Top design ideas differ from trends in that top design ideas have longevity as well as style. There are ways to modernise and beautify your home without great expense and without fearing a short-lived trend.

Perhaps you love your home – the location, the neighbours, the amenities – but you need some tweaking to make it more of a dream home. The top design ideas below will help you to create the home you desire by simply tweaking what you have.

Top Design Ideas for Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is a place where everyone comes together so it must be functional and safe. However, if you don’t have the budget to take out a wall to create an open-plan space, then consider some other ideas. For example, replace some cupboards with open shelves to create the illusion of space.

If you want a change of colour, the easiest option may be to replace the splash back. This is a relatively easy and cost-effective option. You could paint the doors yourself but this is rarely a stylish long-term solution.

top design ideas

New Excava weathered industrial countertop and splash back from Caesarstone

Or just replace the door handles with luxurious rose gold, industrial wrought iron or modern leather pull tabs.

Perhaps you could install a fabulous and dramatic central light fitting or a row of three pendant lights along the breakfast bar.

In fact, one of the simplest ways to cheaply upgrade your kitchen is by clearing the countertops of clutter.


Go Bold

Don’t be afraid of bold colour, especially deep jewel colours. Rich and dark colours in small rooms are dramatic and cosy. Colours such as burgundy, rich raspberry, navy blue, indigo, emerald and deep green are luxurious especially when mixed with gold.

top design ideas

Interior design by Highgate House

Forgo white and dig down deep into your personality. What deep, rich, jewel colours do you love? From a feature wall to a whole room, bold and rich colours are indulgent and glamorous. How can you lose?

If you’re not convinced, start with a small room, such as the powder room or toilet, to give you some confidence. With touches of white for freshness and warm metallics – rose gold, brass, gold, brushed nickel – deep, rich, jewel colours are divine. You can’t lose.

See our article on how to think like a decorator and get more ideas and expert tips


Think Double

Do you live with a partner? Then you’ll probably know that it’s good for ‘stuff’ to come in twos. For example, bath towels that come in his ‘n her variants – not matchy-matchy or monogrammed; but complementary colours and patterns.

And if you share a bathroom at the same time of the day then you’ll love to  have an extra sink installed too.

top design ideas

Image courtesy of TruexCullins Architecture and Interior Design

If you have the room, there is a great sense of luxury to have twin sinks, especially under-mount sinks and a stone countertop. You can style with twin mirrors, instead of one large mirror, which also amps up the luxury.


White, White, White!

Whilst I love colour, I’m not anti-white. In fact, white can make colour stand out. As an interior designer in Adelaide I have two top design ideas about the use of white.

1. if you want a white room, then make sure you have LOTS of texture – rugs, cushions, throws, drapes – have sheepskin, faux fur, velvet, knotty wool, silk, rough linen – LOTS of texture so the white isn’t clinical and ‘blah’. You could also add a little blonde wood too – a mirror or picture frame, a small stool, or a lampshade.

2. if you love colour and want to have lots of colourful wall art and accessories, paint your walls white. This provides a beautiful backdrop to make the colour POP!



It’s a good idea to spend as much as you can afford on key pieces of furniture including a sofa, dining table, and mattress. These are important pieces of furniture that you want to last for many years. Fabric should be top quality with frames, webbing and springs that are hard wearing, comfortable and sturdy.

However, my top design ideas for modernising and beautifying your home is look for additional items. Ottomans in a bold fabric that can be tucked under a console table or a coffee table add extra seating. Yet they can be stored out of the way when not in use. As small items in a bold fabric, they add glamour without overwhelming the room.

top design ideas

Image courtesy of Willey Design

Another furniture item I love is a Butler’s Tray. These are trays that sit on collapsible X-shaped legs. As the name suggests, these ‘trays’ were used by the Butler to serve tea or drinks. The tray was able to picked up and put elsewhere or back on the legs. They are perfect for bedside tables, in a small hallway, in a bathroom or used in the kitchen. Such a small item does add luxury to a room.

See our article on 5 ways interior designers save you money so you can avoid making expensive mistakes.


Out with the Old

If you have an old fireplace (that probably smokes), it’s possible this could be holding your home back. Converting wood fireplace to gas insert isn’t hard to do when you hire the right professional. You may be surprised at how easy this can be for you to do in your own home as well.

top design ideas

Many home buyers love an open fire as long as it’s clean burning, easy to clean, modern looking and effective. These items can often add value to the home too. Modern installations look stylish and can save thousands on energy bills.


Blending Rooms

If you have a connecting dining room and living room then they need to flow together with cohesive decor. With a consistency of flooring and colours the space will look more spacious and certainly more stylish.

Choose co-coordinating not matching fabrics for the sofa and the dining chairs, for example, and ensure you keep them fresh and clean. As these rooms do get a lot of use, mop up spills and use high-quality upholstery cleaning to maintain good looks.

These top design ideas are not trend led; they are ideas that will give longevity and dynamism to your home decor.