decorate that won’t look scruffy within a year. In an adult house, you can adopt a minimal, clean line, knowing that you won’t see a doll’s shoes, or a toy truck peeping out from under a chair. White staircase walls are often a disaster, with little hands and suitcases making their mark. A wallpaper with a really big repeat and a small-scale background pattern will hide almost anything. I adore white sofas, but choose to have patterned ones at home, because marks aren’t so glaringly obvious. 5 Be aware of the effect that the local light will have on your colours. With the grey, northern light of England, this is crucial. I neverfind that blue is a happy colour here for a daytime room, because it is so cold. Yet a yellow room, especially if it faces north is always a success. I love cosy, warm-feeling interiors in this country and often find myself using the exterior tones of Rome and Jaipur – all those earthy ochres and dirty pinks. There is a great selection of them atthe Paint Library.