Interior designer reveals what makes your home ‘tacky’ and paint mistake everyone makes

ByDevin Pulos

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From choosing the perfect colour paint to installing the right furniture, there are many big decisions when it comes to decorating your own home.

Some people get daunted by the enormity of the task ahead and either don’t get started or give up when they hit the first hurdle – but not Siobhan Murphy.

Siobhan, 43, a TV star and presenter, is an interior design expert and spends her time coming up with incredible designs for her clients – often with eye-popping colours and bespoke finishes.

And now she’s spoken to the Mirror to share her top interior design tips, revealing how you can make your home sparkle without risking it looking tacky.

Siobhan said colour is key to setting the right vibe


Siobhan Murphy)

Have you ever decorated your own home? Let us know in the comments…

Siobhan, who runs her own company, Interior Curve, said: “I always say, decorate from the heart – if you love something, then it can’t be wrong.

“It’s your home, you’re spending a lot more time in our homes at the moment and many of us are working from home, so for me, it’s all about looking at the room and thinking how you want to feel in that space.

“I’m in my office now, it’s pink, there’s neon, I’m surrounded by wigs and fashion, all the things that I love, because I want to be surrounded by that energy.

“In the bathroom, you might want more of a sanctuary – I’d start with how you want to feel in that room then look for the right colour, colour is the most transformative thing in design. It’s really important to pick a colour palette.”

Siobhan’s bathroom design is very impressive


Siobhan Murphy)

Siobhan is a trained miller and was featured on the BBC’s The Clothes Show back in the 90s where she showed off her unique style.

Now she lives in Castleford, West Yorkshire, in a 1930s Art Deco house that she’s filled with ‘wild prints, wallpapers, and soft furnishings’.

She said that to make your dream home, you have to plan – as budgeting and prepping is key to success.

She added: “I always wish I was better at planning, if you’re starting a room look at the internet as a great resource and take inspiration from the things that you love, there’s loads of DIY hacks and tips online, as well as ways to budget.

Got a collection? Siobhan said it was best to leave it on display


Siobhan Murphy)

But her biggest tip of all is to be yourself, as showing off your personality will make your home decor seem unique and authentic.

She continued: “I’m really keen that if you have a collection of something, or if you love a particular thing, to display it.

” I went to a hotel in Venice recently and they had beautiful hand-painted fans and mirrors, that sort of thing. They can easily be locked away somewhere but why not display them? If they bring you joy put them on a shelf, on display, and you appreciate it.

“I always look for what clients like. It could be art, wigs, anything – displayed together it can look really cool.”

She went on to say how when it comes to your home, you shouldn’t feel constrained by design norms and should throw the rulebook out the window.

This bold wallpaper adds to the atmosphere of the room


Siobhan Murphy)

She added: “We’ve had a lot of rules about what you can wear, what you can’t wear, we’ve been told you can’t paint your skirting boards a certain colour they have to be white, but it’s time to break those rules.

“Paint it pink if it will make you happy.

“Put your own personality on the walls, inspiration can start with the most random thing, a beautiful scarf you bought on your holidays, you might think actually these colours would look really good in my lounge.

“I went to Marakesh a few years ago and I thought how can I bring this to Castleford.

“We spend so much time in our homes, let’s make them somewhere we want to hang out. If the neighbours don’t like it, that’s fine because they’re not living there.

From bold prints to bright colours, Siobhan believes you should run with your instincts


Siobhan Murphy)

“Throw the rulebook out the window.”

Siobhan said her inspiration was born out of necessity, as initially, she had a small boxy home with no character – so she had to work twice as hard to make it chic.

She added: “I have an art deco house now, it’s full of character, before that I lived in a 1970s semi that was devoid of any type of features – for me that was a learning curve, how could I make it into something that’s a bit of me, a bit more lively, I think also when everything’s brand new there’s not much depth there so I like to introduce some vintage pieces along with new stuff.

“It’s all about personal taste, sometimes people say the room looks tacky and I think well ok, that’s your opinion, but it’s my house and that’s the main thing for me. Don’t decorate with your friends or family in mind, decorate how you want to live.

“For me, a tacky place would be no colour, everything is super new, I think where there is personality, there’s the love. More is more, for me. Also, I saw a line the other day – ‘one person’s tacky is another’s haute couture’.

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“It’s all just personal taste. For me, I love loads of colour loads of fashion prints, I like to make sure when I walk into a room I can’t read everything, I want my eyes to be drawn to the furniture, the decor, the colours. If I can read it in a second that’s no good for me.

“Objects have memories attached to them as well don’t they, it’s nice when they are on display.

Recently, Siobhan has teamed up with Shawbrook Bank, a retail and commercial bank, to encourage people to finish off their half-started DIY projects – as part of their DI-Y Did I Bother campaign.

Research by the pair showed that more than half (56 per cent) of people surveyed claim their property is a ‘work in progress’, and 48 per cent don’t think their home will ever be finished.

Siobhan added: “Over 50 per cent of people have got half-started projects, I thought it would be more. I’ve asked all my friends and they say they have loads. People don’t plan, they don’t budget, they pluck a figure out of the air and think that’s what it’ll cost.

“It could be £2k for a pergola, without planning or thinking about who’s going to do the work. A lot of projects are started and people run out of time, budget, or run out of enthusiasm when things are going on and on and on.

“If you want something doing and it’s on a medium to a bigger scale, you need to plan and need to be sure. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll run out of steam or budget halfway through, then it’s a total waste of money.”

Together, they are running a competition this summer where one lucky winner can win a 1-2-1 consultation with Siobhan – for more information, click here.

Siobhan recently published her first book, More is More Decor – a Handbook for Maximalists.

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