It is often difficult for people starting with Interior Design to know where to start. Good interior design or style mainly arises out of a feeling, flair or an intuition for colour, pattern and scale. For this to be rewarding or pleasing the end result must be functional, practical and stylish.
To get you going with achieving these goals, here are a couple of practical tips:
~ Before decorating, start a scrap book. ~
Collect samples of colors as well as photographs of rooms that you like. Analyze your scrapbook to determine styles and colors that are your preferences. Even if you do not intend decorating the whole house straight away, it is good practice to draw up a color schedule, listing all the colors you intend to use. This forces you to devise a scheme that works in the whole, rather than a piecemeal, room-by-room solution.
~ Plan your space ~
Whatever the size of a room, space must be organised carefully to provide distinct areas for different uses, but at the same time remain a harmonious whole. Planning is essential and in a sense you are obliged to finish the room first before you can start it, a catch-twenty-two situation. This does not mean that you have to buy everything at once but you should have a clear picture of the end result. I prefer the collect-as-you-go method since this way everything tells a story reflecting the interesting habitat of complex dynamic human beings.
~ Draw a floor plan ~
Draw a floor plan and place signature pieces. This will help you visualize the layout and organize your space as mentioned in the previous point. This will prevent you from making errors in terms of available space before you make expensive purchases. You can also to use the floor plan to try out various combinations of placements of pieces. A useful tip here is to draw your floor plan to scale on a large piece of paper and cut your main pieces out of smaller blocks of cardboard. This way you can move your pieces of furniture around on the plan in various configurations and can visualize the layout that much easier. Of course this is a low-tech option, there are much more high-tech solutions available for your PC, but this approach can be amazingly effective.
~ Start thinking about the details. ~
These are always the elements that get the least attention since the details are not as exciting to decide upon such as, for example, the color scheme. However, the details are vitally important and can make or break a scheme. They create a hidden life establishing relationships between different objects regulating the effect of competing centres of attention, introducing a sense of rhythm and strengthening line. Again, start collecting samples and photos of trimmings, door handles, light fittings and so forth.
Not the greatest skill with color nor the most careful choice of accessories and trimmings may prevent the result from looking flat and lifeless.
Surprisingly maybe, a sense of humour is an essential element in good design. Humour, flair and surprise – these are all ways of describing the happy accident, the odd combination of objects or the quirky touch which makes a room a living interior rather than a studio set.