Paula Glazebrook's Blog
There’s a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.
In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.
In today’s article, we’re going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.
Low ceiling? No problem
Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.
Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.
Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.
Making small rooms feel larger
If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that don’t involve throwing out your belongings.
First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.
Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.
Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.
The size of decorations matter
There’s a rule in interior decorating called the “cantaloupe rule.” It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.
However, that doesn’t mean this rule can’t be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.
Create a color palette
When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.
Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they aren’t too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.
If you aren’t sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.
Early attempts at dressing where you arrived in a striped top and polka-dot bottoms may not have earned your rewards when you were little. In fact, it may have put you off mixing patterns at all. After all, playing it safe with solids and neutrals is much less intimidating. But in your home, all that seamlessness leaves you somewhat uninspired. Here are simple, and less angst-causing ways to mix it up in your home.
Add life to the party with one stripe and one floral or geometric in similar or coordinating colors. If you want a display bolder look, use contrasting colors such as a bright red stripe with a chartreuse green geometric against your gray sofa. Or pick one large print and one small print in the same or reverse colors. Then, add a third pattern such as a stripe or plaid to pull it all together.
Change up the fabrics and textures too. Put a crisp black canvas or duck weave with a soft green and blue velour print. Or mix a paisley pattern with stripes or blocks. The variety draws the eye to multiple places and can even camouflage a dated sofa or chair.
Mix up your carpet styles too. If you have a traditional carpet pattern in the living room, liven it up with an overlapping sea-grass weave in high traffic areas. Place florals and paisleys within eyesight of each other or put a bold stripe in the entry to the living area.
Mix up those plaid plush blankets with a lovely vintage granny-square crocheted afghan or hang a hand-made quilt over the arm of a pattered high-back chair.
Experiment with mixing different wood colors and textures too. Place a Victorian table in a dark wood next to a mid-century arm or slipper chair with light legs. Lean a decorative brass screen against the fireplace next to a glass urn from a completely different era. Stack re-discovered suitcases as a side table and set a modern lamp with a mod-print shade on top.
The thing about mixing stripes and patterns or delicate prints with geometrics is that is the balance can come from either the design or the piece. So, a large cushion in a subtle pattern next to a smaller one with a bold stripe works because neither one outdoes the other. The key is to pick things you like, then balance them with other items that share a color or feature or are their direct opposite on the color wheel.