Interior design tips

rules are made to be broken, or are they?

When it comes to creating the perfect living space, there are many factors to consider

Interior design when done well, will create a beautiful living space that you will want to spend all of your time in. Think of your home as a series of spaces to be moulded to suit a specific purpose or style, use continuity to link these spaces together and to avoid the visual clashes that can occur when different styles are used throughout the home. The use of colour schemes is a great way to unite a series of spaces. By using certain colours in a space and repeating them in objects, your eyes move about the room and enjoy the continuity. Interior Designers will often theme a room around a painting and then use some of these colours in throw pillows, and again in a rug or a lamp shade.

The use of different colours can make rooms feel bigger, smaller, warmer etc.

The use of different colours can make rooms feel bigger, smaller, warmer etc. To make a room appear bigger, use colours from creams to neutrals, and “cooler” colours like soft blues and soft greens. This makes a room feel bigger and more open because light and brightly coloured walls reflect more light. Tak opposite is true too – dark colours absorb light and don’t reflect it, which makes the room feel smaller.

Ontce you’ve settled on a colour scheme you’ll start to look at how to balance furniture and display objects. Interior designers talk about the “visual weight” of things. Visual weight is not about how heavy an object is. It is about how much attention it receives. For example, dark objects and complex patterns seem to be visually heavier than light coloured objects. And the larger something is, the heavier it seems. Reflective objects seem lighter than an equivalent sized object in darker shades. To achieve the right balance we want to make objects in space appear to be equal in visual weight.

Scale and proportion are also important considerations in getting the right feel for a room. Getting the balance right here means that you have furniture that “belongs” relative to the size of the room, so one chair, by itself, in a big rumpus room is not going to fill the space appropriately when compared with a nice big leather lounge suite. Similarly, three small picture frames on the living room wall are not going to look in proportion like one big frame with two medium-sized ones either side of it. In terms of living room furniture, I’d invest in a statement piece. This will really bring the space together!

It is important to establish the main focal point in a room. Once you’ve done this, you can highlight it and modify the rest of the room so that it not only matches your focal point but enhances it. Furniture should be carefully positioned around it and lighting used to complement and feature it. 

In a living room, it could be a fireplace, a piece of furniture etc. In the bedroom, the bed is often the dominating feature but can be enhanced with a bold doona and some patterned throw pillows. In the kitchen, the main feature could be the benchtop, the splashback or a large range hood. Whatever the highest impact feature is in any room, when the rest of the room is structured to compliment it, the result is immediately pleasing as soon as you set foot in that space. Whatever style you settle on, be sure to pay attention to the details, and love living in it. Copyright Connollys 2015

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