Books, the internet, television, radio… with all of the interior design advice that’s out there, you would be forgiven for thinking that you need a degree in design in order to create a pleasing interior for your home. But nothing could be further from the truth. Interior design is more about inspiration, creativity and fun. In fact, interior design is one of the only aspects of home-building where you can really let your wildest fantasies take shape.
Your home is a reflection of yourself: we all change as we age, so it’s natural that your idea of interior design will change, too. One of the beauties of interior design is that it’s a moveable feast: a bold, striking interior with radical design features might appeal to you when you are in your twenties, but you may feel differently about design when you’re in your thirties or forties. Your life circumstances may have changed – you may have married, for example, or you may have children – and this will certainly have an impact on the way in which you choose to design your home’s interior.
The first step is understanding your interior. Whether you want to re-design a room, a floor or even a whole house, it’s important to know what the space will be used for, and who will be using it. A lounge or bedroom can be ruined by the wrong design style, so make your design project easier by deciding up-front how you intend to use your interior.
The next step is to consider who will be using the space. What sort of person are they? Your interior design should take their age, character and occupation into consideration. A bright, vibrant design may not be suitable for a studious or serious person, for example. And a muted interior will suppress a creative spirit or free thinker. Make it a rule to design your interior around the inhabitants.
With your design foundation in place, it’s time to start choosing your colour palette. Aim to include 2 – 4 colours or shades: it will be far flattering to your interior than a single colour. And don’t be afraid to contrast: bright reds and blues look stunning against a modern white interior, for example, whereas tranquil greens and turquoises will add warmth to an old-fashioned, beamed interior. Be bold: try painting a ‘feature wall’ in a single colour, and contrast that with interesting accessories… it’s an interior design trick that will really bring a room to life.
As any interior design expert knows, it’s the finishing touches that can make all the difference. An oversized cushion with an ethnic design; a long table made from a reclaimed railway sleeper; a fireplace full of candles… little touches of design brilliance that will bring your interior to life.