We love reading about stylish homes. Filled with thoughtful elements as well as creative style, they make us want to be the people living there. Now only if we could get home ideas like that!
When it comes to interior designing, having ideas is one thing and having the vision and capability to execute is a whole different ball game. It takes expertise to scan through a vast array of materials available in the market and then pick and choose one that is a perfect mix of your ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and hopefully fits your budget too.
It requires a clever eye to know what can be reused to minimize wastage and where things will be needed to stated from scratch. A pulse on trends and the ability to match it with a home owner’s specific requirements, making suggestions that generate an appeal and keep them coming back for more… that is what a good interior designer is made of.
So what are their design secrets? How do they do it? Does it come only from experience or do they have an innate quality to pick the right pieces of home décor and match them up? Here are some home ideas straight from their book:
A room may not be what it really seems. It may seem like a bedroom at first but it has now doubled up as the children’s favourite play area. The balcony on the 5th floor may not have much space but it may be the go-to area to catch the first rays of the morning sun with a nice cup of morning tea.
A kitchen is a standard functional area in a house where cooking is done. But each kitchen’s owner may have different demands. They may have nurtured a dream to grow a herb garden or want the kitchen that seamlessly merges with the dining area.
An interior designer has the capability to take this dream and convert it into a reality. The first step for you to do this is the analysis for every room in your house. What purpose does it serve and how you can build around it to make it useful.
Also be sure to do the exercise in reverse. You may have not found a good hanging place for dresses you recently wore and they may end rolled up in your closet corner. Analyze the problem areas and then start looking for innovative solutions that others have used.
Stylish homes don’t happen by chance. They are made by choice. (Which is why the whole interior designer business exists!). You can check the latest trends both online and offline. A good pick would be to try an interior design magazine that shares popular trends.
Interior trends don’t change as much as fashion. They almost can hold you in good stead for the decade, give and take a little change in upholstery or covers. If you are going to look at it everyday, might as well pick one that appeals to your senses. Also think of short term life changes that may happen. If you recently married, there may be a little person in the near future who will have to be protected from sharp edges. If you paint your house in a few years, you will need to do it around your current décor objects.
This beautiful combination is done by Estoril, Portugal based Lavradio Design.
Choosing a theme and sticking to it can make life easy in the interior designing world! Because the décor, style and colours will flow from one room to another, it will be easier to pick objects that go well together.
For example, if you choose minimalist style, you can look for a great way to use negative space in each room. If you choose an industrial theme, you can run a metal finish touch in most décor items showing off a factory finished look. Alternatively, if you want to mix and match with an eclectic theme to keep the home decor fluid and changeable in a few seasons, you can keep the base simple (floor, walls, couch, windows etc.) and work to create personalized touches over the little items.
Color is a great starting point secret that interior designers use to their advantage. Once they understand your sense of style, they tend to select colors from your favourite palette and extend it to not only the walls in your home but the entire set up.
Colours, in a way, need to flow through your apartment. For example a maroon couch can match with the rug and the rustic colour of the flower pots. You can equally use colour to deliberately create a visual barrier to avoid a single colour overload. If you have a single colour couch with the other single sofas also in matching colour, you can add cushions in multiple colours to break the colour.
This is one of the best kept secrets by professionals. An ingredient in their secret sauce that you simply cannot put a finger on unless you look closer. Lead your eye to a place where you have created a group without giving a feel of deliberately doing it. For example, you can create a photo wall with different sized photos but all having the same frame. The similar positioning instantly tends to draw attention while not screaming for attention.
Similarly leave room to create ‘islands’ or stand alone spaces that can hold their own when posed with the rest of the décor. A study corner can be a great example of an island. You can opt for a recliner which may not fully fit with the rest of your décor and a floor lamp positioned high like a drooping flower over the chair. Complete the look with a wood stump side table to hold your book and a contrast throw or rug.
Don’t you simply love interior designers when they say they can work well within your budget! With a little creativity, you don’t have to throw out all the old but reuse it in an interesting way. The old wooden cabinet doors may have the top peeling off but sturdy wood inside. Just change the sunmica and you are good to go! You may no longer need a king size dining table so simply saw off the sides to get it in the size you like.
When it comes to decorating your home, the only limit will come from your imagination. If you plan well in advance and set your expectations right, you may just end up getting the sun, moon and bonus stars in your kitty. As for design secrets, you have us.
For more ideas read: Getting started with interior design.