In the latest in our series quizzing arbiters of style about their decorating dos and don'ts, we speak to India Mahdavi, the Iranian-born architect and designer, who opened her studio in Paris in 1999, and famous for her dramatic interiors
Bathrooms and kitchens should be furnished like any other room.
My kitchen has curtains, a rug and a velvet screen - I cannot live in a slick way.
Don't go for cheap wooden floors - they can look like plastic.
If you don't have the budget for good-quality wood, go for tiles. They are a good alternative and can be inexpensive.
It's important to focus on perspective.
Wherever your eye takes you when you enter a room, something strong should be there. It could be a piece of art, a lamp, or a wall painted in a colour. Place two sofas facing each other in a living area. Two sofas together are like the eyebrows of a space: they make everything sit better.
If you're on a tight budget, get your big pieces from places such as Ikea and go for strong colours.
You'll see the colour rather than the quality. Spend more money on the smaller objects, such as accessories.
Velvet is a good fabric to use as it comes in beautiful colours.
I use velvet a lot because it's soft and curvy and I like straight flashes of colour in a room.
Don't limit yourself to only one or two colours
It's like matching your socks to your tie. One should experiment with colour and pattern - a harmony can come out of the chaos.
Don't waste money on expensive radiators.
People get obsessed with them, but when the place is furnished, you don't notice them that much.
Be generous with curtains, but don't let them pool at the floor - they should just touch it.
The standard is to allow for 20cm of fabric on either side of the window, but I give 50cm at least and sometimes I cover the whole wall.
Taken from the October 2015 issue of House & Garden.
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