How to make a happy home with interior designer and TV personality John Amabile

To celebrate this month’s Ideal Home Show in Scotland, Rightmove sat down with interior designer and TV personality John Amabile to discuss how to make a happy home.



Making a home your own

We are all inspired by gorgeous glossy magazines featuring amazing inspirational interiors, all-encompassing  this year’s must have colours, style and new look.

In some cases it’s also ‘keeping up with the Jones’ , but my burning question … Is it a happy home?

Does it work for the family?

Looking at planning your home

I’d start as if almost actually building the home, if buying or renovating you need to literally plan. Plan out the room areas making sure they can fit all your needs: seating, sleeping, eating, and entertaining. This is probably almost instinctive, as you know how you and your family live at present. Always lay out your room either on plan or make templates to check everything fits and gives the whole family maximum chilling comfort.

It’s the combination and flow of rooms and their interior finishes that sell a home!

A good flow of rooms from open plan to private areas are great for living, with a series of bedrooms and bathrooms to allow ease of use.

To create the happiness – it’s not always about the ‘spend, spend, spend’

We all want to ensure we have sufficient budget to create our happy home. Well-appointed and modern kitchen and bathrooms are essential for quick sales as these notoriously swallow up the cash spend!

Good storage allows for clutter free environments that exude a sea of calm and tranquillity

Even just a quick tidy can enhance the well-being of your home and make you feel so much better.

Improve the mood using light, bright and airy colours or tones

This will give a feeling of space in dark north facing rooms, which will uplift moods in dull spaces.

In south facing rooms, capitalize on sunshine by placing mirrors opposite windows to double and increase the light and add in brighter tones. Opt for stronger feature tones as the lightness can carry strength in colour.


Lighting is key to lightening up your guests’ faces

Ambient light in the form of table lamps, standard lamps and wall fittings all add light and valuable shade to create the atmosphere.  Overhead bright lights, unless in working kitchens, will simply bleach and flatten all your tried and tested efforts.

No matter how sensational the interior, for true happiness in home living we need comfort

When buying furniture always try before you buy, have a good ‘slump n’ slouch’ test and make sure it has durability and flexibility as well as good looks. There is no point buying a statement piece if it’s uncomfortable.


Design can be the deciding factor on how a room can make you feel

Having designed more than 800 TV ‘before and afters’, as well as successful design solutions for private clients and corporate hotels, I know just how the design and layout of a room can make you feel.

Of course, there is durability and safety to factor in and consider in public areas but the overall appearance of your home should make you smile and make you feel content when you leave for work or return home.

Add a spoonful of happiness by simply changing accessories or smaller items

It’s totally down to personality, but I always err on the side of a more temperate palette with additions of personality and colour to add individuality. That way you will have longevity and can always add items later such as a new rug which can introduce texture.  You can add strong colours and accessories to and old sofa or bed in the form of throws and cushions and really bring some life back into it, transforming it and making it fabulous again!

It’s your home and it should make you smile and feel happy because we spend our lives living in them!


John is the Ideal Interiors ambassador for the Ideal Home Show Scotland

at SECC, Glasgow, 23 – 26 May, 2014.

Ideal Home Show Scotland tickets available from:

More articles...

What will happen to house prices in 2022?

What will happen to house prices in 2022?

Find out...

Go to article
The 10 most in-demand rural locations for buyers

The 10 most in-demand rural locations for buyers

Find out where...

Go to article
Want to live longer? You might want to move to Detling in Kent

Want to live longer? You might want to move to Detling in Kent

Take a look...

Go to article