Pinterest and Instagram are now the go-to when looking for inspiration for our interiors, but when thinking of what to do with your space there are a few key points you need to consider to create a good design. It’s also worth knowing that there is, in fact, a difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator, and this is key. Knowing these will help you distinguish the difference in the images you see online between well-thought design and a nicely decorated interior.
To better understand a space such as a room within a house try to look at all aspects, from the length of the area, height and width. By understanding the value within each room, this will guide you towards your desired look. Also, take note of the positive and negative areas within the room. To understand this look at items as the positive aspects such as a sofa or chair, now this will be contrasted with the negative space which is the empty space surrounding the item. Another interpretation of this can be seen through hanging art on a wall. The art placed on a wall creates interest and through this becomes a positive area, the wall behind in contrast then becomes the negative space. So you see by taking the first step and analysing the space you want to work
Lines can make a room look larger, wider or taller. If used appropriately you can enhance key focal points within a room, such as bi-fold doors or seating and dining areas. The use of lines within a room can also enhance the feeling a person has within the area. For example, using lots of diagonal lines suggests movement and transition. Vertical lines give the user the perception of height, and horizontal lines can make a room look wider and feel more grounded. Forms such as curves or circles creates a gentle flow and softens’ the area. So, with this in mind think of how you want the room to be used, what furniture you want to introduce and how will this affect the surrounding space.
Forms or rather shapes, can be a reflection of the items within a room, these items will affect the look, feel and use of a space. This is commonly broken down into two definitions, geometric or natural . The geometric shapes within a room can be translated through solid lines and rigid edges such as squares and rectangles, so you can see the importance of understand the lines within your room. Natural shapes are a reflection of curves and natural shapes which can be inspired from nature. Whatever you introduce you must also consider the size and scale of the room in comparison to the item, this can have a dramatic or calming relation to the room.
Now this is an interesting subject all on its own, there are literally tons of books available on the market just on this subject. Colour may seem the easiest of the elements to deal with, but many underestimate the power of colour within a room. Colours can inspire an emotion or a feeling, for instances did you know red promotes the feeling for hunger? Red can also be associated with love or holidays such as Christmas. Red also promotes something important, like most sale posters or stop signs. Now if you look at Blue, this colour in contrast inspires the feeling of calmness and invites the user into its environment yet blue can also feel cold and unforgiving. Its the variant of hues and intensity of these colours in which they are used, which reflects the look and feel they are perceived. As an example, the use of dark colours can make a room appear smaller or create a visual dimension to a larger space. You can also create visual interest by incorporating primary colours into a neutral shaded room. So, as you can see its very important to understand how you see your room being used and use the right colour to reflect it.
The question here is how much do we know about light? yes we are aware of the difference between natural and artificial lighting, but do we understand how we can manipulate it to benefit our lives? Light is it yet another key component which is understated. Used correctly not only can it be functional but also enhances the look and feel you want to achieve. Lets start with natural light. Its very important to understand how natural light affects your room, this not only will affect the colour scheme you want to work with but also the furniture you want to incorporate. South facing rooms for instance are usually flooded with natural light, which means darker colours appear lighter, and softens the look of furniture. If you look at a north facing rooms, colours appear much darker and furniture much heavier. Now we can counter balance a darker room with the use of artificial lighting or enhance it by highlighting key focal points. The best way to see this is to visit showrooms, have a look at how they have used both artificial and natural lighting to create their desired affect.
When referring to texture this is represented through the finish of a surface. For instances fabrics such as cotton and linen have a rough look and feel in comparison to silk, and marble is smoother than concrete. Adding texture into a room will enhance the look you want to achieve, this can be divided into two categories. Visual texture and actual texture. Visual Texture is what you perceive, an example being how you perceive the various use of patterns within a space. Actual texture is not just what you see but also what you feel, a large soft throw for instance. Think about the materials in your room and what does it say to you? does it reflect what the room is used for?
Pattern has a similar relationship to texture in the sense it adds visual interest to a room. Yet pattern stands apart. The use of patterns can suggest how the room can be used, highlight key focal points or blend the space creating a well balance design. Pattern can be a reflection in the fabrics we use, or the stitch in a cushion. If we understand the value and use of lines we can better understand how to incorporate patterns into our rooms. As mentioned previously lines can make a room appear bigger or smaller, using this concept when looking at what patterns we want to use will enhance the space. Keep in mind patterns can be translated through not only soft furnishings or art but also architectural interest such as a red brick wall.