Let’s go back to basic interior design rules to help you create your own dream home, because once you know these basic interior design principles, you can transform any space.
There are some fundamental elements to interior design, such as proportions and deciding the best size furniture for the space, which are key to know before you start decorating your home.
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Interiors I like from various designers will be linked under each image.
INTERIOR DESIGN RULES
Lighting plays a big part in setting mood of a room.
AN INTERIOR DESIGN TIP IS TO ENSURE THAT ALL THREE LIGHTING LEVELS ARE COVERED:
General ambient lighting - A room's main light comes from recessed lights, chandeliers, floor lamps or other ceiling fixtures.
Accent lighting - These lights are mostly for a dramatic effect, such as up lights or spot lights
Task lighting - Targeted for reading or working such as table lamps and under cabinet lights for the kitchen.
When choosing the right light fixture to hang above a dining table, aim for a fitting that is between half and two-thirds of the width of the table, this will ensure that everything is in proportion.
Most living rooms will have a lot of rectangle and square furniture such as sofas, sideboards and shelving units.
If your room is looking like it has lots of lines and right angles, think about adding a circle or curve shape to add softness to the other hard edges.
A round coffee table, a pair of round side tables, a round rug, a round wall mirror, all work well.
For a comfortable living space, think about practicalities as well as aesthetics.
As a rule of thumb, you should allow 50cm between the seating and a central coffee table – any less than this can feel like a squeeze, anymore and it can feel disproportionate.
Use rugs to zone areas, like underneath a dining room table, ensure the rug is big enough so that the chairs still sit on the rug even when in use.
Always make a note of the size of furniture pieces in relation to the room.
Always map out the larger items, such as sofas and rugs, before purchasing - remember, measure twice, buy once.
Interior & image by Fran Hickman
Choose one design element that will surprise, delight and make an impact in your room.
This could be an oversized piece of furniture in a bold colour, a colourful rug, a painting, or a feature wall - something that guests will always notice and comment on when they enter the room.
If your statement piece is a bold colour, try using hints of it elsewhere for a cohesive look
If you don't want to go for a big statement piece start small with accessories like a statement vase.
Think of your particular space in terms of layers and build this up through colour, texture, pattern, fabric, surface treatments, lighting, pictures, plants and books.
It's important that you go with your personal taste, rather than what's on trend.
Layering quite simply means the art of combining a range of fabrics, prints, colours and textures in a manner that brings character and warmth to a room.
Layers allow a house to feel lived-in and homely.
Find one dominant fabric initially, perhaps the curtains or rug and then start layering by adding smaller scale fabrics for cushions and lampshades.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE JAPANDI STYLE OF DECOR AND WHAT THE INTERIOR DESIGN RULES ARE FOR THIS PAIRED BACK AND CALMING INTERIOR TREND
For low ceilings, choose low furniture such as sofas and coffee tables to create the illusion of height.
Mix low-profile furniture with tall, slim bookshelves that draw the eye upwards.
Mixing different heights in this way will be pleasing on the eye.
Paint the walls, skirting boards and ceiling in the same colour, to create an illusion of space.
Don't position artwork too high, the perfect height is at eye level, which is approximately 145cm from the floor to the centre of the picture.
There are however, exceptions to rule, with smaller pictures, try hanging them next to a lamp or even displayed on a picture stand on a shelf, which will give it a more intimate feeling.
When creating a gallery wall, always hang the main picture at eye level and then arrange others pieces in relation to it.
Mirrors are a great way to bounce light around and make the interior feel more spacious.
In this case, you need to go big or go home if you want to make a substantial impact!
Think about having mirrors installed from floor to ceiling.
Even better if the bottom of the mirror is able to rest above floor level with no skirting in the way.
This visual trick is often used in hotel foyers to add a sense glam and it works!
To show curtains off to their best, ensure that they either caress the floor or puddle elegantly.
Always set your curtain rail as high as possible to create an illusion of height.
The combined width of the curtains should be 1½ times the width of the window.
For smaller windows, create the illusion of much larger window by taking curtains all the way across the wall will make the room feel spacious yet cosy.
APPLY THESE INTERIOR DESIGNER RULES TO YOUR PROJECT - CHECK OUR MY DECOR TRENDS TO GET UP TO DATE ON CURRENT INTERIOR TRENDS
If you can't quite put your finger on what the space is lacking, try adding different textures via accents like rugs, throws, or cushions.
Mix materials and add texture such as metal mixed with wood, rattan or natural woven fabrics such as sisal and jute.
Viewing a room from a distance makes it easier to see what needs to be added, adjusted or removed.
Always strive for symmetry throughout your design, this creates a polished look.
Now that you are armed with the basic interior design rules you can start designing your own space.