8 Tips from an Interior Designer

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Each interior designer's amazing style is unique and intriguing but there are basics that most of them utilize by training, innate ability, and most likely the combination of both. If I were to try to give you a glimpse of this world, I would need to break it down into the basics. Here are some, and by far not all, tips of how to create better designed interiors for your home.

  • First you need to start with an Entrance - Think of this as your first impression like at an interview with a stranger or the opening act on stage … what tone would you like to set?
  • The Symmetry of your place - does your home and each room have balance? If you want a room to appear traditional or formal it is typically symmetrical. Contemporary or informal spaces are typically asymmetrical.  Avoid putting all your large heavy items on one side of the room this is one of the most common mistakes I have seen, which I refer to it as the "sinking ship effect."
  • The Focal Point - this is what pulls your guest into a space, the compelling interest of your room. Your room might already have one like a large window facing a lake or gardens. Be careful with trying to have more than one since the more interesting items you have, the more likely each becomes less interesting by comparison.
  • The Lighting - will set the atmosphere of your spaces. Think of this in terms of ambiance, such as that of a nice restaurant where you can have a good conversation with a friend or enjoy a romantic glass of wine with your sweetheart, or the sparkle of a jewelry store to attract attention and excitement. Try to create with light, by the use of color and adjust-ability, instead of decorating by selecting a fixture, "lamp," that just looks pretty.
  • The Color - will set the emotion and unite the space. "It affects emotions beyond thought and can convey mood, from delight to despair." If you want your space to be sunny and cheery you might want to use yellows and oranges, for a refined and intellectual space a nice monochromatic or analogous color scheme will do fine, or if you want a fun and dynamic space add highly saturated complementary color schemes like blues and oranges, or soften it a little bit and make it pinks and mints.
  • The Décor - is your personality of the room. Patterns and textiles that are appealing to you and complement your room. The architectural details such as crown molding and coordinating furnishings and window treatments, that tie and polish the room. If you are an avid equestrian consider a piece of art to portray your passion such as a sculpture or painting of a horse. A nice family photo, great-grandmother's antique vase, or a hand carved piece of art from a fondly remembered trip are other items to consider to add to the space. If you have a few of these sentimental items you are probably fine but for those of us with larger collections consider rotating them for each of the seasons according to what season they most likely represent. When it starts feeling cluttered, those items become washed out, so it is better to have them shine even if it's just for part of the year, like gems that they are to you.
  • Maintenance - here is where I implore you to know thyself and family members if you are not big on cleaning all day long educate and find products easier to maintain, also do not create maintenance nightmare designs. I have seen so many examples but here is one of my favorites: shag carpet around the toilet in a bathroom for children. I still wonder in what universe this seemed like a good idea.
  • Last but never least, the Function - it does not matter how pretty that item or how amazing that design is, if it is not functional it is useless.

Happy designing and more information is to come, since I will be going into each of these areas in details soon. Check back and don't forget to share if you enjoyed this article.

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Photos by Tony Frantz