Interior Design Basics
15th Jun, 2018
Everyone wants to make sure that their home is personal to them, but if you don’t know the basics of interior design then it can be very easy to get carried away and end up with a result that looks messy, mismatched, or overdone. To help you out we’ve put together an easy guide on interior design basics, so you can get the most out of your home.
Choosing your style
The first thing you have to do when figuring out your interior design is to choose a style that suits you. This doesn’t have to be too specific – you can pick a style that is as simple as ‘casual’ or ‘formal’ – but if you pick something as specific as neo-Victorian or Mediterranean, then you already have a theme that will tie your entire home together.
This style should be something that you want to encompass your entire home, and from it you can choose how to make each room unique.
Choose your focal points
Every room needs a focal point to draw the eye. Without one a room can look flat and boring – or worse scattered and badly thought out.
Sometimes you can see a natural focal point the moment you walk into a room – if there is a large fireplace or prominent window then these can be perfect to build your room around. If there aren’t any architectural features then you have to plan on creating focal points yourself – whether that’s wall focal points or using furniture.
When to pick what?
Furniture should always be picked out after you have decided on your style, but before you have settled on your paint colours. Many people choose the paint colour first, but it is much harder to find furniture that complements your wall than it is to choose a paint to complement your furniture.
Once you’ve chosen your furniture and colours then it’s the right time to pick out your accessories whether that is artwork, mirrors, or display pieces. Use these to define or complement your focal points when arranging your room.
Your colour scheme is what ties your entire home together so make sure that you give choosing your home colours some serious thought. Not only that, but you should also think about your use of colour in a room by room basis. Repeating a contrast colour (such as in some cushions, a painting, and a lamp) can make a room feel excited while keeping room colours in a similar shade can give it a relaxed feel.
Also think about colour progression, you can make your home flow by keeping one colour consistent throughout your home whether that’s a neutral tone or contrast colour. Or you can change colour schemes by gradually moving through complementary colours in rooms that lead off each other to finish at a very different colour scheme without it feeling jarring.
The balance of your room is about judging the visual ‘weight’ of objects to give your room a sense of equilibrium. Keeping your room symmetrical can give a more formal and traditional look, while asymmetrical balance gives a more casual or modern feel.
The visual weight of furniture can be affected by colour and pattern - especially if it is bold. Symmetrical designs require objects that are similar in weight (i.e. similar colour depth or pattern strength), while asymmetric designs balance fewer ‘heavier’ objects against multiple ‘lighter’ elements.
Think about your lighting and don’t just rely on standard overhead lights. For the best effect, you should layer your lighting using a mix of overhead lights, table lamps, wall sconces, and floor lamps.
Layering light gives a better coverage that is more flattering both to the room and to the people in it. Choosing the right lighting can give a truly impressive boost to any room design.
- Try not to push furniture against the walls and instead create smaller social areas
- Vary shapes – mix square furniture with more rounded elements
- Stick to your overall style: don’t mix and match styles – but you can bring in new elements
- Think about the style of the room and consider its function – no matter how good a room looks if you can’t get comfortable or use it for its intended purpose then you’ll never be happy with it