Interior design principles

04 Feb 2019

In order to achieve a beautifully decorated home interior you need to create a functional space that shows off the personality of your home, and the people that live within it.
But before you get down to business and completely ransack your home for renovation, it is important to spend some time considering how your family live and move about your home. Will your furniture choice work for the space you have? Will it work for the people that will be using the area?

Take time to think about what style you want your home to embody. Browse through magazines or online home interior blogs for inspiration, taking note of any ideas that appeal to you. Our favourite home interior blogs include:
A great first step is to start a bit of a “vision board” with items you see and like…  study the items individually and as a whole to see what the common theme is (chances are, there is a theme)!  Is it the colour, style, pattern or size that appeals to you most about each object?

To create a seamless atmosphere throughout your home, it is important to take into consideration the following interior design principles when partaking in your next room reno as a basic understanding of interior design can help to completely transform any space.

Interior design is about more than just how a room looks – it is about making the room work well for you and your
family. It comes down to how each element of the room works with one another to achieve an aspired interior style.

Each room of a house usually has a natural focal point – a place where the eyes are drawn to upon entering a room.
For example, in a bedroom - the bed, in a living space – a fireplace or in a bathroom – a claw bath. If you are creating
a new space think about what your focal point will be. If the room doesn’t have a natural focal point, create one by utilising a window, bookshelf or an intriguing piece of art. 
What kind of furniture are you working with? What pieces do you have, and what do you need to invest in?

Determine whether these items will satisfy the functions you’ve planned for the room. For example, if you are planning a kid’s room, think of pieces that will hide dirt easily. If a furniture item is not working, or if is the incorrect size for the room, get rid of it! Return, sell or trade it in for something else around the house that will work – there is no use being stuck with a piece of furniture that is just simply not right!

Lighting is a very important element to any room. It should be selected carefully depending on the function of the room, whilst also considering the desired mood and visual appeal of the area.  There are three styles of lighting to consider:

Ambient lighting - provides an area with general brightness. It creates a comfortable level of light without too much glare. Basically, enough light to help you walk around without walking into anything!
Task lighting - serves as a functional light. It does exactly what the name suggests- allows you to perform specific tasks, such as reading, drawing, sewing etc.
Accent lighting - is for decorative purposes and undoubtedly the most important when it comes to adding ambience to a room or creating visual effects.  It draws the eye to ornaments, paintings and feature furniture.

Most commonly when it comes to furniture arrangement, main furniture pieces should be directed toward the main focal point to create harmony among each piece. You should also aim to keep major traffic patterns open, allowing greater functionality throughout the space. Finally, don’t forget to fill in spaces with unique pieces that compliment you home’s interior style. These do not need to be on hand now, but can be added to the space over time to compliment the area. Ensure you consider pieces of different height, weight and tone to add life to the area.

The mood of a room is a key element in distinguishing certain rooms from others. Most of all, a mood of a room all comes down to the choice of colours, the style of furnishings, the amount of texture and pattern within a room. This is a lengthy process which needs careful consideration to ensure that each element of the room will combine to create a collective mood.

As previously mentioned, it is important to collect an assortment of inspiration from a range of sources before beginning your decorative spree. Use your magazines and online blog picks, along with your collection of favourite things to determine where to begin and what look you want to achieve. These things will be the basis for selecting your style, colours, patterns and textures.

As we all know there are a range of different interior design styles that your home can follow. From shabby chic to Arabian to gothic, there are a magnitude of different themes you can opt for, so it is important to know what style you are aiming for when decorating your home and sticking to it.

Colour is a very important factor affecting mood, but must be supportive of the overall theme. Turn to your inspirational pieces before making colour choices as these are likely to lead your choice. Typically, it is best to choose three colours in a room – a dominant colour, a secondary colour and finally an accent colour and stick to the 60:30:10 rule where 60% is the dominant colour
30% the secondary colour and 10% an accent colour.      

When it comes to patterns, it is important to note that they aren’t always for everyone, but they are important for injecting life and a touch of personality
into your home. Think about incorporating stripes, checks, or florals when making your next design decision. However, it is important to note these tips:
  • Keep the background colour the same.
  • Make sure all patterns share the same colours.
  • Vary the scale or sizes of the patterns. 
For textures, it's important to mix and match, using a variety is key to making the room interesting.Textures are often associated with moods – for example, smooth and glossy textures reflect light and create bright, stimulating environments, while coarse and matte textures absorb light and create warm, relaxing environments. Even a pattern can be used as a texture as many prints look dimensional and therefore add depth to a decorating scheme.

Aside from being functional, your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme and the overall mood of an area. Some pieces may function well
with the space but their style or colourmay not blend well with your interior design style. Try to fix this by utilising slipcovers, tableclothsor paint, otherwise remove the items from the room altogether to help your style come together.

This is the most important principle as it is your chance to inject your own personal touches to a well-planned room that will make it instinctively yours!

In design, rhythm is a component often referred to which looks at creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest. Its purpose is to
move your eye around the room, by keeping the area interesting. Keep in mind though, that interest doesn't have to be quirky, instead it can simply be
something unexpected in a room, like a brightly-painted ceiling!

An example of creating rhythm is by using a consistent colour in decorative cushions, picking it up in a painting and repeating it again in a rug. These duplications will help to create a mood, whilst maintaining your personal touch!

Think about pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs and how they could complement your area to create a well thought out interior space. Generally, these items should support your theme, but there is always room for flexibility here. For example, an antique picture frame could contrast nicely with a contemporary room so don’t hesitate to let your creative juices flow!

Accessories are perfect on walls, shelving, furniture, tabletops and floors and can come in many different varieties – so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!



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