Whether you’re just starting building your own home, you plan a renovation or you’ve been happily living there for years, it doesn’t really matter because in interior design there’s always something you can add or something you can modify to make things better. This is a continuous, never ending process and there’s always something new you can learn or an innovative idea you can come up with and apply to your home interior to improve it in some way.
What to do when a room just doesn’t feel right
Sometimes, no matter how much you try, a room could simply not feel right. In such a case you may become discouraged. However, what you actually need to do is pull yourself up and go find the cause for this annoying problem. It could be anything from a bad furniture layout to a lack of natural light or height.
Once you found the cause, it’s time to find a solution for the problem. For example, if the issue is an inefficient furniture layout, your best option could be to start rearranging the furniture. Take into consideration the function of the room and the ambiance you want to create there.
Another solution which could solve this issue could be a new focal point. A layout may appear uncomfortable or unappealing if the users have nothing to attract their attention or if they’re compelled to look at something from a bad position. So analyze the situation and figure out what the best focal point for the room would be.
If a space doesn’t have enough height this can quickly turn into a problem. The cause might be the fact that too many elements are placed low in the room. A solution would be to alternate the heights of your furniture pieces and the placement of wall-mounted elements.
Another way to solve this problem involves floor-to-ceiling curtains. They’re really great in a lot of cases, including the situation when you have a low ceiling and want to make it seem higher.
To draw the eye up and to make a low ceiling appear higher, a trick you can use is placing art high on the walls. Unless the ceiling is uncomfortably low, this could work.
A lot of times the problem with rooms that don’t feel comfortable is the fact that the décor is impersonal and there’s nothing meaningful in there to make the space feel like home. The solution is simple and obvious: add things that have stories, that mean something to you.
The lack of natural light can also be a problem. Bright and airy rooms are always more inviting and more comfortable. But unless you can actually add a new window to the room, you’ll have to be more ingenious than that. You could, for example, use new window treatments. Of course, simply cleaning the windows can turn out to be an awesome idea. Bright colors and mirrors are also things you should try.
You can also make a space feel more like home if you actually take things out instead of adding new ones. As it turns out, the problem could be having too many things in there. Also, by removing some of the items you could more easily find out what’s missing.
Focus on what you like about the space instead of on all the thinks you dislike about it. Surely, there must be something you enjoy there. Ask yourself why you like that particular feature and then use those characteristics for the rest of the space.
Add something surprising to the space. For example, you could bring in a piece of furniture from another room or you could come across something interesting while shopping. It doesn’t have to be anything very expensive or extraordinary.
Sometimes it really helps to take pictures of the space and to later analyze them. Try to distance yourself from all the personal feelings you have for that room and to be a bit more objective. You can also doodle on the images and make notes.
How to simplify your room décor and to adopt a minimal style
Sometimes, when a room feels too full, suffocating even, you need to take a step back and to find a way to simplify everything. The most obvious thing you could do is start to declutter the space. You’ve probably gathered all sorts of things over the years, things you’re not necessarily very attached to. Some of them need to go.
If you’re having a hard time getting rid of stuff, look around, pick an item and ask yourself “do I really need this?’. If the answer is a positive no then you definitely have to reason to keep it. If you’re not certain yet, you could take some time and revisit the question later.
One way to avoid piling up things in your home is by choosing to re-use. Instead of always buying new things, you could find ways to re-use the ones you already have. Re-purposing is also a very fun and creative process.
Invest in high quality rather than in quantity. This way you’ll be surrounded by few but more meaningful things which you can cherish for a long time.
If you want your home interior to be simple and enjoyable, you need to master balance, proportion and harmony. These things are important for any designer or decorator, whether they’re professionals or not.
Pay attention to the details. The small things help you add character to a space without cluttering it. This can be related to a lot things, such as the way the light from a lamp falls on the living room sofa or the careful placement of a vase of an open shelf.
Work with neutral palettes and earthy tones. Simple or minimalist interiors don’t require a very rich color palette or a lot of different materials. Their beauty comes from exploring the natural charm of the things involved in the design.
Light fixtures set the tone in a room which is why you should never neglect this aspect. You must make sure the space has enough natural light during the day and a suitable amount of artificial light at night.
Common mistakes you should avoid when decorating
Everybody makes mistakes and it’s possible you might be doing some without even realizing. The most common mistakes are often related to color. More exactly, not considering light (both natural and artificial) when choosing a color can bring a few unpleasant surprises.
Another mistake is using too many colors at once. This can cause a space to feel unpleasant and not at all peaceful and relaxing. Instead of using all the colors you can think of, try to restrain the palette to only a few tones.
Using colors in the wrong balances is another common mistake. You need to pay attention to the amounts and to try to create a nice balance between all the colors involved in a room’s décor.
You should also try to avoid matching everything. A space needs variety in order to feel inviting and comfortable. In terms of color, this usually means two or three tones used in different amounts and in different ways. You can also play with a single accent color using various different hues.
You can also go wrong by not being cohesive throughout. You should try linking the rooms in some way. This can be done by using a similar color palette for all the spaces or incorporating elements that share in common the materials, forms or other details. When there’s nothing to link the rooms the result can often be a hectic ambiance.
Not incorporating empty spaces in your design is another way to mess things up when decorating. You must give the eye placed to rest or the whole space will become tiresome and not at all as welcoming as you’d want it to be.
There’s also such a thing as playing it too safe. If you never take chances, never innovate and always stick with the look suggested in magazines you’ll end up with a very boring and generic home. So be creative, experiment and push your own boundaries.
When decorating a space you must also be careful when choosing the finishes and materials. Picking the wrong finish or sheen can disrupt the balance. To make sure that doesn’t happen you could, for instance, soften something shiny with a matte finish.
When it comes to paint, things aren’t as easy as they might seem. Not applying paint properly can ruin the whole space. You must careful at the edges, the points where two adjacent walls meet and the corners, especially if you’re using two different colors.
There are also plenty of other mistakes you can make when decorating a space. One of them is hanging art too high on a wall. The right way is very specific, dictating that the center of the art piece be at exactly 57” off the floor. There are, of course, exceptions but people usually tend to generalize these situations.
Displaying art that’s too small can also disrupt the whole balance in a room. When picking art, compare its scale to the scale of things present in the area you’ve chosen for it. It should harmoniously integrate into the décor.
Choosing the right rug for a room is also challenging and a more complex process than first anticipated. A rug that’s too small for the space you chose it for will make the room feel unfinished. You need to find the right proportions and to base your decisions on the final image you have in mind for the space.
Another mistake we often make is using furniture that’s the wrong scale for the space. This can go either way. You could use oversized pieces in a small room or pieces that are too small in a large space. Always remember to measure more than once before buying and keep in mind that what may seem fine in a large store might not look as majestic in your tiny home.
If you’re considering light fixtures “just accessories” you’re making a mistake. A room needs a few different light sources and they’ll each have a different and unique impact on the overall interior design and décor. You can mix an overhead fixture with a floor lamp and perhaps even some additional task lighting.
Not considering texture when choosing color can cause a space to look dull and flat. Texture and color are always interacting and you can have a lot of fun playing with them and finding suitable combinations for your own home.
Avoid making everything match. You don’t want your home interior to look like a bad experiment. Try not to exaggerate with a color, a shape or even a style, even if you really love it. Applying the same characteristics to everything will have an undesirable effect.
You can also ruin a space by choosing furniture that looks good but isn’t practical or comfortable. Surely you had the chance to visit someone or some place, to admire the décor, the colors and the furniture but to later realize you wouldn’t want your home to look like that. Other people messed up so you don’t have to.
Each room has its own set of potential mistakes to avoid. For example, too much clutter on the kitchen counter can definitely kill the mood. The kitchen needs to be practical and space-efficient so it needs proper storage.
Similarly, this applies to all other spaces. Having a cluttered table or bookshelf can make the whole room seem cluttered. The solution is obvious: be organized and store the excess. Don’t turn your coffee table into a collection of things you used at some point and forgot to put back.
Don’t be one of those people that mess things up with a bad furniture arrangement. One of the most common mistakes is to have all the furniture pushed against the walls. This can make a space look sterile. You can create a much more comfortable and cozy ambiance if you opt for a different configuration.
We’ve already established that a diverse and balanced array of lighting solutions is important. You should also keep in mind that bad lighting locations can diminish the beauty and efficiency of your light fixtures. You need to create balance throughout the room and to know how to use task lighting.
How to make the most of a small space
Having a home with small rooms isn’t the end of the world. In fact, you’ll realize that when you’re constraint by certain things and you have to push the limits you start to look at everything in a different light and to find new and innovative solutions. First of all, you should improve the traffic flow in a small home. Think of how people move through the room and from one space to another.
Try to rearrange the furniture and everything else in the room and to move heavy elements away from the entrance or to spread the weight equally around the room. This will change the way the décor is perceived upon entering the space.
You can also make a small space feel larger by simply choosing to clear counters and floor spaces. Find a way to store all non essential items or things you don’t use daily. You’ll be amazed how much of a different this can make.
Don’t let the window treatments take over the room’s décor. So if you want the space to look and feel bright and spacious avoid bulky or dramatic curtains or blinds. If you’re not using them for privacy you can even remove them altogether and let the light shine through the windows.
Every home has a few forgotten spots, areas that are very rarely or even never used and that nobody pays attention to. This is where clutter can pile up without even noticing. So clean the forgotten spots and make the room look surprisingly spacious and inviting.
Go vertical. When a space is small, you don’t want to use up all the limited floor space with large furniture pieces and lots of things which you could very well just mount on the wall or place somewhere else. If you want to save floor space, use the walls more efficiently. You can even store things on the ceiling.
You can also improve a space’s storage capability if you turn dividers into multifunctional pieces. For example, a space divider between a kitchen and a living room can double as a shelving unit where lots of things can be stored and easily accessed when needed.
Learn to conceal things. Hide anything you don’t want everyone to see or that you think could look unaesthetic in a certain space. For example, you can conceal the washer and dryer using curtains. A lot of other smaller things can be hidden and stored in boxes or using built-in features.
Multifunctional furniture is always space-efficient and can really help when you’re working with a small space. You can save floor space by opting for a table that doubles as a desk or a coffee table that turns into a dining table.
Similarly, one space can have two functions. An example of multifunctional space can be a home office that also functions and a guest room whenever needed. Two or more functions and share the same floor plan. By eliminating the walls and partitions, more floor space is added to the room.
Customization is the key to a balanced and functional small space. It’s one thing to take furniture from a store and to squeeze and combine it in a tiny room and another thing to have it custom designed for the room in order to take maximum advantage of the available space, its layout and your own needs.
Take advantage of dead spaces. This can refer to areas such as the corners or the space under the bed. You can put these areas to good use in order to maximize the room’s storage capacity and to make it more inviting and comfortable. Consider corner shelves and storage boxes.
Use paint to unify spaces and to disguise things you don’t necessarily like but you have to accept. When a home is small, you can make it feel more spacious by using the same colors in all the rooms. This way it will feel like a cohesive whole. Paint will also help you conceal things like your radiators or large furniture pieces, allowing you to take away their visual weight.
Another great strategy you can try involves using mirrors. Mirrors can help make a tiny space look larger, can add depth to a space and can really open up a dark and gloomy room. Use them strategically throughout your home.
Tips and tricks to help you be successful when designing or decorating a space
Nobody knows it all and tips are always welcome if they can be helpful in some way. Everyone has at least one thing they can share when it comes to interior design and décor. One of the tips we can offer you is related to the process of choosing an area rug. Our advice is to first measure the sitting area so you can accurately select the right rug.
Another thing to take into consideration before going shopping is the rug’s orientation. Have a look around and figure out how you want to position the rug. This has to do with the room’s layout, the furniture arrangement and the type of rug you prefer.
If you’re looking for a way to add texture to a space, there are plenty of options you can try, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, you can add texture with textiles. This includes things like the accent pillows on the sofa, the bedding or the throw blanket on the armchair.
You can also choose to add texture with a rug and now that you know a few things about the process of selecting the rug you’ll have an easy time finding the right one for the space. It’s often said that a rug ties the room together and, when you think about it, a space really feels empty without a rug.
Another option, a bit unexpected, is to add texture with plants. In addition to that, indoor plants also have other beneficial effects on a home’s décor. For example, they can help purify the air and improve your mood and concentration.
There’s also the possibility to add texture with furniture. In this case we refer to contexts where an antique piece of furniture can have a beautiful patina that adds warmth and style to the space. Similarly, a set of dining chairs can add texture to a space through their upholstery.
Every space needs a focal point. Sometimes even more than one can be an option. There are all sorts of different ways to achieve that. For example, you can turn a piece of furniture into a statement element. This can be done if the piece is oversized, if it featured bold colors, vivid patterns or of it has an odd and interesting shape.
Similarly, an art piece can make a statement in a room by featuring colors in its composition that are not found anywhere else in the room. A painting or a sculpture can also stand out if accent lighting is used to highlight its features or if it’s placed in an unusual spot.
Another possibility can be a statement wall. You can make an entire wall stand out by painting it a different color from the rest, by applying an eye-catching pattern or by using wallpaper or decals to set a certain theme.
Learn to use collections to make a space feel more personal. Surely there must be something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s books, vases, insects or gadgets you like to collect, display them in a uniform and neat fashion and make them stand out by contrasting with their background.
An alternative to classical collections is to display things that are the same but different. For example, you can have various different herbs or plants placed in identical pots. They’ll form a set and they’ll look similar but they’ll also each have its own individuality.
A different possibility is to display art pieces that are similar but slightly different. For example, this can include a series of paintings that follow the same theme but with slightly different details, like a portrait done in different styles.
Paintings or photos can be displayed as a collection using matching frames. The images can feature the same colors but each will be different from the rest. There will be a strong cohesion between them but this won’t reduce their individual beauty.
If you prefer something else besides old-fashioned paintings or personal pictures, you can choose to display simple mirrors with different frames. The frames can feature different colors, shapes, sizes or styles.
You can also create an interesting collection of objects by displaying items that don’t share anything in common on an open wall shelf. For example, you can put together a few things such as a vase, a kettle, a framed picture, a candle, etc.
To avoid making a space look dull and boring without necessarily using a lot of accent colors or unusual proportions or shapes, you can mix multiple wood finishes. They’ll feature variations in color, texture and style and, being all wood, they’ll add warmth and elegance to the room.
Learn to use buffers if you want to accentuate a certain color, texture or material. For example, you can use a rug to separate a floor and a table that are made from the same type of wood. They’d look plain if not for the rug.
It’s often believed that symmetry is a characteristic of traditional design. However, symmetry can be a characteristic of any other style. Its role can be to create a sense of order in the space. It’s easy for the eye to recognize patterns and symmetrical configurations and this can make a space feel relaxing.
Create smooth transitions between spaces. You can do that by employing common details and elements in adjacent spaces, such as the same color palette, the same material combination or similar shapes.
If you want to keep a room free of clutter you should try to mostly use items with a purpose. This way you’ll avoid having useless things gather on shelves or on counters, just sitting there without a purpose. A space where purely decorative items take over the space is tiresome and uninviting.
When decorating, play with multiple heights and layers. Always try to alternate things to avoid monotony. If you have a collection of books, don’t arrange them by height or, if you have several candles, let each one feature its own proportions without matching the others. This also applies to furniture when you use big pieces in combination with small ones.
Cheer up a space by adding something alive. Your simplest option is a plant. It can be a small succulent plant or a large one in a big pot. You could even have a tree in the room. If you want some interaction, perhaps you should get a pet. It can be a fish in a glass bowl, nothing too demanding.
Surround yourself with meaningful stuff. A home should always include items you love and that make you happy. After all, this is what makes it a home and not just a random space you use sometimes. All these things give the space character and grow with time.
In case you ever feel like a space could look a bit more glamorous and you’re not looking for big, opulent things to display in it, try to add a gold touch to the décor. It could be anything from a golden chandelier to a hint of gold fabric on a pillow, some gold dipped chair legs or the hardware on a cabinet.
When you got it in your mind that you need to renovate or redecorate a space, you immediately start picturing all the colors you want to include in the new design. However, professional designers often advice us to pick paint colors last. The reason for that is very simple and logical: there are tons of different colors, tones and hues to choose from when it comes to paint but not as many when it comes to furniture, accessories and everything else.
Sometimes it’s better to ignore principles in favor of creativity. You can do that if you want the design to be highly personal and, of course, if you consider yourself a creative person capable or coming up with something new and different for the space.
Create a feature wall. You can do this in a large living room if you want to turn a particular wall into a focal point or a gallery of framed pictures and art pieces. Feature walls or accent walls can help establish balance in a space.
Always remember that first impressions count even if you don’t give them much importance personally. If you want your home to create a good first impression pay attention to the little things, make the entrance as welcoming as possible and try to think from different perspectives, not just yours.
Don’t want to get that “straight out of the catalogue” look? Then don’t settle on a particular, rigid style. Mix old and new and make your décor look well thought through and personal. You can achieve that look by combining two or more styles.
Make good use of dark colors. There’s this common belief that dark colors make a space feel smaller. However, that’s actually not true. Dark tones add depth to a space and can have a similar effect as light colors. However, keep in mind that you’ll need effective lighting to avoid making the room look sad and gloomy.
A simple designer trick you can use when decorating a room if to style items in pairs. For example, you can place two lamps in the living room, framing the sofa or to have two vases displayed on a table instead of a single one in the center.
Unless you were ingenious and inspired enough to pick radiators that look more like works of art than heating units, you’ll probably prefer to hide or conceal them in some way. One option is to paint the radiators. This can help you conceal them but can also make them stand out and become interesting focal points if the colors chosen are bold.
Big furniture pieces can easily overwhelm a space and make it feel small and less welcoming and comfortable than you’d prefer. You can avoid that by choosing neutral tones for large furniture pieces. This way they won’t stand out and you can make smaller pieces serves as focal points.
When you’re in a store looking at furniture there’s always someone suggesting you to buy the whole set. The problem with these sets is that they make the space feel sterile and look boring. So don’t buy the set. Instead, mix and match individual pieces.
One of your goals should be to create spaces that stimulate conversations. One of the ways to do that is by creating an interesting focal point or by including unexpected details in the décor. It’s also important to make sure the space is comfortable and invites people to stay there and to interact.
Nature is our biggest source of inspiration. This applies to everything, not just interior design. One of your design strategies can be to bring the outdoors in. There are tons of strategies to adopt in this case. For example, you could create a green wall, an indoor garden or you can use organic materials and colors throughout.
If you want to make sure your home will always be clean, free or clutter and inviting, you should invest in an organizational system. Each room should have its own system, customized for its function and your needs. Give yourself multiple options and don’t generalize.
To make a space look sophisticated, glamorous and chic, it’s important to know how to work with patterns and textures. These two can create all sorts of interesting and unique combos. They usually complement each other. So learn how to mix and match patterns and textures and don’t forget about color.
It’s easy to look at something in a magazine or on the internet and to want that style in your home. But it’s not that simple and doing that is rarely possible. That’s why you should better focus on creating your own style. Think of all the things you like and that define you.
The problem with trends is that they come and go. So our advice is that you don’t follow the latest trends and opt instead for a timeless and personalized look. This way you’ll be certain that you’ll love your home just as much for a long time, long after the trends have passed.
Some people are natural DIYers. They have a certain talent that makes them great at these things. You’ll never know if you’re one of them unless you try. So don’t be afraid to experiment. Try at least one DIY project for your home. It’s a great way to give it character and charm.
At some point you’ll have to learn to layer things. It’s not a very difficult technique. You just have to understand it properly. Layers make a space look rich and stylish and this is often everyone’s goal when decorating a room.
Don’t have the furniture too spread out in the room. It will make the space uncomfortable. This is especially true in the case of the living room. You want users to be able to easily interact with each other. So push the furniture pieces closer together and let them touch each other.
We’ve talked about empty or negative spaces and how they can help establish balance in a space. There’s something else you should take into consideration. You should leave a space blank for a reason and that reason should be more than not having something to put in it.
However, don’t use negative spaces if they don’t feel right. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a space blank and you constantly feel compelled to fill it with something, then perhaps it would better to just do that and feel happy about it.
The entirely of your home should be interesting, not just the main spaces. So invite your guests to explore. Place something eye-catching or interesting (such as a painting) in a space such as the hallway to draw attention to that spot.