Basics of Interior Design

Implementing interior design practices into your space is a crucial component of curating a balanced, relaxing home environment you will never want to leave. While interior decoration and interior design are often used interchangeably, these terms do not mean the same thing. 

According to, Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training, including space planning, furniture design, and architecture. An interior decorator on the other hand does not have that formal training, and focuses on the aesthetic appearance of a space. Let’s expand on the core principles of design and how these elements can be adapted to brighten your space.

Interior design is the practice of decorating an interior space to create a more functional and aesthetically pleasing environment. The goal is to improve individuals’ lives through their experience of a space—and for the space to be reflective of their personality and personal style. It has been said that our environment has a direct impact on our mood, so determine what type of habitat would bring you peace, vibrancy or whatever emotion you are trying to cultivate and take the steps to bring this space to life. 

Let’s discuss the three basic principles of interior design: function, mood and personality. 

Some components of function are focal points, lighting and furniture arrangements. Each room should have a focal point, where the eye should immediately travel to when you enter the room. A good example of this would be a window, fireplace or textural art piece. Whatever this may be in your place, enhance this part of the room with complementary colors and designs. If there is no noticeable focal point, create one with a colorful rug or accent wall. After this step, it is a good idea to begin planning other furniture for the room.

Lighting is another factor to consider in interior design. It is important to know what lights to use in each room, for example homeowners tend to prefer dim lights in the bathroom and bedroom where they can relax while the brighter lighting is reserved for more pressing environments. Make sure to maintain a complementary balance between the lighting and the other elements to ensure they fit together

Choice of furniture and furniture arrangement are also important roles in the development of an aesthetically pleasing room design. Be sure the furniture satisfies the functions you’ve planned for the room. If a piece isn’t working or if it’s not appropriate to the size of the room, trade it for something else around the house. Keep in mind that the goal is for the space to be visually balanced and harmonious in appearance, so always keep in mind the finished product when making decisions on furniture for your home. 

According to HGTV, to plan for good furniture arrangement, draw your room on graph paper. Measure and mark electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Measure your furniture and place it in your floor plan. Generally, the main furniture pieces are directed toward the focal point, keeping the major traffic patterns open. Fill in with pieces you’d like to have that may or may not be available now. Be sure to balance high and low pieces as well as heavy and light ones around the room.

The mood of the room is set by the combination of colors, textures, patterns and style of the room. Establishing a theme is a solid way to gain insight and inspiration for the type of decor, colors and patterns you want to create in each room. Another piece of advice: Employ an inspiration piece. A decorative pillow, a favorite scarf and even a magazine photo are good places to begin. Select your inspiration piece wisely, and be sure it makes you feel good when you look at it. It’s the basis for selecting your theme, colors, patterns and textures.

Finally, show off your personality by accessorizing your home according to your personal taste. This is where details matter, details entail the patterns you use for bedding, curtains, doorknobs, switchboards, and all the little things that help tie the place together in a neat little bow. In case you want to check out more resources on the basics of interior design, check out Nadine Stayblog or podcast for tips on how to design a room from scratch.

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