If you're new to home design, then you may be wondering where to start. There are a lot of things to consider when designing a home, from the layout to the finishes. Here are some tips that can help make the process a little easier for beginners.
Designing your home can be an incredibly exciting prospect but, with so many different things to think about, it can also feel daunting, overwhelming and complicated. It’s easy to quickly feel discouraged when things don’t go to plan, or when your beautiful design in your head doesn’t quite translate into reality. However, don’t panic!
Here at LIV for Interiors, we’re here to help you with our handy guide on home décor tips for the absolute beginner.
First things first, you need a vision! You need to decide how you’d like your dream home to look – the style, the furniture, the accessories and so on. Yes of course, things change as you go through the process, but it helps to have a clear idea of how you’d like your finished space to be. Having this objective will help to create a plan of action for making your vision a reality.
You should also consider how much you’re willing to spend on the entire project, whilst also bearing in mind that decorating your home on a budget is possible – it just takes slightly more resourcefulness and creativity! Whether you’re looking to completely renovate, or just find smarter storage solutions, you need to ensure you’re able to make the most of your budget.
Find Your Style
As we mentioned before, it’s important to find your own style. Every person is unique, so your ideal interior design will probably be different from your friends and family, which is completely OK.
There are so many different styles out there – from traditional to contemporary, from mid-century modern to farmhouse, and from bohemian to art deco.
For inspiration, flick through magazines, browse on Pinterest and scan the Internet for blogs and online articles. Save your favourite images, create moodboards, and then start browsing the shops for some key pieces to achieve the look.
For those on a budget, second-hand charity shops often sell good pieces of furniture for much cheaper, and our top tip is to check out Facebook Marketplace for a real bargain in your local area.
Choosing The Right Colour Palette
Choosing the right colour is really important as it provides the foundation for the entire feel of the home. If you have a lot of ideas running through your mind and you’re finding it difficult to commit to one, then consider whether you’d like to use warm colours, such as red or orange, or a cool palette, such as blue or green, within your home.
Alternatively, you might choose a completely neutral scheme using shades such as cream and grey. This provides a commitment-free way to incorporate colour into your home through the use of items such as cushions, pillows, blankets and other decorative accessories.
You may go on to regret a bold statement wall, but you can always replace soft furnishings. In fact, thoughtfully chosen pops of colours will often be much more effective!
Having said that, fun wallpaper patterns and energising paint colours are a great way to express your personality and bring character to your home, so go for whatever feels right!
Finding Functional Furniture That Also Looks Good
Utilising space cleverly is a priority, especially in first-time homes where space may be at more of a premium. Multi-purpose furniture is a good option for more compact spaces, such as a sofa bed, or a table with drawers, and so on.
Also, in the interest of saving money, don’t worry about buying a new matching set of furniture. It’s more visually interesting to have a variety of different, though complementary, pieces juxtaposed throughout your home.
For example, a dining chair with mismatched chairs is a quirky, characterful look that will add personality to your home. It’ll also save you pennies!
Another clever way to make your budget last longer is to try your hand at upcycling: find second-hand pieces that you can sand down and paint to provide a new lease of life. This method is great for creating pieces that look exactly how you like!
How To Decide On Flooring
Most interior designers will say that your starting point should always be your flooring.
If you’re in a position where you’re able to update your flooring, then consider that this might be one way to provide a fresh update to your space. There are many options out there from solid wood to practical laminate to beautiful tiles.
If you’re on a stricter budget, or you don’t need to update the floors, adding a rug is a quick and easy way to add colour, texture and warmth to a space while also allowing for a comfortable surface to walk and sit on.
How To Choose The Right Lighting
You’ll want to ensure that your home is bright and welcoming and, to check that you’re maximising the light available and choosing the right artificial lighting to light up dark corners, you’ll need to evaluate the amount of natural light the room gets everyday.
A good trick is to layer your lighting so that the space is lit up from different levels and sources e.g. floor lamps, table lamps, wall sconces and even glowing candles for a more inviting and comforting ambience.
To maximise the natural light, be sure to incorporate a range of mirrors into your design to reflect it throughout your space.
Diy Personalised Touches And Accessories
Blankets, cushions and decorative objects should provide the final finishing touches to your new space, and will give you the opportunity to personalise every room with interesting items that reflect your style and personality.
These might be things such as coffee table books, photographs or a sentimental item that you’ve brought home from abroad.
Plants are one of the most versatile ornamental objects that you can have in your home and bring a lovely natural touch indoors.
A home is an expression of who you are. DIY personalised items are usually the most interesting to look at, and will engage your visitors too.
Use dream catchers, hand painted vases or even artwork to provide a homemade touch.
Do It For You
One of the most important home design tips to know when you are about to embark upon this road is to do it for you. Ultimately, while you may well want to make your home look attractive to guests, this is your space. Whether the whole place is yours or you share it with other people, the desire to mark out your own area is natural.
Just don’t get too hung up on what other people think and say. Just as this guide can only provide you with pointers, other people can only tell you what works for them, not necessarily what will work for you. There’s no sense in living in a space designed for someone else.
Your home is yours, so make it feel like it.
Before you get too seriously into your home design, you will want to make sure that you’ve got your property up to scratch. You can’t even start thinking about how to use your finesse to design the perfect home if you have leaking taps and broken appliances cluttering up the place. Fix anything that you can fix and replace anything that is beyond repair.
If you have household appliances repaired, make sure that you use an authorised repair service. For example, Service Force is an authorised repair partner for AEG appliances. You can even find articles on subjects like how to clean a washing machine on their website, so they are worth knowing about.
The colour schemes you use throughout your home will have a significant impact on the overall feel and mood of each room. Different rooms have different purposes and their designs can reflect this.
For example, try a light colour scheme in your kitchen. You can accentuate a light kitchen design by incorporating black surfaces, and other dark details can create a striking contrast. If you have a room in your home dedicated to entertaining guests, such as your living room or dining room, then try and use warm, relaxing colours that will put any visitors at ease.
Choosing a colour palette is an essential part of interior design. While you could have a different style and colour scheme in each room, often you will want to tie the whole dwelling together. Consider the right colours for a small room as well as colours and patterns for a large room.
Elements Of Decor
Your first step should be to select a style for your home interior. This will promote the design principle of unity and harmony, thinking of the entire home with a unifying theme. It can be as simple as choosing shabby chic instead of formal or traditional instead of contemporary.
Balance is another principle—distributing the visual weight in a room. You can do it symmetrically, as is common in traditional interiors, or with asymmetrical balance as seen in casual interiors.
Within each room there should be a focal point. In a living room, it could be the fireplace or a piece of art. It sets itself apart by scale, colour, or texture.
Contrast and variety add visual interest to a room. Keep rhythm in mind with repeating elements of the same colour, texture, or pattern, and a progression of sizes or colours.
Interior Design Tips
Feeling ready to dive into the world of living rooms and coffee tables? Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to getting you started with your next interior design project:
- 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. A good rule of thumb is that the best pieces of furniture to splurge on are couches and beds—they’re visually heavy items that will draw attention, so you want them to look nice. Once you’ve found those, you can fill in the gaps with your accent items and DIY home decorating.
- Remember to think about lighting. A well-designed room can be spoiled by improper lighting, so make sure to factor lighting into your budget. Windows (for natural light), floor lamps, overhead lights, accent lighting, and white- or light-colored walls and furniture are all great ways to open up a dark or small space.
- Make good use of accent pieces. Some interior designers focus on the “big” pieces in a room—things like couches, rugs, dressers, and tables—and forget about the small things. Accent pieces are a great way to make a room feel more personalized and more visually interesting, so keep an eye out for things like bowls, books, and other decorations you can use to jazz up shelves and coffee tables.
- Give your furniture room to breathe. When you get a new piece of furniture, it’s a natural inclination to push it up against the wall—but this can make a room feel stiff and flat. Instead, keep your furniture at least a few inches away from the walls to give your room an airier feeling.
- Your home is not a showroom. If you’re currently working on your own home’s decor and interior, don’t try to make it look like the professional photos you see online or in interior design classes—those are meant to show off design principles and furniture rather than be lived in. Instead, throw in more eclectic or sentimental pieces so that your house has the perfect balance of gorgeous design and liveability.
A major pitfall that traps untrained decorators is editing. A good interior decorator can scan a room and understand what items work in a room and when something is too much, tasteful, or requires embellishment. A few tips in this area can make or break your room's design choices.
One room element that can usually use an editorial eye is how pillows are placed. Pillows can be a nice accent adding to the room's colour story, or in some cases, even create a focal point for the room. However, some people have a tendency to overdo it with pillows. Avoid overloading a sofa to the point that a guest has to move all the pillows just to sit down.
Choices of artwork can be important for a room, but equally consider how you display it. A rule of thumb is to set wall hangings at eye-level. Similarly, the height you set the chandelier matters. A common mistake people make is hanging a chandelier too high or close to the ceiling.
Drop it low enough that it brings light into the room and is noticed. If you hang it above a table, make sure that when you sit up from the table, your or any taller guests cannot knock into it.
Furnishings are a big investment and account for a large part of the budget of room decor. If you are on a tight budget, there are some items you should splurge on. The two most important pieces of furniture—likely the items that will get the most use—are your sofa and bed. Spend more on those pieces.
Save on area rugs, accent tables, and wall art. A mixture of high-ticket items with less expensive options is a trick of the trade that makes the room still feel stylish without breaking the bank.
The Basics Of Interior Design: 3 Design Principles
When getting started with your designs, there are a few interior design basics to keep in mind:
- Style. Selecting an interior design style in the beginning will help you keep your space cohesive and focused. There are plenty of decorating styles to choose from—like shabby chic, Tuscan, mid-century modern, industrial, Scandinavian, or farmhouse—and many of them come with their own, unique design elements, color schemes or colour palettes, window treatments, floor plans, and even styles of wall-art. Acquaint yourself with several different styles, including what design trends are popular right now, to get a taste for what styles and decorating ideas you like.
- Focal point. Each room should have a focal point: an interesting or beautiful piece—such as a piece of art, a fireplace, or a nice couch—that draws viewers’ attention. Take care not to go overboard here: if you have too many focal points in a living space, it will start to feel overpowering and unfocused.
- Balance. To achieve balance in every room, you’ll need to distribute the visual weight of your furniture and accents. Consider scale (large and small items), texture (hard and soft items), and position (high, eye-level, and low placement, and left and right placement). If you pay attention to subtle contrasts in a single space, you’ll be able to create rooms that feel complete and balanced.
So, if you're an absolute beginner when it comes to home design, don't worry - we've got you covered! In this post, we outlined a few simple tips that should help get you started. We hope you find these helpful and that they give you the confidence to start tackling your own home design projects.
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 then 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.
Good design is a concept defined by industrial designer Dieter Rams's principles: It makes a product useful and understandable, is innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough to the last detail, environmentally friendly, and involves as little design as possible. Designers strive for good design.
Basic Design means a set of documents comprising explanations and drawings demonstrating the principal designing solution, which fully meets the conditions for estimation of total investment capital and serves as basis for deployment of subsequent designing steps.
Bad Design is an alternative thinking tool that allows participants to reverse or defy the conventional design process to arrive at a favourable output, often termed as good design.
No. It is certainly not a bad idea to get your customization plans approved, but you can use a home designer or home builder to get the results you want for a lower cost.