'The mistake that people make is with colour' – Lily Allen's expert-backed decorating tip

The singer's surprising advice on where to start when decorating a room

Lily Allen
(Image credit: Getty Images/Dave Benett)

Lily Allen has always been a style icon (who didn't wear trainers and prom dresses in the early 2000s?) but with the reveal of her Brooklyn home last year, she’s also become something of an design tastemaker. So it's no surprise that our interest was piqued when a Lily Allen interior design tip gets dropped.

This design tip came to listeners courtesy of Lily’s BBC Sounds podcast Miss Me?, co-hosted by her best friend, TV and radio presenter Miquita Oliver. Each episode revolves around a different topic, and for the pod that dropped on 13th May the theme was one of our favourites – property.

It’s especially interesting as the given advice involves rugs, and if you’ve ever seen Lily’s home, you’ll know that her flooring choices are memorable, and even controversial – to the point that she even stirred up quite a bathroom carpet debate last year.

A post shared by Lily Allen

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Lily Allen’s interior design tip

In a nutshell, Lily’s tip is to start decorating a room with the rug and build your way up and out from there in order to help you create your living room colour scheme (or that of any other room, for that matter).

‘My tip for interior design - get this - is start with a rug,' said Lily. 'The mistake that people make is with colour. It's very hard to decide what colour the room should be, what colour the furniture should be and then put a rug in it at the end that's going to match with everything.'

'I think if you start with a rug, you can see what your colour palette is and you start from there. And you can pick out a little colour here, a colour there. That's always what I do – start with a rug and work your way up.'

A living room with a large window, a window seat and houseplant, all tied together with a patterned rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

‘That's actually bloody brilliant advice! Also, you have great rugs and now I know why,' responded Miquita.

The star indeed does boast some amazing statement rugs and carpets as Lily’s home decor subscribes to the kitsch bloomcore trend in some parts while blending in the summery strawberry girl aesthetic.

A pastel living room painted in sky blue with a colour-blocked rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

What the experts have to say

Despite the fact that this advice might seem quite unconventional, it turns out that interior and flooring experts fully back it up.

‘Capable of bringing a room together, while introducing a welcomed splash of colour, a rug provides the perfect base to build a design scheme upon,’ says Kirsty Barton, brand storytelling manager at Alternative Flooring.

‘Contrary to popular belief, a rug makes for the perfect starting point when designing a room. Doing so allows you to create a harmonious and inviting space that incorporates both texture and colour from the very start, rather than as a finishing touch.’

A dining room with a round dining table, woven chairs and a patterned rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

‘Starting with a rug when decorating a room is a strategic and impactful approach to interior design – and it actually makes the whole process really easy too,' agrees Daniel Prendergast, director at The Rug Seller.

'A well-chosen rug acts as the foundation upon which the entire room's aesthetic is built, ensuring much more cohesion in the overall room design.’

‘While I’d say most people don’t use their choice of rug as a starting point for a room’s decor, we’re finding that many more people are switching on to the benefits of taking this approach.’

Our rug picks inspired by Lily Allen’s home

If her tip has you excited about flooring, here are our favourite rug picks inspired by those decorating the rooms of Lily Allen's own home.

So it seems that Lily Allen is right on the money. We can’t wait to hear other nuggets of interior design and home decor wisdom she might drop in the future.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.