Interior designs: ‘Creativity and individuality are on trend now’

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IS THERE such a thing as ‘Scottish’ interior design? A visitor strolling down Edinburgh’s High Street might be forgiven for thinking we were caught in a tartan time warp and that the Balmoralisation of interiors I discussed last week was still the Scottish decorator’s way to go.

But you only have to look at the houses featured in this publication to realise how far this is from the truth.

Always a nation of innovators, our design heritage continues to break fresh ground with imaginative reworking of older styles. There is a host of fresh ideas around and much of them successfully marry historic features with modern materials while a growing number of products sport environmentally friendly credentials. Creativity and individuality are on trend now. Pattern, colour and detail are in vogue and upcycled pieces have shed any utility make-do-and-mend image to become the design classics of the future.

How do you go about choosing a style for your own home? Are you happy to break boundaries or do you prefer to stay with the tried and tested? What are your priorities when it comes to decorating? What does your lifestyle demand? What is the size, architectural style and setting of your home? Why are you decorating? Who is the finished product aimed at? What are your time constraints and budget? What are your skills? A daunting list, but questions that any professional designer would ask and, if you are time poor or planning a major revamp, you would be well advised to seek professional help. For more modest makeovers, why not make 2012 the year when you break the boundaries and become your own designer? You’d be surprised how often success is as much a matter of confidence as of competence.

Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our online shop for our design services and courses together with unique, eco, chic home accessories. Learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design course (07765 057 409,