If you could be an interior designer for a day, what would you do with your home?
Most of us decorate and furnish our rooms bit by bit, which can sometimes result in a mish-mash. But if you’re able to stand back and take a clear look at your living space, you can get a whole new perspective.
When planning a room, interior designers consider many aspects, ranging from the room’s size and shape, its function and the lighting it needs for atmosphere and practical pursuits such as reading and eating.
Designers even take note of wall-space – do radiators need to be considered? – and features such as fireplaces that can be turned into a focal point.
It can seem overwhelming, but if you take things step by step, you can learn to think like an interior designer. Start with the practicalities – examine the space in your room and think about how much furniture you want in it.
You don’t want to clutter, but you need enough space for you and your family to be comfortable, so think of clever solutions – for instance, a corner sofa such as the Savalen can create a lot of seating while making the most of your space.
Storage is important in any home – who hasn’t got stacks of stuff! So make it stylish with clever shelving like the Criss Cross (a design statement in itself) and tricks such as coffee tables with storage beneath.
Sometimes a room needs to fulfil two purposes, such as bedroom and study. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to differentiate the spaces – think about using a different wall colour and harder flooring in the study area, for instance.
Colour is crucial everywhere, of course – cool colours such as blues and greys can make your room look bigger, while warm shades of red, pink and orange can make it more intimate or cosy.
You might want to take your colour themes from a favourite rug or piece of furniture – feel free to mix and match patterns and textures as long as you stick to the same colour palette.
Many interior designers stick to the 60-30-10 rule; choose a palette that includes a strong colour for a feature wall – that’s the 10% – a paler version to emphasise character areas such as alcoves (30%) and a soothing neutral shade that ties them all together and makes up the final 60%.
Then accessorise – always the most fun part! Think dramatic rugs like the Origins, cushions and throws for extra comfort; turn a disregarded corner into a feature with a tiny table and a striking lamp such as the Jewett – and don’t forget overhead lighting; I love the Merle cream pendant.
Then all you need is the final touch. A nice cup of tea, of course – no expert designer would be without one…