These days, interior design is becoming ever more flamboyant. White walls and minimalism are rapidly being replaced by lurid colours and clashing patterns. It’s a far harder trick to pull off than those white walls of old. When it’s done well, it can produce some very striking results. When it’s done badly, it can be an unmitigated disaster.

In reality, it probably requires a designer’s eye to do it properly, but that’s unlikely to stop us. Most of us like to think we’ve got good taste. As far as we are concerned, bad taste is something other people suffer from. We show off our new three-piece suites as though they were the world’s most desirable objects. We invite the neighbours around for dinner, just so they can admire our newly decorated sitting rooms with their feature wallpaper. We never imagine for one moment that when they go home they will be saying how vulgar it all was. No, we imagine them filled with envy at our fabulous sense of style.

A recent survey by furnishing store Homesense found that 59% of us believe others aspire to our sense of style and 65% rate our homestyle as excellent.

Now let’s just do a reality check for a moment – how many of your friends have got a sense of style that you truly aspire to? More than half of them? And how many of them have got an excellent sense of style? Two-thirds of them? Thought not. Actually, what this survey is telling us is the extent of our self-delusion when it comes to matters of taste and style.

The problem is, good taste is not something that can be easily measured. There are no right or wrong answers. Your parents probably thought themselves just as tasteful as you do, but what do you think of their style? Old-fashioned? Boring? Your children will almost certainly think the same about you.

Even when you take a look at some good quality interiors magazines, the self-styled arbiters of taste, you won’t love everything on show. You might even hate some of the designs. Everyone has a different idea about it. The people most likely to share your taste are normally to be found in your own peer group – ie they’re about the same age as you and share very similar backgrounds and interests. Even that’s no guarantee.

The issue of taste really comes to a head when you are trying to sell your house, and the latest over-the-top schemes makes things far trickier. They couldn’t be any further from the plain magnolia colour schemes so often recommended by the experts. Even when bolder designs are brilliantly done, not everyone will like them and not everyone who likes them will want to live with them. What makes matters worse is that when we are selling, we are often doing so to a completely different peer group to our own because we are moving onto a different stage in life. That different peer group will almost certainly have very different design ideas. It’s even more of an issue for lettings when the property is furnished because the tenant won’t just be able to change everything once they move in.

One thing we can be sure about is that we all share a common desire to personalise our homes, to make them our own in some shape or form. Bold designs can be overpowering and make it far harder to imagine how you might make a home your own. It puts an unnecessary barrier in the way of the sale and instantly limits your market. But most of us, when we read in the property press, about the need to depersonalise a house, think it only applies to other people. We are convinced our décor choices will actually aid the sale or the rental. Are we kidding ourselves? Probably.