To say it straight away – don’t get us wrong. We respect interior designers and absolutely love what they did for all of us over the last couple of decades. It was interior designers who put a lot of effort and time to develop philosophies of making your home feel like home, of making the most out of space at hand and of using elements at your disposal to create your unique stylistic expression. After all, this is not something that comes naturally to everybody – you need to have a keen eye for details and ability to mix style and functionality without either of the two compromising the other.
But, with all that being said, not everyone can afford to hire an interior designer to make their home shine with style and elegance. And many of us would really love if we could be the one in charge, the one who will make decisions and make our home truly ours, a true expression of our individuality.
How hard could it be? Is it something that can be learned or you just need to be born with talent to be able to look at the room and picture it at its best?
Well, the truth is probably somewhere in between these extremes. Being an interior designer involves talent and hard work alike, with many years put into studying, analysing and exploring the world of décor. But, on the other hand, with just some tips and tricks and a little bit of attention, you can learn enough to make your home look stylish and inviting, just like if it was designed by a pro. In this article, we would like to help you with exactly that, to provide you with some rather flexible guidelines that you can use to come up with your personal stylistic expression.
Where to find inspiration?
The best way to get the idea of what a designer might do your home is to take a look at what the pros have done with other spaces which might be similar to your home. This wasn’t too hard to do even in the pre-internet days, but today it is as simple as going to Pinterest and searching for home styles that appeal to you. In fact, we highly encourage you to make a couple of inspiration boards as a first step to making your home stylish and elegant.
Some other websites such as Freshome can also be of help here. There are no strict rules, simply search for inspiration wherever you can and try to keep them handy at all times so in case of an unexpected opportunity to do some shopping, you can quickly check what works and what not.
Once you have a decent collection of images, take some time to look at them and try to ‘read the story’ of the design you are striving to. Hey, you might even be a bit surprised with the end result!
Smart use of colour schemes
This is a mistake many people make – mixing colour palette and style. These two are deeply intertwined, but not exactly the same. While there are some rules – like bright colours for mid-century design or minimalism, warm and rusty for industrial style or something similar – you must keep in mind that interior design is not about strict rules, but exactly about bending them. On top of that, colour is something that should always be personal and that should contribute to the overall mood and ambience of the room.
Exactly because of that, we cannot really tell you which colours to use, but we can give you one very useful piece of advice, especially if you are new to the whole interior design thing – always try to use a mix of up to three colours and their shades. So, one colour will dominate walls, another will be noticeable on large accent pieces (such as sofas or chairs) and the third will add some interest with small details and accessories such as flowers or pillows. Also keep in mind that colour is brought to life by light reaching the room so be sure to keep this in mind. All the colour experiments won’t do you any good if your room isn’t properly illuminated.
Adding some texture
Texture is just as important as colour, and even more so if you decide to forego our previous advice and go for a single-colour scheme in a minimalist manner. All-white, all-grey or other monochromatic rooms will benefit greatly from texture of the elements such as draperies, velvet or silk furniture, rattan chairs, faux fur or other accessories rich in tactile texture. All of these can easily transform somewhat dull room into a sophisticated expression of personal taste. For all of you who are just starting out with the whole interior design thing, we highly recommend relying mostly on fabrics as you won’t be able to avoid them either way (well, in most cases) and they can be much easier to use than wooden elements, for example.
The importance of big furniture pieces
Accent and statement pieces can make or break the room. This will naturally create some pressure for you, but if you’re feeling like making the right choice is just too much of responsibility, then keep in mind that one big statement furniture piece will more often than not be much more stylish addition than a clutter of small spindly pieces all crammed together in one room. Always try to avoid the clutter of legs and instead opt for a large statement piece, maybe with two to three medium sized ones. The main guideline here should be to mix various furniture styles and sizes, while always keeping the room balanced and without letting either size or style to dominate over the others. This same tip can be just as easily applied to accessories.