Simple interior design rules everyone should know
A good, thought-through interior design can completely affect the way you feel – it can uplift your spirit, make you feel organized, inspire you, increase creativity and much more. The right colors, accents, and decorations bring everything in a house together and make it look extraordinary and cozy – just what we strive for, when creating our dream home.
In this blog post, we'll be looking at some interior design rules (more like useful tips, since interior design is all about personality, individuality and creativity) that you should keep in mind if you wish to achieve best eye-pleasing results.
What you should think about before getting started
What you have to understand with interior design is that you should always follow your heart, needs, and taste. You should be able to feel comfortable, relaxed, and cozy in your home and you can’t do that by just blindly following the newest interior design trends. Comfort is key to a home. A comfortable room is one where it is easy to live in, so you have to take care of functional things, for example, having a table next to a sofa so you have a place to put your cup of tea and books that you enjoy while sitting on the sofa.
Also, not everything will look good in your particular home, or will fit your aesthetic. What stays with you are the emotions you feel when you enter the room, so strive to make your interior calming/energizing/uplifting/inspiring etc. Because no one will remember every piece of furniture you own, but will remember how they felt there.
So pay attention to the right energy in your house, rather than having the best stuff. Because you can put a price on furniture, decors, and other elements in your house, but the memories and late night conversations you share with your friends and family in a space, where everybody feels comfortable and cozy, are priceless.
So plan everything through – what kind of style you are going for, what kind of overall vibe you want to create, the purpose of different elements in your house and then you will get that perfect interior you will enjoy for the years to come.
1. Focal Point
First of all, in every room there should be a focal point that catches the eye. Before purchasing furniture or making any big decisions, choose a wall that will serve as a focal point. A focal point can be a wall with an interesting, brave wallpaper design, or different color and texture (perhaps you have seen brick walls in some houses).
But focal point doesn’t include only walls - the focal point can be a fireplace, a huge piece of artwork, or anything that demands attention. After you have chosen your statement wall/piece of art, you can start building the room around it. Meaning – choose colors, furniture, decors and other things based off of your focal point. But don’t block the view with your furniture – the furniture actually should highlight, mark out your statement piece. Everything in your room should work together – the focal point should bring everything together and the rest of the items in the room should highlight the focal point.
The first thing you have to do before choosing your color, is ask yourself – How do I want to feel in this room? If it's comfort you strive for, then go for darker colors, if uplifting vibe, then definitely go for lighter colors.
When choosing a color palette, use color theory to guide you. It's based around a wheel of shades, and what you should take in mind is that the colors opposite each other will work together – contrasts are always the key. Great advice is to use a lighter tone of one color and darker for the other contrasting color, for example, if you choose an indigo blue, a great match would be a light, not as intensive, shade of orange.
A matching scheme feels too plain, without a sparkle, almost like you've been too nervous to try anything else. Never use a color just once in your home or one color in the whole house. The perfect balance would be this scenario – walls in one color that you love and house decors/furniture in the contrasting color.
If you don’t feel like bringing much color in your home and just want to stick to white, you should take in mind that there are different whites as well. Pay attention to pigments to make the right choice – choose white with blue tints for cool, urban design, or Scandinavian interior style. Red tint will look great with brick walls and will create a cozy, warm atmosphere. White with yellow tint will be perfect for rustic homes and families since this color will create a comfy environment. Also, remember that plants and decors can bring in a lot of color in your home. So if you want to create a calming vibe in a room, white walls and plenty of plants will do the trick. If you worry about making the wrong choice, choose softer whites instead of vivid white paints.
The decision to paint the ceiling or not should be completely based on the space itself. Rooms where the ceilings aren't just white are more interesting and fashionable, however, you should make this decision according to the height of the walls. A golden rule for low rooms – you should always use the same color on the ceiling as for the walls, so it’s not as noticeable where the wall ends. But if you have tall walls, you can express your creativity on the ceiling with no worries.
Everyone tends to forget about the fifth wall, so your choice to paint the ceiling would definitely stand out and be a great conversation starter. If you are not quite sure about splashing color on your ceiling, you can always use removable peel & stick wallpaper. There are many beautiful designs available that would fit your house perfectly – for example, Decco Print offers flora and fauna designs, Japanese, Art Deco, geometry, Scandinavian and other designs. It is even possible to order a small sample if you don’t want to experiment with the whole ceiling. And once you get tired of the wallpaper or just don’t feel like it fits the aesthetic, you can peel it off as simply as it is to stick it to the wall (or ceiling in this case).
When choosing the floor, the best advice is to opt for longevity rather than relying on trends. For example, even though a white carpet is stylish, it will not be the best and most practical choice. Floor is something you will, possibly, change only once, so durability is of great importance – choose something that you can live with for many years. Great options are herringbone parquet, a checkerboard entryway or wooden boards, because those will age gracefully as you live in a house.
When used in the correct colors and proportions, the right rug will set the right tone in your home. With rugs you can define different housing areas if you have an open floor plan. Also, a rug would work for those, who have small children – kids tend to fall quite often and a rug will soften the fall, as well as it is possible to create comfortable and safe playing zones for kids using rugs. Though take in mind that rugs and carpets need to be regularly cleaned, since the texture and material holds on to dirt and dust.
Another thing you have to take in mind with rugs is the placement and sizing. In the living room - the front legs (or preferably all the legs) of your furniture should sit on the rug. A small rug that just exists in the middle of the room is definitely something you should avoid at all costs. In the dining room the rug should be in a size where the chair legs are still on the rug when you pull the chairs out. Anywhere else – try to buy a rug that extends 15-20 cm from the sides of the furniture.
Lighting can and will change the mood of any room. Make sure to layer your lighting, instead of using a single ceiling light – this makes the room feel two-dimensional. Light has to come from multiple sources instead of just one that is above your head. Before purchasing your lighting elements, take note that bright lights can make you feel alert and awake, but dimmer, softer lights can be relaxing and sleep-inducing.
To choose the right lighting, think of what tasks you will be doing in each room. For example, cooking requires more concentrated lighting, so bright downlights and recessed lighting will definitely aid this process. For reading, opt for flexible and directional lighting. A restroom will require a combination of sidelights and downlights. For a calm, magical atmosphere, use fairy lights (these will also look wonderful in a kids' room).
You can also use lighting to bring focus on a feature wall, your focal point, architectural element or anything that would require attention in your house.
Also, remember to get lighting items that suit your interior design style as well as color scheme.
6. Mix everything up
Mixing textures and materials is what creates depth and liveliness in a room. Add different textures with accents like rugs, throws, or accent cushions. You can and should mix metal with wood, rattan or some natural woven fabrics. Or just mix different metals too – in your lighting objects, decors, pots and pans.
Mix up shapes – you can find a lot of rectangles in the room - that’s just the way it is. And to break this cycle, get your stuff in various shapes. If your room is looking like it has lots of lines and angles, think about adding some different shapes, such as circles or ovals. You can introduce these shapes in the form of rugs, pillows, wall art, coffee tables, mirrors and more.
You can mix furniture too – definitely don’t buy furniture sets, that’s the death of your sophisticated interior design. Of course, those are practical and affordable, but you might get tired of them too soon and if you strive for something more personal and unique, you should definitely avoid them. Instead, buy every piece of furniture in different stores. Though make sure they match the main theme and overall vibe. Mix the materials of the furniture too.
Now you know what are the most basic of basics and now you should be able to create a tasteful home of your dreams.
The best rule for you to take in mind is to follow your own taste instead of something that is trendy but does not sit right with you. Your interior should be an extension of your personality, so go on and show it off! With the help of all the knowledge you learned in this article, you should be able to work wonders!