1. Choose Your Style
What do you want your space to feel like? To help you find your style, take a look in your closet. Are you more drawn to tailored pieces or looser, more casual items? Are you drawn to certain colors and patterns? You can also think of key words to describe how you want the space to feel. Traditional, formal, elegant? Playful, humorous, inviting? Monochromatic, streamlined, modern?
Design inspirations can be found in all aspects of your life. These are often the starting points for discussions with clients when I am hired to design their homes’ interiors. Think back to a place you’ve stayed at or a restaurant you visited that caught your eye. Maybe it was the minimalist interior of your trip to Japan, or perhaps a bar in New York with leather-covered chairs.
2. Find out what you don’t like
It’s much easier to say what you don’t like. We can reduce some things by incorporating our dislikes. A large, bold print could remind you of something you didn’t like in your childhood. A wingback chair could bring back childhood memories of helping your sister pull her hair. A certain color could also evoke memories of past trends that you don’t want to repeat. These feelings and memories are personal and can also be a way to define our tastes.
3. You can build around your space
Space planning is crucial as it impacts scale. Many furniture is either too big or too small to fit into a given space. Large-scale furniture can saturate interiors. I blame a particular retail company. You should only buy furniture you have the space to fit it. Consider the space’s balance. Consider creating zones for different activities in larger rooms. One area could be used for conversation, another for TV viewing and a workspace with a desk or table to work on projects or other tasks. Symmetry is a great thing, but it can also make the space feel too cluttered. To balance out a space, think about its visual weight and distribution. Design is all about proportion and scale.
4. Try it!
The most important and cost-effective decision you can make is to choose the right paint color. The best paint choices will connect spaces. Think of the whole house. If you paint only one room at a time, you run the risk of creating disjointed spaces. Consider how colors can affect our mood. Certain colors can make us feel happy, calm, or even agitated. For a stark contrast to white walls, I’ve been known as to paint interior doors in bold black.
When looking at different options, you can actually see the colors on your walls. Take the time to observe them in different lighting conditions, such as morning light, night light, and natural light. A color that works well in one project might not be the right choice for another. You might not find the right color for your home if it doesn’t work in your friend’s house. Although the chips from the paint store can be a good starting point, what looks great on paper may not work in your home. Try a few different colors on your wall with white paints. Pay particular attention to the undertones. You can add touches of yellow, blue or pink to the walls. Temperature of the light is strongly affected by the outside environment. Your interior walls can be reflected by the vegetation or blue sky.
5. Mix high and low price points
The best doesn’t always mean the best (whether it is art, furniture, or dogs). Look for unknown artists or designers and choose based on the shape, comfort, and how it works for you. Even the simplest objects can be beautiful and have the most soul. Mixing high and low prices is okay. You don’t have to treasure everything in order to be valuable. You can do the opposite by spending on something you love.
6. Start from the Ground Up
Design can seem overwhelming. Many people want to know where to begin. It is best to start from the ground up when designing a room. You can have area rugs, hardwood floors, tile, stone, or wall-to-wall flooring. The layout of the space will be determined by how many pieces you place on top of it. You have more options for colors and upholstery if you choose a neutral tone or natural fibre without too much pattern or color. You can use an antique rug as a starting point to create a color scheme. You need to arrange these items in tandem. Otherwise, you will end up with a circus effect. There are too many things going on and the space doesn’t work in harmony. Your style will be limited if you start with a sofa or upholstered chair. An area rug that offers dozens, if not hundreds, of options will allow you to be more flexible. You have many options, and you can layer pieces. It is much simpler to decide on your final floor covering first and then layer.