Secret Interior Design Tricks and Tips You Should Know!

Living Room

Don’t try to match everything, pillows, accessories and artwork help break up any monotony.

After 25 years in the interior design business, I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve uncovered secret interior design tricks and tips you should know, so I’m sharing them. I learned the hard way through trial and error so you don’t have to. Here are some answers to some, “Dear Jane” questions I’ve received, with some answers.

Dear Jane,

What’s the best window covering in a bathroom? I have metal mini blinds and they always look dirty.

Dear Dirt Buster,

Unfortunately, due to dampness, window coverings in a bathroom tend to attract moisture and dust; which turns into grime. My suggestion is to purchase vinyl shutters. You can flip them up to open or down to close, they’re waterproof and easy to clean. Unlike the old vinyl, they don’t turn yellow over time. Here’s a tip; if you don’t like white, interior shutters are also available in multiple colours; try black or charcoal. You can also do customizable window shutter shapes (see photo below). A second option is a flat roller screen in plastic.

Custom shutter

Waterproof, vinyl shutters work well in bathrooms; just wipe clean.

Dear Jane,

It’s time to replace my older sofa and love seat in my basement. Should I replace them with a sectional?

Dear Over The Loveseat,

People have gotten away from two seater sofas, or love seats for a good reason. Only one person usually ends up in it and if you get two in it, they’re both uncomfortable. One answer is a sectional. If your room is casual and you like to snuggle and put your feet up invest in a sectional. If you are a more formal family or entertain in a more formal way, a sectional may be too casual because it means peoples’ legs touch as they get closer to the corner—not the most comfortable experience. In that case, I suggest multiple single chairs.


Sectionals work with large groups and casual settings

Dear Jane,

Is matchy-matchy a bad thing?

Dear 1980s,

Please don’t come back. You were too coordinated and everything looked like it came from a set. The way to break up with the past is to add extra throw pillows and accent pieces. If your style is more polished get something rough-hewn, like wood, or industrial style to change it up. Or change your area rug to a different style in colours that coordinate but don’t match.

Living room

Everything doesn’t have to match. Mix it up with accessories.

Dear Jane,

What size should the lighting fixture be over a bathroom vanity?

Dear Fixated,

Your light fixture should be at least the size of the sink. Make sure it’s slightly less wide than the vanity, you don’t want it to go beyond as it will look out of proportion.

Lighting over vanity

Lighting should not extend past the width of the vanity.


Dear Jane,

Our bathroom is 9′ x 9′ and currently has an 80″ vanity with 1 sink. My husband wants two sinks – how big should the new vanity be? The current layout has the shower stall to the left, a corner tub past the shower on the left, the vanity is on the right and the toilet is past the vanity on the right. We will be installing a freestanding tub, should it run along the back wall?


Long vanity, single sink

Before: the 80″ vanity is more than big enough to hold two sinks.

Shower and soaker tub

Before: The shower is a closed stall next to the soaker tub.

Dear No Rest in the Restroom,

The average size for a vanity with 2 sinks would be 60” to 72”, so your 80” vanity has more than enough room for 2 sinks. Depending on how much space you have from your toilet to where the tub would stand, you could place the tub along the same wall as the shower.  If you have enough room you can place your tub on an angle. Also, consider making the shower walls half glass so it’s more open.

Modern tub ,angled

If you have space, free-standing tubs look good positioned on an angle.


Custom vanity two sinks

Custom-made vanities can be designed to fit perfectly in the dimensions of your room.

Hope you learned a secret or two!

Send your design and décor questions (with photos) to