Successful interior design requires a precise definition of your needs, adaptation to the spatial possibilities and… a little extravagance. How to keep moderation and still get as much out of your interiors as possible? What is the right system of patterns and colours? Why isn’t a particular style good?
Interior design has a long history – after all, for centuries we have attached great importance to the appearance of the space around us. Our home has been, is and will always be an opposition to a world full of dangers and chaos. Certain rules have always guided the choice and arrangement of the place of residence. It’s our our command center, where our loved ones are staying and where everyday life takes place. Although retro designs are still perfect for that it’s good to look for some alternatives
Even today – even though we live much faster and our everyday life is full of technology – we repeat old habits when choosing, building and arranging our flats. Once, in order to ensure a successful home, a bottle of alcohol was embedded in the wall. Today, the sense remains the same, but the bottle ends up on the table when we invite our friends and arrange a housewarming party.
Our houses are no longer our fortresses, but certainly remain our business cards, so when furnishing them, it’s worth remembering a few simple rules. Here are some tips with which the interior design will become a little easier, even if you have no experience in this field.
- Interior Design from Scratch: Design and Space Planning
When decorating an interior, it’s worth making a clear design plan of what we want to achieve. You need to think carefully about the function of each room and clearly define you requirements. If you have enough space, it’s worth dividing the house into two zones:a private one and a public one. When each of the household members receive their own four corners, where they can feel truly at home, it’ll be easier for us to create and take care of the common space, which will have a more representative character.
- Entrance Zone
Guests are most often greeted in the vestibule or hallway, so in these places we should take care of adequate lighting and sufficient space. The entrance area to the apartment should be clean and tidy. It’s good to limit the number of furniture – this way we will not allow the impression of a mess and overload. A large wardrobe, clothes rack and a shoe cabinet are enough.
If you have a small hallway, you can make the apartment look bigger from the entrance. Two large mirrors hung opposite to each other or two identical lamps shining with soft light will make the space seem more spacious and friendly. A good idea when arranging the entrance zone is also to use a different floor than in the rest of the house – it’ll constitute a stylistic boundary and will clearly separate this space from other parts of the house.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Equipment
Many apartments advertise themselves as spacious. Not without reason – larger space is associated with prestige, wealth and success. It is enough to look at high ceilings in pre-war tenement houses. Of course, not everyone can afford a large area, so it is worth reaching for a few proven ways to optically enlarge our homes and flats. The easiest way is to eliminate all unnecessary equipment or replace it with smaller ones. Although large-size furniture is capacious, it is too easy to dominate the space in which it is located. Our comfort suffers from this.
- Let the Sunlight in
Light will also help us to fight for space (and better mood!). Let’s let more light in and, if possible, install large windows that will make the room look bigger than it really is. But if you don’t have room for large windows, let’s try to make the most of the smaller ones. Leave them exposed during the day. Give up heavy curtains and roller blinds – light, bright curtains, which will gently let the sun’s rays through, will do much better.
- Colours Can Do a Lot of Good
The right choice and combination of colours is of great importance for our well-being. When choosing colours, you should be guided by your own sense of aesthetics, the function of the painted room, as well as the impression that a given colour evokes. We must remember that not every shade will be suitable for a given place – not many people will paint all the walls in the living room in black.
- White is Your Friend!
White is the safest colour: kept clean it fits everything, and any other colour will be easy to match. White painted flats will look cozy and clean (this is something that should be remembered especially by owners who arrange their flats for rent). But be careful, because the excess of this color can make our house, instead of organized and neat, becoming boring and sterile. So let’s reach for different shades of white and break its domination with different colors. Additions will also help – wonders will work especially for shabby chic style furniture, which is styled on the old, but you can also go the other way and arrange the interior full of smooth surfaces (they have a modern character and optically enlarge the space).
- Play with the Colours
Before we start thinking about the colours of the walls, let’s think about what we expect from a given room. What kind of character is it supposed to have? How often will we stay in the room? Is it the mood or the function that is to decide that?
Warm colours can be suitable for a large interior if you want to increase cosiness at the expense of spaciousness. On the other hand, if you want your apartment to look bigger, paint the walls with light and cold shades. By reaching for specific colors we can achieve a specific character of our interiors – a green bottle or burgundy will give depth and chic, making the house become elegant and at the same time mysterious. Each time, however, we must remember not to overdo it. Although the initial effect can make a big impression, some colors (such as purple, orange or red) in the long run can be too overwhelming.
- Remember about the Background!
When arranging the interior of a dream apartment, we often pay a lot of attention to the foreground and accessories, forgetting about the background. Meanwhile, it’s the background (properly selected walls and floors) that plays a decisive role in our interior design composition, allowing other elements to “play along” as they should. Even cheap paints, materials and furniture will look good if we skillfully match them to the background.
While in case of walls it is sometimes worth to emphasize some fragment (Painting one of the walls in a different colour), in the case of floors monochromatic surfaces are the best. Sticking to the monochromatic character of the floor is better than using the best stoneware, marble or wooden parquet, because not every material fits every apartment. A uniform colour of the floor (regardless of the material) will certainly give a good effect and will harmonize with the equipment.
Accentuating individual places is a simple, but very effective and effective trick that will help to give our interior design depth and individual character. We can do it in two ways.
The first one concerns the already mentioned colour accent on the walls. Instead of painting all the walls white, let’s emphasize one of them with a different color. Such a procedure will emphasize the room and help in the fight against monotony. A separate wall will be eye-catching, so it will work best as a color invitation to use the most important function of the room. In the dining room, place a table next to it, and in the living room – a sofa or a TV set.
Attention can be drawn not only to the color, but also to the equipment and accessories. Clean furniture (a key element of the mid-century style) or color accent in the form of pillows, carpet or a picture or poster will certainly improve the mood of the household members and will make an impression on guests. Properly selected furniture and arrangement accessories will make the raw space gain a new quality.
- Interior design
Since we are already on the additions, we must mention one of the most important components of original interior design – the mysterious rhythm. It’s the rhythm that determines the way in which a room “moves” – by means of repetitive or properly composed patterns, colours or accessories. By maintaining the appropriate rhythm, we’ll unify the interiors and prevent the creation of a visual chaos. There’s a lot of room for showing off!
If we care about order and order in the arrangement, a good solution is to use a repeatable pattern, accent or addition in the room: e.g. three small frames hanging vertically, a few cushions in the same color or a matching pattern of the lamp and curtains. This type of treatment will help to calm and organize the interior, but be careful not to exaggerate. If there are too many repetitive elements or their incompetent composition, the whole thing may seem boring and monotonous or chaotic and illegible.
An interesting alternative to repetition will be the interchangeable use of several elements. In this case, we achieve two goals at the same time: we organize the space and bring life into it. It doesn’t take much at all – even the same decoration elements hung at different heights will diversify the interior design and make the apartment come alive.
The previous ways can be made even more varied by using gradations. This is especially true when repeating – how much better will our apartment look if we use the same model instead of three identical objects, but in different sizes or colors!
You don’t need a lot of effort and resources to make your home more varied and vibrant – just remember the contrast. Do you have something square and round? Hang it up or put it next to you, and your apartment will immediately gain life. Do you love floral motifs? Complete them with minimalist, geometric patterns.
Here again we have to remember about caution and moderation. After all, we don’t want our guests and household members to get nystagmus.
- Maintain the Proportions
When it comes to interior design, we mustn’t forget the proportions. Placing a large wardrobe in a small room will make it dominate over the rest, which will significantly reduce the comfort of living. For small areas it is best to use the same or proportional size additions. Remember about the salutary role of white and emptiness – leaving unoccupied space will allow your eyes to relax and make the room seem a little bigger. Let’s place large, massive and high furniture in the largest and highest rooms, matching them with companions in the right size. After all, a small coffee table in a wide living room with a high ceiling will not work – the room will seem empty.
- Balance is the Key.
During interior design we should avoid overloading (unless we dream of a colorful and messy boho style). The accumulation of equipment, accessories and colors will not make our apartment any more beautiful, but will only cause the impression of disorder and internal anxiety. Maintaining balance in the interior design is not difficult, and can have a salutary effect on our well-being.
- Establish a Focal Point
In some rooms we can choose the main point around which we will organize the rest of the space. In the living room, it can be a fireplace – by placing furniture around it, we will build a cozy, relaxing atmosphere and emphasize the warmth of the fireplace. We can also focus on the works of art. A large painting, hung in such a way that it can be seen from all sides, will work wonders. An obvious but very effective way will be to create a meeting and conversation centre: to place a table or table in the centre of the room and to place chairs, sofas or armchairs around it.
- Use Different Layouts
People who like order and harmony should use a symmetrical system – people like things of the same size and to a pair, so two tables of the same size arranged on two sides of a bigger armchair will coexist perfectly. The asymmetrical arrangement will bring a breath of fresh air into the space. Place two similar, but different-sized furniture next to each other, and the apartment will immediately become more vivid.
- Stick to One Style
Although our individual preferences are very important in interior design, we can’t forget that our place of residence should be maintained in a consistent, uniform aesthetics. Even if we dream of different interiors, it’s better not to do stylistic juggling – let’s decide on one style and avoid the chaos.
Do you like the industrial style? Paint the walls with beige and browns and emphasize purely functional elements such as pipes. Fans of colonial style are recommended to dark, made of exotic wood species furniture and patterns popular in the nineteenth century. In many flats, especially in the small ones, minimalism will work well. Focusing on uniform, bright colours, simple forms and avoiding a multitude of accessories will organize the space, but won’t close the room for interpretation or subtle borrowings from other styles of arrangement. Interiors arranged in this way can be emphasized with properly accented furniture or accessories like asymmetrically hung pictures, which will immediately bring some energy.
Functionality and Comfort
Even the most beautiful apartment won’t be a friendly place if we forget about functionality. What good is it to us that we bought the most fashionable furniture this season, when it blocks the way to the kitchen?
Our home must be, above all, comfortable, so we must remember, among other things, to leave enough free space and ergonomic arrangement of furniture. This is extremely important, first of all, when arranging a kitchen or bathroom – but not only. Separating the active zone from the rest zone (especially if we focus on open plan arrangement) will ensure that the household members will not disturb each other. If we have such a possibility, it’s worth to place the bedrooms and rooms on the upper floors, and the living room, dining rooms and the rest of the rooms on the lower floors.
At the very end we left one of the most important principles of interior design. Never arrange the same as in the pictures in magazines or on the Internet. Every space, just like its users, has its own individual character, so direct copying of the colour scheme and equipment will not guarantee success. Our place of residence is ours and only ours, so we want it to be there freely and comfortably, not only for the designers.
Successful interior design combines proper recognition of one’s own needs, logical planning and aesthetic sense. In this mix we cannot forget about the moderation, harmony and balance, but also about a note of extravagance. So let’s approach the furnishing patiently and carefully and let’s dose emotions, and our interiors will surely benefit from it. Good luck!