Five Interior Design Tips

Five Interior Design Tips

We spend a lot of time in our homes. We just do. It’s a place of shelter and privacy where we live and can escape from the world. It’s where we sleep, cook, eat, relax and entertain friends. We are all a little house proud. We love it when people say how much they like our homes and the choices we have made for the interior, the furniture, the fittings, the colours and all the things that make a home, home. Many people have a natural skill in interior design and many people have no idea. And guess what? It shows in a good or bad way. Luckily, there are interior designers out there who love to work their magic in homes, offices and other buildings. One of those people is the interior designer Aileen Martinia. We approached her and she gave us her best five interior design tips. Read on to find out more about her Five Interior Design Tips


Five Interior Design Tips


Below are 5 most expensive interior design mistakes you can easily avoid by hiring an interior designer:

1. “Cheap” looking room, while spending “BIG” budget.

One of the most important contributions an interior designer brings to the table is the knowledge of where to spend the budget to make a room looks more expensive than the money spent. When budget is NOT unlimited, smart placements of more luxurious items at strategic positions have a big impact on the “look” of the room.

The last thing you want as a client is to spend big money and the result is not levelling up to that. A professional interior designer has many arsenals and strategies to get the maximum “look” within the available budget of the client. 

Aileen’s experience: “During a site visit with a potential client, the wife points out to me that she does not like her husband’s choice of a sofa (chosen years before they met). The husband told us that the black, bulky, leather sofa cost him 20,000 euros. I remember thinking: wow,… it looks like a 5000 thousand euro sofa and I can do so much more with the rest of the budget.”


Interior design


2. Resell at “Marktplaats” or stare at your mistakes for years. 

The good news:

Marktplaats has been a good marketplace to get good and affordable secondhand furniture pieces.

The bad news:

Many of these pieces are sold by people who regret their purchases.  People, in general, do not replace their furniture often, so mistakes can be very expensive. Especially mistakes in high tickets items are often irreversible, as they are too costly to replace and many people would have to live with their faulty choices for years. Do you want to stare at the wrong sofa every day of your life? Or at those wrong wallpapers that do not work as well as you thought? If not, consider having professional advice before you start buying.


room redesign


3. Letting FEAR control the result.

Another purpose for hiring an interior designer is to take your rooms to a higher aesthetical level by showing you options beyond your own comfort level.

A design is an art piece. So you as a client will have the best result when you have the openness to experiment together with your designer.


Aileen’s experience: “For a community meeting centre I designed a blue bench with patterned cushions. The lady in charge of the project became fearful that there will be too much blue in the room and she change the colour to white. Then I explain that the reason the blue colour was picked, was to visually balance the blue wall on the opposite side of the room. Fortunately, she is willing to change her mind, and the result is truly wonderful!


And I will always remember a client who was willing to give me space to explore. We tested every orange paint in the market for the dining room walls. And he is willing to paint the ceiling light-orange as well. The result was amazing: a grand art deco dining room that looks modern and classic at the same time. He loved it! It is an art piece like no other.”


total refurb



4. No plan before buying.

The saying: “Failing to plan is to plan your failure” is very true.

Before any designer steps into any store, they already have a clear idea in their mind, what kind of items they are looking for. It can be ideas about the size, the material, the price range, the style, the function of an item, et cetera. Any pieces that do not fit into this idea are rejected. So strolling through stores and making spontaneous decisions is not the way to go.

Aileen’s experience: “Kitchen is usually one of the rooms that require quite significant investment. It is best to involve a designer for these kinds of rooms to get the maximum out of the investment.”


Kitchen design



5. Underestimating lighting

The importance and complexity of a good lighting scheme are probably underestimated. Common problems are: not having enough natural light, a very limited amount of lighting points, dark kitchen worktops, chandeliers that are too small for the room, which are common problems found in Dutch homes. These factors actually make planning good lighting more important. Lighting also brings atmosphere to the room, so if not done well, the result is a lingering feeling of “something is not right here”. It is subtle, yet uncomfortable.

(insert picture 13-17 pls)

Ready to spare yourself some interior design pain?

Thank you Aileen for these great Five Interior Design Tips

Contact Aileen:

Aileen’s website

Schipmolen 41

1035CG Amsterdam

Region: Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Utrecht, Den Haag, Rotterdam.


Aileen Martinia




For more great articles like this, see our Amsterdam blogs section.

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