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This Interior Designer Shares Her 5 Design Tips for Your Home

by in Lifestyle on 21st January, 2020

Your home should tell a story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.” Nate Berkus, Interior Designer

When I’m asked about what drew me to the world of Interior Design I think most people expect me to start talking about the glitzy and glamorous aspect of Interior Design, but in all honesty, it’s not that which drew me in. Our homes should tell a story of who we are, where we came from and where we are going. It should reflect our adventures and interests, and the best way to express that is through our personal design style.  Stories are the perfect way of expressing our adventures, emotions, and dreams. We have the ability to tell stories through other mediums such as art, architecture, music and not just through words. And in the same way, we can tell the story of who we are through our homes. 

But when it comes down to trying to design the interior, we tend to get lost. Some of us have a knack for all that creativity, and some of us don’t no matter how hard we try. Social media feeds are constantly inundated with images of gorgeous bedrooms and kitchens and we constantly have interiors brands recommending and trying to sell us the latest products. The world of interior design is a huge place and the interior products market is saturated to the max. There is just so much out there that I get flustered with it sometimes, and I’m a professional.

What kitchen layout will be ideal for me, what’s the difference between the types of paint, which type of light is perfect for which room?

We find our heads being filled with hundreds of questions. With so many ideas surrounding us, where do we exactly start?

How do you start an Interior Design project?

What makes a well-designed room? How can we express ourselves in our homes?

To make things easier for us all, I’ve put together a few basic little Interior Design tips to help us get started designing a home or a room that’s bang on trend, oozing sophistication and brimming with personality.

Personal Style

Before starting on any Interior Design project, whether it’s one room or the whole house, it’s important to make sure we know what our personal style is. There’s a variety of Interior Design styles out there, from minimalist to maximalist, modern to traditional, and contemporary to vintage. Everyone has a design style that reflects our personality and lifestyle, and chances are there might be a conflict of opinion on this with members of our household. I know there most definitely is in mine, and we’ve had our fair share of disagreements over it. So it makes sense to discuss this before and get all arguments and views out of the ways.

Figure out Budget

Once we’ve got our personal style figured out, the next most important factor is deciding on the budget. To calculate a budget for an Interior Design project, there are a few things that need to be considered beforehand. Generally speaking the budget should cover decoration, furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, accessories, tradesmen fees and materials and equipment.

Pay attention to natural light

Every home has natural light coming in, either from windows or doors. Make good use of this to create a really well designed room. In rooms with high levels of natural light, there’s no need for a lot of lighting fixtures. A ceiling light and some focused lighting such a lamp or two will be enough. The option of being brave and using darker and bolder colours in the room comes with this, as well as using bolder prints and patterns.

Areas of low natural lighting will require more lighting solutions such as ceiling lights, focused down lights, wall lights and lamps. Dark colours will darken the space and make it seem smaller, so lighter colours are best suited here. 

Choose paint colour last

Pick a colour theme first and then pick the shade of paint last. This may sound confusing but it isn’t. The first thing we generally do is go and pick a shade of paint and then spend trying to time finding furniture, furniture and accessories matching that shade. And end up driving ourselves up the wall trying to get the right colours.

It’s important to remember that furniture, furnishings and accessories are only available in limited colours. We don’t have the option of picking from hundreds of colours for sofa and curtains. But we do have the option of picking from thousands of paint colours. So it’s so much easier buying the furniture and furnishings first and them matching the paint colour to what we’ve got.

Do create a cohesive look

In order to create a more cohesive and well-designed look in our homes, we need to try to not mix up too much colour in the space. Every room doesn’t need to be a different colour. Pick a neutral colour or two and paint the majority of the house in that colour. The current trend is carry white or grey throughout the home to create the perfect neutral base. Try to keep either the flooring the same through the bedrooms or through the hallway and the living space. To make all the rooms in the home belong together, it’s ideal to repeat design elements throughout the home. 

Shahina Style and Form

Shahina Style and Form

Shahina is a freelance Interior Designer and Blogger based in West Yorkshire. IG: @shahinastyleandform