10 Interior Design Top Tips
You know how whenever you buy a product it comes with some sort of instructions? Wouldn't it be nice for a similar thing to exist for interior design? Find the instructions list, follow the steps and voila, a super awesome bedroom or living room is all done! Well, in all honesty, in this industry there is no such thing. Mainly because every single idea, project, redecoration process is completely unique (defined after the client's wishes & character), and that's how it should be. Each one of us is experiencing this world differently and sees it in a very personalised way. Why should all interiors be the same? Just imagine - almost 7,5 billion people are on this Earth right now (yeah, I've checked). That means that we could have 7,5 billion different interior designs stories. Isn't that just blowing your mind?
But this does not mean that there aren't any guidelines that you can follow. While one of my fundamental beliefs is that every design process should be unique (based on the personality of the client), I know a couple of "instructions" that you can start doing today to change your interior, should you wish to achieve your design journey on your own.
So, here are my 10 INTERIOR TOP TIPS!
No. 1 - Don't pick the paint colour first
You can think of the colour scheme in general, but usually you first need to think about the design of the room as a whole. The furniture that you pick needs to work well with the colour of the wall, the colour of the rug, curtains and so on. You need to take into consideration the position of your flat/house, natural light, the geography location etc (many things, I know).
Let's say for example you want the colour of your walls to be green (because you saw a design in a magazine and you really loved it). Now, you buy this paint, you do the walls and then you start to pick your furniture. You find an amazing sofa that you absolutely love (it's inexpensive too), but it does not work with the green walls. The colour combination is just not clicking. That's why the best thing to do would be to first think of your design as a whole, and then move towards picking furniture and colours.
For example, here is my process: first I think about the concept of the room, create a mood board and colour palette (as a general selection - to point me in the right direction) and then I move towards picking the furniture. After I am happy with my selection, I start to think about the final colours and fabrics. This way I am making sure that I am following a plan, I am getting the best furniture pieces to go with everything and then I select my final fabrics and colours for the finished look. The idea is that you might change your mind about things, so it's best to keep the colour paint picking for later down the road.
No. 2 - Give your furniture some space
It's always a good practice to keep your space decluttered. Just think about how you feel in a room full of bits & bobs and how you feel when you enter a hotel room, for example. Don't you feel more at ease in the hotel room? Where everything is all organised and cleaned up? The same principle applies to your space. Don't "hug" all of your furniture into one place. Give it room to breath, respect yourself in this space, allow yourself to walk through and around the furniture.
In architecture and interior design, this concept it's called cirulation and it's very important. It looks at all the access routes and movement flow that you (as the client) can use in that space. You need to have access and the "fastest route" around all of your things, in case of an emergency. So keep this in mind and give your furniture some room to breath. Enjoy all aspects of it, who knows, you might even want to dance around it, what do I know?
No. 3 - A rug can be your best friend
A rug is most useful if you have a room with bare floors (be it wooden floors or tiles or anything else). The main reason is that a rug can absorb a percentage of the noise, reducing the echo in that room. Second reason is that it provides some level of warmth for your feet (during colder days), and lastly, from an aesthetic point of view - meaning it can make a room look pretty!
Now, there are different ways in which you can place a rug around so that it helps your overall look of the room. Here are some options that designers prefer the most. Even you can sense which positions work and which ones do not (because you are secretly undergoing interior design training just by reading this). A smaller rug in big furniture scheme just bothers the eye. It's that simple!
No 4. - Hang your artwork at the right height
You need to be able to see your artwork without any effort! The average "line of sight" (as it's called in the industry) is at 1,65 - 1,70 metres for a normal person standing. Now, when you sit on a chair or on a sofa, that height drops to an average of 1,20 metres. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you hang anything on your walls. You need to be able to admire your art from both positions, without any difficulty. So regardless of the room's height (be it normal or double in height), always remember to place the art within your line of sight.
No. 5 - Create a focal point
Each room that you design should have a focal point, or point of interest if you like. This can be anything from a piece of art above the fireplace in your living room, or the mirror with a dressing table in the bedroom, or even an object that has special meaning to you, that you can put on display in any room. It's your choice.
By doing so, you offer a "visual journey" for anybody who enters your room. I can say from personal experience that rooms with a focal point are a pleasure to be in. Your eyes are drawn to that centre point, and then jump from place to place, reading the whole picture. Sure it might be something that's connected to each person's inner CCL (remember it? If not, have a look here), but I bet you it's better than being inside a boring room, where there is nothing interesting to look at.
No. 6 - Resist the urge to be too Theme-y
This might be a bit personal too, but I am a strong advocate of following your own inner voice when it comes to the space you live in every day. I don't believe you have to follow a theme by the book, applying all the rules. You can have it as a starting point, but the beauty of interior design is that you can personalise your own space.
So, if you are thinking of doing, let's say....a marine theme (I might be thinking of summer now - guilty), you can follow the colour palette and the usual fabrics of the theme, but you don't have to go overboard and place a lighthouse, small boat or seashells in each room. You can have a small hint in the rooms in which you spent most of your time and that's that. You are not obligated to follow the theme 100%, unless you want to. It's your space after all; you need to feel happy in it.
No. 7 - Edit your accessories
We all have knick knacks that we love around the house / flat, be it something you received, you got as a gift or even something that you bought as a souvenir from your travels. The point is that these accessories are what makes your flat/house your HOME. It's what gives it personality and creates a story. Again, imagine a hotel room. It's all lovely and packed with awesome furniture, but the lack of accessories (other than the usual phone, tv, tea & coffee, pot, pencil etc) is what makes that environment a bit cold.
Now, the key thing here is to have the right amount / balance of accessories. Depending on the style and concept of your flat, you might go with less or more accessories than usual. There is nothing wrong with that. But what you need to do is to find the right amount of bits & bobs. You don't want your rooms to feel over cluttered, or too empty.
So always think of keeping visible only the things that really make your heart sing when you see them. The rest is perhaps a surplus? As the famous mademoiselle Coco Chanel once said: "Before you leave your house, look in the mirror and take one thing off". Apply this to your rooms and see where it takes you.
No. 8 - Add layers of lighting
You don't have to have just only one type of lighting in your house / flat. Having more than one source can result in a fantastic interior atmosphere. Light can often help to create interest and variety, because in a room where everything is equally lit, nothing stands out. Just think how your room looks when you have that ceiling light on, and how different it looks when you only have a floor lamp on.
Try using general lighting (usually ceiling lights) in combination with an action purpose light; for example a floor light for that corner where you snuggle up and read a good book (and have a hot tea/hot chocolate next to you). If you are feeling brave, you can always try having accent lights, which are usually used to light up a certain piece of art or accessory that you want to see (like in a museum). Why not have a bit of dramatic lighting inside your room? Remember to play around and experiment with your interior. It's your space, after all!
No. 9 - Vary the scale and proportion
Another great thing that you can do for your space is to experiment with the scale and proportions of things. What does this mean? Well, how would you feel if every piece of furniture and accessory that you have right now in your room, would have the same size? It would be horrific, right?
There is beauty in variation of size, proportion, colour, number, in anything really. Plus, by using different things, you can create a great visual game (remember no.5 - focal points)! Embrace your quirkiness and have fun with this "rule". It can be a great exercise to help you find your style and what things you like to live with.
No. 10 - Ignore all rules in favour of creativity
In the end, when you draw the line, remember the house / flat is your space. It's where you spend the most of your time, so it should bring you happiness and joy. It has to provide comfort and relaxation. That is why it needs to have "your touch". So my advice would be to bring in all the elements that make you happy and stop thinking about the rules and trends of this industry. They tend to disappear as fast as they appeared in the first place. Your space needs to be timeless for you.
Of course, I would recommend following the rules that ensure you a good & healthy living. Also, don't forget about safety and living clutter free. Happy house, happy life! Or at least, that's how it should be.
So there you have it peeps, my Top 10 Interior Design Tips for you to try out. I strongly believe that each and every single design should have your print on it, your story, your essence. It's not about following this season's or year's trend (as they come and go), but follow your heart, so that you'll be able to create something that is uniquely yours and timeless. That is all that matters in the end: your own happiness inside your space (and safety, of course, always safety)!
Have you tried any of these tips before without knowing? Does following interior design trends make you happy? Or would you rather that your voice be "seen" through the design of your space? Do let me know. I am really keen on seeing other points of view as well.
Also, if you love this post or know somebody that is actually planning on redoing their flat, share this with them. They might find it useful. After all, sharing is caring!
Until next time!! Raluca x
All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.