Any homeowner, renter or avid home-improvement-or-interior-design-magazine-reading-enthusiast thinks they know best when it comes to decorating a home (and that means any home, even yours). This can be frustrating when you’re decorating your own home, especially with half a dozen people or so all interjecting their opinions on what you should do, how you should do it and why it’s the best idea ever when it comes to home improvement or interior design. But, if you’re stumped on where to start―here’s a list of some of the more basic rules of interior design, in no particular order.
So before we dive into the rules of interior design, here’s the best advice you’ll ever get: when it comes to your home, you (and your significant other) are the only one whose opinion matters, period. It doesn’t matter if your mother-in-law thinks that you should paint your living room blue and your best friend thinks it should be red, they’re both wrong (unless, of course, you really want one of those colors).
Following Scale and Proportion
You may think to yourself, “well, duh” but you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow this basic: choosing furniture that fits the space. It’s not uncommon for someone to fall in love with a piece of furniture that is absolutely too big or too small for their home. Sure, you love that beautiful vintage red sofa, but does it fit your great room that’s 20 feet wide and features two story cathedral ceilings? I think not.
Color, Texture and Contrast
Aside from the very obvious, “don’t choose paint before your decorate,” there are many basic rules to follow when it comes to color, texture and contrast. Unfortunately, many people struggle with color and texture concepts simply because they tend to over-think things. Just remember, your tastes will always vary and not everyone will like what you’ve chosen. But, if you like to mix colors or you like to mix textures, then go for it.
If you’re having a really difficult time, stop by your local home improvement store and grab a few color swatches that you’re really drawn to. Then, use those for inspiration as you search for furniture and decor items. Or, even better: check out your closet and pull out a few of your favorite clothing items. These will tell you what you tend to gravitate toward when it comes to color and texture.
And, once you’ve figured out what you like, creating contrast (or interest) is easy.
Balance is another one of those “duh” moments for many people. In interior design, there are two types of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical balance is done with mirroring images. For example, many people choose to have identical lamps on either side of their couch. This would be considered symmetrical balance in design. Meanwhile, asymmetrical balance is balance without mirroring items. For example, on a TV stand one side may feature a vase while the other features a large candle of equal size or proportion. This creates asymmetrical balance which still offers visual balance without mirroring an object.
Rhythm & Harmony
In interior design, rhythm simply means choosing colors and decor items that go together. For example, if you choose a neutral beige couch then you might also choose a vase or statue in a similar shade. However, don’t take this rule to heart. It doesn’t mean everything has to be the same color.
Lastly, harmony will exist easily when all other elements of the design are working together. Don’t stress, take a deep breath and relax. Interior design is much easier than you think.
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The Creative Home: Interior Decorating – The Basics