Because sometimes you don’t know where to start when decorating your home, we’re here to help you understand interior design basics. If you aren’t design minded, mastering the principles of interior design can be tricky and we want to make it easier to learn interior design basics.
Take these tips and tricks from our decorators to take advantage of these interior design principles – or interior design for dummies, if you will.
Plan for practicality
One of the principles of interior design is practicality. There’s no point in spending all your time designing a gorgeous room if your furniture doesn’t fit and you can’t walk through the space between your table and the door.
The best place to start is with the interior design basics – work out whether your furniture fits in your room and where. Think about the layout of your furniture based on what you want from the room and what items you make the most use of.
Situating a stylish chair in front of your fireplace because it looks nice doesn’t work if you don’t sit on that chair, and having your coffee table at the other end of the room from the couch, because it fits in the space, isn’t realistic or practical.
A simple way to figure out what fits in your room and where is to measure everything and draw it out to scale; you can then move things around and see what fits where. This is an essential on our list for interior design for dummies for good reason; you should spend plenty of time on this initial stage.
The Devil is in the Details
Details make a huge difference, whether that’s the style of the stitching on your curtains, the patina of your wood flooring, or a lovingly handcrafted piece of furniture you have in a room.
Details are what brings a room together and are what makes it feel like ‘your’ room rather than just ‘a’ room and are another of the fundamentals of interior design.
It can be stylish lamp in one corner, a plant next to your fireplace or the collectibles styled on your shelving unit. Dedicate time to realizing the details of every room in your home.
Things like matching the color of your cushions to the color in one of your pieces of art, or a complementary pattern on a rug which looks great against your couch, can make all the difference. Keep your eye out for quality products and put thought into where everything is going to go as details make all the difference.
It has enough room to create “zones”
Most people put their TV on the largest wall, the sofa across from that and fit the rest of the furniture where they can, However, if you have a large living room, you don’t want guests yelling across the room just to converse. Instead, break the furniture up to create conversation groups where there can be multiple conversations going on in the room without interruption.
Incorporate texture and pattern and your home will feel layered, considered, and chic. Begin with a textured base, like a velvet or linen sofa or armchair, add in patterned throw pillows in a variety of prints (i.e. stripes, animal prints, florals), and a textured throw blanket, and you’ll end up with a finished product that looks expensive.
Your entryway may feel like the smallest to-do on your home decor list, but you might want to consider bumping it up higher: It’s the first thing guests see when they enter your home, and sets the mood for your entire space. Add a bench, whether you use it for taking off your shoes at the end of the day or waiting for the family at the front door, a bench is the perfect place for a quick seat. The overhead light is the center of the entryway’s style, so choosing a fixture that’s compatible with dimmable light bulbs makes changing the mood that much easier. With this six-light chandelier, you can go between a brightly lit entryway in the morning to a more relaxed, romantic vibe in the evening.
All The Airy Vibes
Nothing shows you’re adulting like window treatments that aren’t made of paper or plastic. Add flowing fabric curtains (or even Roman shades) to make your space feel more polished.
Color (But Not Too) Crazy
If you start with a neutral base then mix in color, your space will feel sophisticated, rather than childish. No one wants an apartment that looks like a box of Crayons melted all over the place.
Rugs That Double As Art
They’re artwork for the floor!
Rooms that have many layers feel more sophisticated than those that are one-dimensional. Area rugs are a great way to help define different areas within a space as well as add a pop of color, pattern and texture.
Gallery Wall Goals
Even if you’re actually ready to tackle a gallery wall (the anxiety is real), you definitely should swap out your college paraphernalia for some new artwork. You may not have the income to splurge on a statement piece or two just yet, but there are totally easy ways to DIY some gorg wall art.
Build A Better Bedroom
After working hard all day, you need a space to come home to that’ll give you total relaxation. Invest in a comfy mattress, soft rugs, cozy linens, and lots of throw pillows.
Let There Be Light
Replacing builder-grade light fixtures is super quick and easy, but it has a ton of impact. You can completely change the look and feel of a space with a few new pendants, a chandelier, or a sconce.
Not only will a headboard serves as a focal point in your bedroom, but it’ll be a major upgrade from your dorm days. You’ll never have to rest your head against the wall ever again.
Paint can totally impact how large your space feels. A white wall color can help make your (likely) small apartment feel bigger. Bonus: It’s easy to paint over when you move out!
Divide and Conquer
If you live in a studio, dividing your living and sleeping areas is the best way to make the place where you crash feel more like home. Get creative with room separators, opting for screens, benches, or even a tall bookcase.
The Bolder, The Better
Go bold in tiny spaces, like your bathroom. Putting up wallpaper in a small space is manageable, and there’s plenty of temporary options that are perfect for renters.