Foolproof interior design ideas for a fabulous home
WE LOVE INTERIORS
It’s said there’s a world of difference between a room designed by a professional interior designer and one done by a home decorator. From balancing colour schemes to hanging artwork, planning lighting and even positioning curtains, designers have a box of tricks that can turn an average scheme into a fabulous space. We’ve rounded up some of the trade’s best-kept secrets to take your own decor to the next level. Shh – just keep it quiet…
We Play around with scale.
Going supersize gives you instant interior design brownie points. Not only does upscaling a key accessory or piece of furniture make a striking style statement but it also creates a comfortable, cosy atmosphere in a room. Lamps and pendant lights offer the perfect way to play with scale, as they can create a big impact without taking up too much space.
Swatch your paint
Before you commit to a wall colour, it’s important to paint a swatch and observe how the shade looks in different light conditions. For a mess-free method, paint swatches on A3 pieces of paper and move them around the room throughout the day, observing how they look in different corners of the space.
Measure dining room dimensions
Dining tables often get squeezed in as an afterthought, but it’s worth thinking carefully about how much space you need to avoid bumping elbows while you eat. The ideal dining table height is 74cm, with 45cm of leg room and 75cm of space between the table and the wall so you can get up and sit down comfortably. Each place setting should be about 65cm wide.
Call on complementary colours
The colour wheel is an interior design essential. It can help you to plan your colour pairings or guide you out of a design rut when you’re struggling for inspiration. Use it to help you come up with complementary schemes (using colours from opposite sides of the wheel), analogous schemes (using colours next to each other on the wheel) or bolder schemes such as split complementary or triadic, which use three colours.
Repeating shapes throughout a scheme is a subtle way to help the human brain read a space as a harmonious whole. Here, for example, a selection of rectangles – in the pictures, sofa and scatter cushions – echo one another, as do the pair of round mirrors, round coffee table and vase. The central ampersand purposefully disrupts the repetition so the scheme doesn’t become too predictable.
– Craig L, Kerjem Theme Examples
Want a failsafe way to proportion a three-colour scheme? Stick to 60% for your dominant colour, 30% for your secondary colour and 10% for your accent colour and you’ll find it hard to go wrong. To add a fourth colour into the mix, split the secondary colour or, at a push, the dominant colour, but never the accent.
– Peter L, Kerjem Layouts
“Lighting is often the last thing most people think about when coming up with a new design scheme, but it really should be the first. You need to carefully plan where every single light, switch and socket will go before turning to decorating, making sure you include a good mix of overhead lighting, task lighting, mood lighting and accent lighting. Using the right colour and brightness of light bulb for the right tasks will also help your room look and perform its best.”
– Craig W, Kerjem Theme Plugins