The Basics of Interior Design
The success of an interior design project relies on several aspects. Having a well-sketched layout and plan can help you achieve your dream design. Having a theme and a focal point can also unify things and instill a sense of balance.
Interior design seems easy enough: choose a color, buy a few pretty pieces, move some furniture around. But if you’ve ever had to do a real home, you’ll know it takes more than that. For one thing, you have to keep functionality and budget in mind with each decision. Remember, it’s your living space, and unless you can afford to redesign every month, you have to make sure you can live with your choices for a long time.
The three main guidelines of interior design are function, mood, and harmony. As long as these three are present, you can consider your design project a success. So how do you introduce all three into your space? Read on to find out.
Plan, plan, plan. It’s never wise to go blindly into a task, especially if you’re spending a small fortune on it. Planning helps you determine a goal (or set of goals) for the entire project, which takes care of the first step. The first thing you should ask yourself is: what do you need the room for? Is it a place to relax, work, or have fun? Will you have kids running around the room all day? If you do, go for wood, plastic, or other non-breakable pieces. Remember, if the room doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, the most expensive furniture in the world can’t make it a success.
Choose a theme. A lot of homeowners go shopping for furnishings without knowing what they’re looking for. They either end up buying all the wrong pieces, or changing their minds even before it’s out of the box. To avoid this, decide on a general theme or mood for your room during the planning stage. There are several themes to choose from, from sleek minimalist styles to rustic country and Asian ones. Plan every detail so that they all fit into your motif, so that you don’t buy anything unnecessary.
Define your focal point. The focal point is the first thing a person sees upon entering a room. Your entire area will be built around it. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate—it can be a clock, a piece of furniture, or an interesting rug. What’s important is that it catches attention and leads the viewer’s eye where you want it. If you have a big room, for example, you can emphasize the size by placing your focal point in a far corner, drawing attention to the expanse of floor below. If it’s small, draw the eye away from the walls to more interesting items in the room, such as a nice bookshelf or coffee table.
Keep it all in balance. Keep your design ‘balanced’ by following the quadrant rule. Draw an imaginary axis at the center of your room, dividing it into quadrants. Each square should have an equal amount of decoration; don’t put everything in one corner and leave the rest bare. Think of your most important pieces (furniture, paintings, wall stands) and distribute them equally between the quadrants.