Finding interior design tips and inspiration is easy – just look in a magazine, watch a home makeover programme, or scroll through interior design searches on Pinterest. However, implementing these tips and tricks into your real home can be more challenging. Your own space might be smaller or a different layout than that of the homes you see in the media. In addition, you might think that you don’t have the budget to bring your ideas to life.
However, with just a bit of well thought-out planning and creative thinking, you can style your home in a way that will make your friends and family think you’ve hired an interior designer! Read on to find out how.
Begin your interior design plan with a clear concept
As Californian interior designer Nate Berkus said, “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love”. This is a great place to start when it comes to forming your concept. While a design that you see in a magazine may be appealing to the eye, it might not reflect you and your personality, or cater to your needs.
If you’re struggling to put your personality down on paper, continue to look through your decor magazines and online, then create a moodboard. What you’re looking for here are images that really appeal to you and evoke emotion within you. Once you’ve collected all of your inspiration, try to find a connection between the images. It could be a particular colour, texture, shape, pattern or feeling. This connection is your concept. A well-defined concept will ensure your decor choices align harmoniously.
Mix and layers textures
Global lifestyle designer Kelly Wearstler said, “I believe in soulful, sensorial design. Good design evokes a visceral reaction, a connection. It’s about creating atmospheres that enhance the way you live and feel within a space”.
Though you might have picked a particular texture as part of your concept, it’s important to mix and layer textures so that your home feels comfortable, cohesive and multi-dimensional. Taking Kelly Wearstler’s quote into mind, the use of different textures can balance sensory stimulation within an environment, making it more comfortable and enhancing your interaction with the space.
Natural materials like wood and wool may give a space a warmer, cosier feel, while smooth and hard materials like glass, chrome and concrete will make your space cooler and edgier. Think about the textures that you like the look of, the feelings they evoke, and how these fit within the wider concept of your design.
Introduce thoughtful art and accessories
Art and accessories often come at the end of the design process (unless you are designing your space around a particular piece of art) but that doesn’t mean that they’re the least important part of the process.
As Spanish architect and industrial designer Patricia Urquiola said, “Design is always about communicating a message, even in the quietest of objects”. When it comes to your design, think about the message that you’re conveying with your overall concept. Is it one of cosiness and calmness? Fun and energy? Creativity and studiousness? Your chosen art and decor accessories should play into this.
Interior designers pay meticulous attention to art and accessories. Rather than cluttering your space with random decor items, curate a collection that tells a story. And don’t hesitate to include personal touches like heirlooms or travel souvenirs for an authentic feel.
Decorating on a budget? Keep these tips and hacks in mind
If you’re restricted by space, make the most of it by incorporating multi-functional furniture. These are pieces that serve dual purposes, such as a settee that can transform into a bed (great if you don’t have a guest room), or a coffee table that can increase in height so that it doubles up as a dinner table.
These pieces not only save space, but also add a pleasing element of surprise and innovation to your design.
Struggling to find space for houseplants? Create a vertical garden! Install floating shelves or wall-mounted planters to display your favourite indoor plants. Not only does this improve air quality and create a relaxing, natural aesthetic, it also maximises floor space, leaving room for larger furniture pieces and clutter-free walkways.
Mirrors for the illusion of a larger space
It’s an age-old trick, but mirrors are your secret weapon in small-space design. Strategically place mirrors to reflect natural light and create the illusion of a larger room. Mirrored accent walls or mirrored furniture pieces can add depth and openness, making your space feel more inviting and expansive.
By upcycling (taking an existing piece of furniture and altering it so that it looks drastically different or has a different function to its original intended use), you can effortlessly achieve a distinctive and personalised interior aesthetic, ensuring that your furniture tells a unique story.
Upcycling is great for the frugal, allowing you to create unique designs without the hefty price tag of buying furniture new. This not only reduces the financial strain of redecorating, but also promotes sustainability by minimising waste! Whether it’s reviving an antique dresser with a fresh coat of paint or crafting a statement light fixture from reclaimed materials, upcycling encourages you to think creatively. However, if you’re struggling to put your creative hat on, browse some online tutorials to find an upcycling project that is suitable for your ability and budget.
Putting interior design tips into action
Interior design can be overwhelming. However, by creating a plan, you’ll have a direction and goals, and it will be easier to know where to start and what you need to tick off. Here are some elements to consider in your plan:
- Room and doorway measurements
- Purpose for each room
- Needs of individuals using the space
- Those involved in the project
We hope these tips on how to style your home like an interior designer give you a good starting point for your design project!