Designing your home can be a big project, but there are some easy things you can do to make it more manageable. In this blog post, we'll share some tips and tricks for designing your home, so you can get the look you want without stressing out. Keep reading to learn more!
Always Order Samples
Many home decorators overlook samples when overcome with excitement about transforming their interiors. From wallpaper and paint to flooring and fabrics, you should always order a selection of samples before committing to any specific material. Then, place the samples together, look at their quality and visualise how all the elements will work together in the room. You could even get crafty and create a mood board full of your favourite swatches.
Many homeowners believe that creating a perfectly symmetrical space will result in a flawless interior design scheme, but this isn't always the case. In fact, by sticking with an asymmetrical design, you could create a flat space that lacks warmth and personality. Instead, aim for balance. Hang your wall art off-centre, add texture to create cohesiveness and mismatched group pieces of furniture together for a playful twist. Asymmetrical elements will draw the eye and provide plenty of intrigues.
Use Curves And Arches
Curves, circles and arches are having their moment, adding a softness to interiors that look modern and classic. We love how this clever bedroom design turns a useful storage solution into a cool feature, with added tiny downlighters that make your display glow after dark. It also cleverly echoes the asymmetric curve of the headboard. Brilliant!
Introduce Crown Mouldings
Crown mouldings, or cornicing, are decorative plaster that runs between the wall and the ceiling. Coming in all shapes and sizes, it is a common period feature of older houses but adding it into a bedroom or living room is a shortcut to achieving a refined, traditional style.
Paint The Shutters
A well-dressed window can take a room from drab to fab in one fell swoop. The latest trend is to use colour to incorporate them fully into your decorating scheme. This design uses a two-tone effect, making even budget shutters look like they were made for this stylish bedroom.
One of the most common design mistakes that non-designers make – especially in open-plan spaces – is cramming too much furniture into an area without leaving enough room for people to walk around comfortably. For example, the most frequently-used thoroughfares in your home should be at least 90cm wide – just enough for two people to pass each other.
Nail The Floor Plan
Speaking of leaving enough space, it's also important to make sure there is room to move around in less busy areas of your home. For example, you should ideally leave about 45cm between sofas, chairs and coffee tables in your living room. It gives you plenty of space for sitting and moving around without having to stretch too far for your cup of coffee or shout across the room to have a conversation.
The Power Of Three
Three is most definitely a magic number for design – as are odd numbers. Grouping odd numbers of items – be it cushions, vases, pictures or candles – forces the eye to move around the display, creating a level of visual interest that symmetrical, even-numbered arrangements can't compete with.
The 70-30 Split
Here's another handy trick for getting your proportions right and balancing different styles within the same space. A guaranteed way to give a room character is to decorate about 70% of it in a particular style then complete the remaining 30% in a completely different style. So you can spice up a largely traditional scheme with a smattering of contemporary items, or vice versa.
Make Flooring Cohesive
Using the same flooring throughout different rooms or areas in your home is an easy way to make the space feel much bigger than it is. For example, if you have large, open-plan rooms, use rugs to break up the continuity and divide the space according to use. It will create the impression of distinct sitting and dining areas that still pull together as part of the same, larger whole.
Balance Your Colour Scheme
Want a failsafe way to proportion a three-colour scheme? Stick to 60% for your dominant colour, 30% for your secondary colour and 10% for your accent colour, and you'll find it hard to go wrong. To add a fourth colour into the mix, split the secondary colour or, at a push, the dominant colour, but never the accent.
Upcycle Drab Furniture
Being able to transform old furniture is an interior decorator's secret weapon. Whether turning mass-produced flat-pack designs into one-off pieces or sprucing up junk-shop bargains into shabby-chic heirlooms, repainting furniture is a simple way to add colour and character to your home at rock bottom prices. Go for an all-in-one paint that doesn't need a primer to cut down on prep time.
Colour Block Walls
Block painting walls with harmonious or contrasting colours can alter a room's sense of space and give your scheme a fun twist. To get a crisp finish, always use masking or decorator's tape. Then, get an instant style fix by marking out geometric shapes and filling in the blanks with various colours that reflect your personality.
Create Cosy Nooks
Turning awkward or unused space into a beautiful nook is a well-worn trick of many interior designers. Whether a window seat or a reading nook, bespoke carpentry creates a stylish solution that fits the space like a glove. Make it comfortable with cushions and side tables and extra marks if you can add in some secret storage space!
Add Seasonal Updates
Paying attention to detail adds a professional finishing touch that creates interest and character. An effective way to achieve this is by accessorising with precious objects that echo the current season. This autumnal display with pumpkins and lanterns will make a warm welcome for guests entering an entryway and can be easily updated for the holidays.
Style Bookshelves Right
Learning the art of display makes the difference between practical storage and a beautiful feature. Here's how to make your bookshelves Instagram-worthy. First, do not overcrowd the space; choose accessories in the same colour and group items together in odd numbers. Use books as objects and exhibit them both horizontally and vertically for interest. Aim for two-thirds of books, one-third of accessories, and include either plant, foliage, or flowers.
Design Around Your Line Of Sight
The best height to hang or stand on a TV is at eye level in the position you'll be watching it. So in your living room, you'll want it at the same height as your head when you're sitting down. On the other hand, you might want to hang it at your eye line when standing or sitting at a breakfast bar in a kitchen. The ideal TV viewing distance is about 1.5 times the diagonal span of your TV screen.
Add Panelling To Walls.
Wooden wall panels aren't just for period properties. This decorative feature adds character and texture to contemporary homes and is a growing trend. It may look expensive, but budget versions made from wood alternatives like fibreboard and OSB are super cheap and, once mounted, can hide wall surfaces that have seen better days. Tongue and groove panels make rustic schemes warm and cosy, while framed and mid-height styles suit traditional looks and create a refined finish. Paint the panels in bold or muted tones for up-to-date appeal.
Let In Natural Light.
There is no substitute for natural light. It benefits our health and well-being and affects how colours appear. Always look at the light in your room before you decorate it. South-facing rooms benefit from the maximum amount of light, whereas north-facing will be darker. Therefore, paint colours can seem a completely different hue from one room to another.
Wallpaper The Bathroom
You don't necessarily need to stick to tiles in the bathroom. Wallpapering bathroom walls can make a beautiful style statement, and it's a great place to use bold patterns and colours you might not use elsewhere. Large prints look especially striking in small spaces so that that feature wallpaper can transform cloakrooms and downstairs toilets, too. Look for specialist bathroom wallpaper that is wash and splash-resistant.
Accent With Black
There is a misconception that black makes things look closed in and dreary, but this isn't the whole story. Interior designers use it as an accent because it can enlarge the feeling of space by placing the darkest tone on an area you want to 'push back. The key is to use the bold shade sparingly to ground a room and tie the scheme together. Against a pale backdrop and used in repetition, the overall contrast adds a striking punch and looks undoubtedly chic.
Dress The Bed
A bedroom should reflect your personality, and as the bed takes up so much physical and visual space, it certainly needs attention. So, what better way to make an impact than with versatile bed linen that can easily be changed whenever the mood takes your fancy. Look for good quality bed linen in colours and patterns that complement the surroundings and then layer like a pro with propped pillows, a throw blanket and decorative cushions for a hotel-chic vibe.
Layer Tonal Shades
Using multiple shades of the same colour immediately makes a room look polished and pulled together, and it's a trick that you can't get wrong. Layer the same colour or varying hues, adding texture and pattern. Start with a failsafe array of sofa cushions and then move onto larger items and structural parts of a room, for instance, painting a piece of furniture the same colour as the wall behind.
Fall In Love With Stools
Versatile stools are an interior decorator's secret weapon. This little piece of furniture can be slotted into any design to add functionality. Tuck or stack them at the side of a room when not in use and then bring them out for extra seating when needed. Give them multifunctional purpose; for instance, a lidded stool makes an excellent side table and storage piece in one.
Play Around With Scale
Going supersized gives you instant interior design brownie points. Not only does upscaling a key accessory or piece of furniture make a striking style statement, but it also creates a comfortable, cosy atmosphere in a room. Lamps and pendant lights offer the perfect way to play with scale, as they can create a big impact without taking up too much space.
Warm With Wood
If a room lacks warmth and character, there's no better antidote than wood. While timber accessories and furniture are an easy way to lift a scheme and add texture, a 3D wall can work wonders in a space without a focal point. It doesn't have to cost the earth either – you can achieve this chic beach house-inspired design with narrow strips of reclaimed wood. For something more rustic, sand down the surface before installing.
Swatch Your Paint
Before committing to wall colour, it's important to paint a swatch and observe how the shade looks in different light conditions. For a mess-free method, paint swatches on A3 pieces of paper and move them around the room throughout the day, observing how they look in different corners of the space.
Measure Dining Room Dimensions
Dining tables often get squeezed in as an afterthought, but it's worth thinking carefully about how much space you need to avoid bumping elbows while eating. The ideal dining table height is 74cm, with 45cm of legroom and 75cm of space between the table and the wall to get up and sit down comfortably. Each place setting should be about 65cm wide.
Let Floors Do The Talking.
Like ceilings, floors are often left as an afterthought in decorating schemes, but a statement floor can create striking results that add wow-factor to the room. The key is to incorporate balance; for instance, if the floor is busy, make sure the rest of the room is pared back and neutral. Also, look for furniture pieces with a small footprint and lift what you can off the floor.
Call On Complementary Colours.
The colour wheel is an interior design essential. It can help you plan your colour pairings or guide you out of a design rut when you're struggling for inspiration. Use it to help you develop complementary schemes (using colours from opposite sides of the wheel), analogous schemes (using colours next to each other on the wheel) or bolder schemes such as split complementary or triadic, which use three colours.
Repeat Home Accessories
Repeating shapes throughout a scheme is subtle to help the human brain read space as a harmonious whole. Here, for example, a selection of rectangles – in the pictures, sofa, and scatter cushions – echo one another, as do the pair of round mirrors, round coffee table and vase. However, the central ampersand purposefully disrupts the repetition, so the scheme doesn't become too predictable.
Orchestrate Indoor Lighting
Good lighting is often the last thing most people think about when coming up with a new design scheme, but it should be the first. You need to carefully plan where every single light, switch and socket will go before turning to decorate, including a good mix of overhead lighting, task lighting, mood lighting and accent lighting. Using the right colour and brightness of the light bulb for the right tasks will also help your room look and perform its best.
Embrace Dark Colours
What's the best way to make the most of a dark room? The automatic answer might be to paint it bright white to reflect as much light as possible. But this can give a dingy room an off-putting, grey-ish tone that feels needlessly gloomy. So instead, embrace the dark side and paint your walls in deep, rich hues to create an irresistibly cosy scheme that draws you in. Lighten the mood with a few bright accents, and make sure you include plenty of layered lighting.
So, whether you're looking to make a few small tweaks or start from scratch with a complete redesign, we hope these easy home design tips and tricks will help get you started. If you're not sure where to start, don't worry – our team of experts are more than happy to help. Get in touch today for a free consultation, and let us show you how easy it is to create the home of your dreams!
FAQs About Home Builders
Get a handle on freehand sketching and learn to impress your clients. If you want to explore a career in interior designing, these courses would be the perfect way to start. Self-paced online classes will allow you to grasp the fundamentals right from the comfort of your own home.
- Choose calm colours.
- Purge, purge and purge some more.
- Bring in natural elements.
- Bring special items out in the open.
- Let the light shine in.
- Carve out a special spot just for you.
- Make it welcoming.
- Make it warm and cosy.
- Set The Tone at The Front Door. Alamy.
- Paint Wall Colours Light and Neutral. Bruce Buck.
- Let The Sun Shine In Your Kitchen. iStock.
- Hang at Least One Mirror in Every Room. iStock.
- Scale Artwork to Your Wall. GAP Photos.
- Layer Your Lighting.
- Anchor Rugs Under Furniture Feet
- Call in a Pro to Declutter.
- Spend carefully. When you're just getting started in interior design, it's best to take things slow and decide which items will be your big-ticket ones.
- Remember to think about lighting.
- Make good use of accent pieces.
- Give your furniture room to breathe.
- Your home is not a showroom.
- Choose Subtle Colour.
- Don't Overlook the Ceiling.
- Keep the Bedroom Simple.
- Choose the Right Size Furniture.
- Have Plenty of Storage.
- Include a Private Nook.
- Indulge in Luxurious Linens.
- Cover the Windows.