Do you know the basic rules of interior design? There are some fundamental elements, such as proportions and deciding the best size furniture for your room size, which are key to know before you start decorating your home.
1. Don’t forget the 3 F’s … Feeling, Form and Function
Good design should be both beautiful and functional, while evoking three different positive responses:
- Visceral– Your gut reaction and the way it makes you feel
- Behavioural– Your behaviour upon using the object
- Reflective– What you feel after the experience is over
2. Layer your lighting
Layering light is how you create atmosphere in a room. We do it with texture, print and colours in our interior design schemes but the same principles apply to lighting individual rooms. Combining different kinds of light will allow you to create a particular mood, or as I like to call it, vibe.
There are three main types of lighting: ambient, task and accent. We need ambient lighting to provide general light within a space, it typically comes from the main switch. Task lighting aids with everyday necessities such as reading, drawing or entertaining. Accent lighting is there for aesthetic purposes and allows you to highlight different features in a room such as mirrors, art, fireplaces, objets.
3. Experiment with print, colour and texture
Create layers in this way by breaking the room down into categories that create a sense of individualism while still working cohesively together:
- Wallcoverings – Wallpaper, paint, specialist wall finishes
- Flooring – Carpet, tiles, wood
- Furniture – Style
- Soft furnishings – Pillows, throws, rugs, bedding
- Wall Decor and Accessories – art, mirrors, books
4. Find your focal point
Establish an area of the room where eyes of newcomers will be immediately drawn. These can be statement pieces, antiques, works of art, mirrors or fireplaces. The aim is to highlight the focal point by dressing and lighting it correctly and positioning it somewhere where it has space to breathe.
5. Choose the right sized rug
The size of your rug shouldn’t be overlooked. You want to be able to place furniture on it so that it doesn’t look like it’s floating in space. Take into consideration what furniture this would be as well as how it would be positioned and pay attention to scale accordingly.
6. Mark it personal, tell your story
Interiors are an extension of our individual personalities, passions and pursuits. You want your home to reflect your tastes in an authentic way while feeling personable and comfortable. Great ways to tell your story are by incorporating or displaying personal collections, art, nods to your heritage or cultural background, travel mementos, books and photographs.
7. Design with kids and pets in mind
Children and pets should be taken into consideration when designing a home. After all, they live there too and make use of (mostly) all of the communal spaces too. Consider hard-wearing surfaces that are easy to clean and maintain. Also, remember to fil your space with pet-friendly plants – you’d be surprised by how many can be poisonous.
8. Create space for easy entertaining
It’s all about creating different spaces for different activities in the home. When it comes to entertaining, you want to make it easy with a little flair that communicates just how you like to have your fun. A home bar displaying your drinks of choice and wine fridges for passionate collectors are a great choice. These can be well-equipped and conveniently located while remaining discreet when not in use. The right audio-visual set-up and equipment is key for entertaining too, be it a crisp display in a home cinema or great-sounding speakers in a lounge.
9. Something old, something new
When designing a home which draws on past eras for inspiration, you want to artfully add contemporary elements into the mix so that the outcome doesn’t feel gimmicky. Combining the old with the new will strike a balance and create a unique and timeless interior design scheme that won’t become obsolete in years to come.
10. Go with your gut and take risks. Break as many rules as you want
While we’ve just shared a set of ‘design rules’, it’s important that you create a space that feels right for you. Listen to your instincts when making decisions, be bold, inject your personality into it and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – after all, there isn’t too much that can’t be reversed!
– Jasmine Nguyen –