Have you ever wondered why come your home never seems to manage to like the fabulous homes featured in Architectural Digest; even though you follow all the design trends and are pretty sure that you have good taste? The simple answer is that interior design is so much more than simply knowing the basic rules and trends. You have to think like a designer, especially if you are aiming to create an interior that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In this article, we’ll try to help you understand key principles that will help you see things from the perspective of an interior design professional and make your living space live up to its full potential. Hold on for a crash course in Interior design 101.
Understand your goals and priorities
The first thing that an interior design professional does before they start creating a layout for a room and thinking about décor are their clients’ needs, goals and priorities. Just because you are designing your own home, it doesn’t mean you do not need to stop and ask all of your household members (and yourself) what they expect from a home. Some would prefer to focus on comfort, while others prioritize privacy and peace.
Focus on the important things first
Interior design can be seen as an art, which makes it extremely fun and creative. Therefore, it is somewhat easy to get carried away by decorative details such as wall lamps and ceramic vases. This can only get you distracted from the main goal – creating a functional space. Before you move on to the playful side of decorating, you should decide on the larger more important things first in a room, such as – the size of the bed in the bedroom, the type of kitchen cabinetry – will it be shaker or slab doors, are you going for an open concept or a closed concept, etc. By keeping your eye on the prize and prioritizing what is the most important things in the space, will serve to help you stay focused and end up with a well designed space.
Form follows function
When you are designing one specific area, you need to introduce furnishings and other design elements that support its intended use, especially if you are operating in a small space. This is easily done once you divide your place into different areas for each activity, such as cooking, dining, reading, watching TV, and other. Also, smaller spaces will require furniture pieces that can serve two or more functions (e.g. an ottoman with hidden storage or a sofa that pulls out into a bed).
Everything should have an aesthetic purpose
Thinking of the function primarily doesn’t mean you should neglect the form. Even the most ordinary pieces will send some message about your décor, so they need to fit into the overall design. If you are aiming for a minimalist look, you shouldn’t have an enormous entertainment center for your TV across the entire wall. Instead consider a low profile console for the tv with legs. When contemplating a kitchen remodel, think about more than just function, you should make sure to choose well-designed cabinetry, appliances, lighting and countertops that all work together in harmony. For example, installing Blanco appliances is a great way to add that polished look to a space because the quality and aesthetics of the products are timeless and will fit with any decor for years to come.
Design is 90% inspiration
Remember that a successful interior design is greatly influenced by your inspiration. While your primary goal is to create a space with a purpose, don’t lose sight on the fact that it is “possible” to design a living space that is both practical and beautiful at the same time. You may ask yourself: where do I look for inspiration? Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only find inspiration on TV in one of the great but hugely addictive tv shows, or only online in one one of the countless home improvement websites.
You can find design inspiration hidden in some of the most incredible of places; for example, you can get inspired by the colors and patterns of your favorite purse, you can find design inspiration on a trip to the flea market or a garage sale. Think about one of your dream vacation destinations… (Japanese-inspired bathroom, anyone?). Still, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of too many different sources of inspiration. Create a mood (inspiration) board and track your ideas from the very beginning.
Finally, besides following some basic rules of interior design (e.g. scale and the rule of thirds), your home should be functional and reflect both your needs and your personality. If you have succeeded in all of that – there is nothing more for us to say than one big bravo.
Hope you enjoyed these tips and ideas.. Happy Designing….
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”