Contrary to popular belief, the majority of professional interior decorators don’t have a degree–at least not in design or decorating–unlike interior designers which must have a degree, decorators do what they do more off of instinct. A good eye for colors, patterns, and textures, and you can create your own great interior spaces without having to pay out for a pro. Here are a few fast tips.
Start with color palette
Don’t make the mistake of trying to pick out pieces without an over-arching plan. It’s best if you start out with a
color palette (two or three colors) and try to match things to that. If you’re planning to repaint the walls, start with that. Then match your larger pieces like sofas or recliners. Finally fill in with your smaller furnishings and accessories. It’s best to have a more subdued tone for your paint and large pieces and let your smaller pieces add the pops of color.
Select a few statement pieces
Instead of spending a lot of money to purchase many inexpensive, small accessories and pieces of artwork, splurge on a handful of statement pieces–larger works of art or furniture with a more bold design. You can fill in around these with less expensive, less showy pieces but let the items you’ve splurged on take center stage.
Create ceiling height
Unless you’re lucky enough to have vaulted ceilings, you should try to create the illusion of higher ceilings. A great way to do this is to make the most of the vertical space you do have. Instead of hanging curtains so they’re just above the top of the window, hang them so they’re right up to the ceiling and hang down to the floor. Crown molding and floor-to-ceiling furniture such as book cases can also create the illusion of higher ceilings.
Add color with window treatments
Your window treatments need to be both functional and beautiful. So even if you already have a good set of blinds that lighten and darken the space or grant privacy, you also need some curtains or drapes. They’re a great way to introduce textiles into a space. A high quality set of curtains can function as art and create visual where there was none before.
Many people push all the furniture up against the walls to maximize the amount of available space in the center of the room. This actually makes the room feel smaller. Instead “float” your furniture a few feet away from the walls. Don’t try to trick the eye into seeing a smaller room by purchasing too-small furniture. Furniture should be comfortably sized for your needs. Instead, purchase fewer pieces of furniture. Mount TVs on the walls so there’s no need for an entertainment center. Instead of an ottoman and coffee table, have one oversized ottoman, etc… Hanging a few mirrors to reflect light around is another way to create the illusion of more space.
More mix and less match
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything needs to match up perfectly. Good interior design includes contrast as well as symmetry and uniformity. Worry more about pieces going well with each other and don’t concern yourself with whether or not pieces match.
Make use of baseboard heater covers
Baseboard heater covers are a quick and easy way to update the look of baseboard heaters that are looking old and really dating your home. Use them instead of trying to replace or repaint them.