Designing your home should be an enjoyable experience but
all too often it can seem out of reach to a non-designer. Fear no more. Anyone
can design a stylish home for themselves with these simple interior design
rules of thumb.
1. Determine the Focal Point
When putting a room together, decide what
the focal point will be. This will give you something to build the room around
and help shape your decision on what to include. Commonly this will be a
physical aspect of the home that already exists, such as a fireplace or even
more simply, a window. From here, the placement of furniture will be done in
consideration to this point and where the attention is drawn. But the focal
point can also be one you add, such as a great piece of art or functionally, a
The color in your design should be
reflective of the overall style you’re going for. If your design is
transitional in style, you will want to incorporate neutral tones like white
and grey. In a room with traditional furniture and drapes, you wouldn’t want to
have walls painted hot pink with polka dots (unless that’s your thing and then, by all means, go for it). Before you start painting you should also consider if
the color you are choosing is at the end of its trend life or will be around
for some time. Do a little research to find out what the most popular color for
a kitchen or bathroom is before opening that can of paint. This article from MyMove
looks at some of the basic color rules you will want to consider when creating your design.
3. Golden Ratio in Design
This one can seem tricky at first but
simply comes down to proportions. You never want any part of your design to
overpower the rest in size comparison. The ratio that should be followed in
design is 60/40. Furniture should take up 60% of a room. Then the furniture
should fall into that rule also, where the size pairing between table and
chairs will fall into a 60/40 split. This is all important for the overall scaling
of a room, but don’t worry about getting that ratio exactly right. No one will
be coming by with a ruler to check your work.
Yes, the main point of creating a design in
your home is to make something that looks beautiful and is stylish, but never
forget what is most important to any interior design: comfort! Before you get
too carried away buying a chair that perfectly matches an end table, consider
if the chair meets you and your family’s needs for comfort and that the end
table meets the needs for storage. The flow of movement in a room is important
also. Getting from one point of a room to another should never feel like a struggle.
This ties into the function as well. The
lighting you choose for a room should be appropriate for the purpose. Something
that is popular to do, is to have multiple lighting options for each room. At
night when relaxing, it is good to have a low lighting option for ambient light
but there should be a brighter alternative should the need arise.
Outside of function, your lighting fixtures
should reflect the design style. A contemporary home would benefit from a
geometric lighting fixture and a traditional home may want something with more
flair, like a chandelier. A transitional home will want to embrace natural
lighting when possible and leave the windows uncovered. For more specifics on lighting by room, you can read these tips from HGTV.
It used to be just an instinct to place
furniture against a wall and was unthinkable to do anything else with it. But
if you have the space, try taking your couch off the wall and letting it free float
in the room. Couches and other furniture are now designed with backs that are
meant to be seen with this purpose in mind. Apartment Therapy looks at several
reasons you may want to consider it in this article.
It may seem simple to purchase all of your
furniture from the same place since you’re already there, it will match, etc.
But do not do this! This will create a look commonly likened to that of a
showroom. It will lack character and feel like it was designed without care.
Instead, get pieces from multiple sources to create something wholly your own
Many people will find themselves collecting
something as a hobby, such as unique coffee mugs or miniature figurines. But
why collect something if you aren’t going to have it on display for
appreciation? The main thing to remember
when displaying your collection is to leave it together. It’s a collection for
a reason and should not be separated and scattered all over your home. More
tips on displaying your collection in a style that will impress can be found in
this article from Hadley Court.
9. Wall Art
If you find yourself including wall art as
a part of your home décor, it should be hung with consideration for how it will
be viewed. Place it at a general eye level to make it easier for everyone to take
in. You will also want to hang it in an area for optimal visibility. Avoid
squeezing it in behind a plant or a lamp.
Don’t be intimidated! It may seem daunting to
try and match your floral couch with a different pattern, but it can be done. When
adding patterns to your design, think of it as fashion. You wouldn’t just
throw on any combination of patterned shirt and pants just as you shouldn’t
simply throw together any patterned couch and curtains. If you’re unsure about
a combination you’re thinking of, you can consult this handy list from TheSpruce which looks at some of the pattern mixing do’s and don’ts of interior
Check out some great information from Berenson Hardware!