Attention: Interior Designers Don’t Begin Until You Read This
Tips for new Interior designers
Knowing the difference that colours, size of furniture, lighting and other key areas has on your room will be the make all the difference when it comes to revamping your living space. This article is designed to keep you on the right track when redesigning rooms within your home.
Doing it yourself can be fun and rewarding, just bear in mind these pitfalls and you should be well on your way to creating a beautiful living space!
1. Don’t Over-furnish The Room
Having too much furniture in a room will make the room feel cramped and uncomfortable. The placement of the furniture needs to be well thought out so there is a flow of movement as you go around the room. Climbing over or squeezing by pieces of furniture is not practical or desirable. An over-furnished room will give the appearance of a dumping ground storing collected furniture, rather than what it’s intended for either entertaining, sleeping or just relaxing.
The use of the furniture in a room should be functional as well as look appealing. If the room looks cramped you can either try moving the furniture around, to see if that helps as sometimes it’s just that the furniture is badly placed. Or you may need to remove a piece of furniture completely to achieve a balanced and comfortable layout.
Over-furnished rooms will make your living space look smaller than it is and make the room feel cluttered and tight.
2. Don’t Try To Squeeze In Oversized Furniture
You may have a piece of furniture you love or have seen something you want to buy, but if it’s too big for the space you intend to put it, it will make the room look unbalanced and be out of proportion. Before you buy new furniture like sofas, beds, tables, dressers, cabinets and so on, you should measure the room as well as the item for height, width and depth. Oversized furniture will look out of place and not create a good look for your room.
3. Don’t Be A Clutter-bug!
If you’re not using it and you do not have room in your home for it, it has to go! By de-cluttering a room you will transfer what was once a cluttered disorganised space into a tranquil, clear, free and organised room. In some cases it may be a case of removing a few items but for others it may be a bigger job altogether.
To help sort through items split them into 3 categories;
1 Things you can do without
2 Things that are important
3 Things that mean something and matter
Start with removing all the things that you can do without, these can be given to charity shops or friends. Next look at things that are ‘important’, can these be used in another room or are they better placed now you have space.
If the room is big enough you could consider adding a storage unit to tidy away things that you want to keep but don’t need to be on display.
Hopefully now you will have room to keep all the things that ‘mean something and matter’ on display. Go through this process a few times till you have find a balance and the room is free from clutter.
4. Light Up The Room
Using as much natural light is a key element to how your room looks and feels. Don’t block out the natural light by placing furniture in front of windows or by fitting badly hung curtains. Use a mirror in the room to bounce the natural light around the room. There should be ceiling lights as well as either wall or table lights. Add dimmers to the wall and ceiling lights to control the brightness of the lightening. Having a choice of lighting ie ceiling, wall, table lamps or standing lamps allows you to create a different level of brightness depending on how you are using the room at that time.
5. Pick Your Paint Colours Wisely
Choosing the correct colour tones for your room’s size and to compliment your furniture and soft furnishings will require a few attempts before getting it right. The best way to do this is to take swatches of fabrics you have already used in the room to the paint shop to help you select a number of paint tester pots. Choose a selection based from the colour swatches already used in the room.
The natural light in the room will affect the shade of colour of the paint on the walls at different times of the day, so it is important to live with the paint patches for at least 24 hours to see how the colour changes throughout the day.
Then you will be able to choose the final colour or colours if you are using more than one shade in the room.
Be careful not to go over to the dark side not all rooms suit deep dark colours, consider using darker colours on a feature wall rather than everywhere.
6. Have A Budget!
Have a budget and stick to it, too many projects fail and are left unfinished due to over spending. Buy the best you can afford, as the saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’ and quality items will last longer than cheaper alternatives. There is no need to buy everything at once having the foundations in place like the decorating and lighting is important, then you can build around this, collecting new items when you come across them.
7. Mix and Match
You don’t want the room to look bland so source your furniture and accessories from different retailers, this way everything will coordinate but will have variety. The room should express personality and to achieve this you need to use different suppliers so everything doesn’t match and look the same. Use a mixture of patterns and stripes from your colour scheme when selecting your soft furnishing’s to add interest.
8. Show Off Your Windows
The positioning of your curtain pole is important to frame your windows. Poles that are fitted too low down the window will make the room appear smaller than it is. Placing the poles higher up towards the ceiling creates a sense of height and proportion.
Think of what style curtains or blinds will best suit the room and windows. Where possible leave your windows undressed to allow the most of the natural light into a room.
9. Surround The Space
No one wants a room in their house that has all the furniture pushed back onto the walls; this will look like you are trying to create a dance floor in the middle of your room! Instead think about arranging chairs and sofas in a circular formation to create a cosy and social able layout. Then you can use your other pieces of furniture like dressers, cupboards and shelving to frame the outside of the room.
10. Have At Least One Main Focal Point
Build around a focal point in your room this can be a bay window, fire place or piece of art work. This gives the room some direction and you can then build around the main feature. You may decide that you have more than one focal point in a room and this is more than acceptable just be sure it is something large that does make a statement, not a small vase you happen to love!