Regardless of whether you are making your baby steps in the world of interior design or venturing there again after many prior endeavors, there are various important rules to follow. While some of them act as rules of thumb you can afford to break, others can be considered hard rules. Neglecting or misunderstanding them is linked to various consequences that can hamper your designing and renovating efforts.
So, in this article, we will go back to the basics and revise the principles that interior design stands on. They profoundly shape the way we perceive and approach our living environment. It is never a bad idea to get familiar with these fundamentals and work your way further from there. This smart approach maximizes your chances of balancing out various moving parts and nailing your design and décor projects.
Measure twice, cut once
The old saying rings so true in the interior landscape. It reminds us that we cannot just jump into the designing business unprepared. On the contrary, there is a lot of stuff to do in the prep phase. First of all, always take measurements of the rooms and double-check everything. Next, you need to measure furniture and other elements.
This spadework spares you the nightmare of making costly and hard-to-fix design mistakes. It allows you to figure out crucial aspects of space, such as furniture arrangement and suitable floor plan. Bear in mind that in this day and age, you do not have to go around and measure everything manually. More advanced online tools and apps give more accurate results and are also way faster.
Also, note that you should not outfit the space so that there is barely any room to breathe. A cramped layout impedes much-needed utility and everyday comfort. Thus, refrain from stuffin the rooms too much. Get your “circulation measurements” absolutely right. Foster free flow of traffic around the home and aim for that airy, open feeling.
Pristine symmetry is one of the oldest design rules that people still hold dear. It is the mainstay of interior and exterior design, as well as architecture. Capturing it inside of our homes, we are able to bring forth a sense of calm and balance. The peculiar thing about this rule is that it can be broken more often than the others.
To be more precise, it is highly advisable to accomplish the overall symmetry in every room. But, once you establish it, you are free to experiment a bit. Play around with angles and positioning. Implement subtle changes and creative solutions that disrupt the absolute rule of symmetry, but do not dismantle its order. Pay close attention to proportions and how they make or break the all-encompassing spatial symmetry.
Remember also that a wise man once said that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. And he was right! Keep things simple and on-point. A limited number of exceptions to the rule are preferable to taking more risks and achieving a look that is more on a chaotic side. Proceed step-by-step and observe how every choice adds up and leads you to the desired aesthetics.
The 10-30-60 rule
Figuring out the optimal color palette can be rather difficult. You could rely on your own sense of style, but that is often a hit-and-miss tactic. You are probably better off respecting the staple aesthetic principles like the 10-30-60 rule. These numbers refer to three different roles that colors play in your interior realm: a dominant shade, secondary shade, and accent colors.
So, this is to say that the dominant shade should cover around 60% of your living environment. Considering it overshadows other tones, you would be wise to opt for a neutral color. Going for something too bright and bold produces an overwhelming, straining affect you want to avoid. Therefore, to the stage, pick a color that matches your taste and has a more soothing vibe. Use it for surfaces like walls and floor coverings.
As for the secondary shade, it is usually a bit bolder. It adorns furniture pieces and other key design elements: it brings an interesting, “wow” effect to the picture. Finally, we have an accent color, which is the boldest and most playful of all. Use it sparingly, in small splashes and pops. In other words, the best way to introduce it is via accessories like throw pillows and curtains. Then again, if you know what you are doing, you could also make a statement with the whole accent wall.
It is surprising how many people overlook their practical needs. They fall prey to passing trends and fads only to lose sight of what their everyday lifestyle dictates. So carefully assess your client’s current situation and how it is going to change in the future. Are they going to have a new member of the family or elderly parents moving in?
If the answer is yes, then you need to factor in their necessities. Likewise, you do not want your clients to go through the ordeal of growing out of their home and then not being able to remodel it or move out. Leave some extra square footage free, so that it can be allocated to different purposes later. Provided they can afford it, equipping one extra bathroom and converting an attic into a guest bedroom is always a smart move.
The main takeaway is this: practical considerations should never be forced to take a backseat and watch visual bliss become the only priority. The utility will determine the level of comfort and enjoyment you have on a daily basis. Hence, lifestyle must be the one to rule the show.
The rule of 3s
This key rule kicks in the styling and decorating stage. Namely, at this point, many designers and homeowners face a challenge– how to make all the different elements fall together and pull off a coherent look? Well, abiding by the rule of threes is a safe bet. It revolves around a careful and thoughtful grouping of different accent pieces together. As the name suggests, you supposed to use small, odd number groupings to breathe life into your rooms.
They spark more visual interest than even number groupings. And since you are not using large quantities of accessories, you can purposefully style the surfaces without going overboard. To put it differently, you effectively prevent décor pieces from fighting for your attention or producing visual noise and clutter.
There are instances in which putting just one piece does the trick, but they are relatively rare. One exception to the rule of three is when you want one centerpiece to steal the show without interference from other pieces. In most other cases, though, you cannot go wrong playing it safe. Just make sure that items in the same group are different enough to foster a unique and diverse atmosphere. At the same time, it is good to have a common, uniting theme.
Success by design
World of design is ever-changing and trends come and go. Still, there are some underlying basics that always apply. We have presented five fundamental rules that should be taken as a golden standard. If you chose to disregard them, you do it at your own risk. We would advise you to follow them as guiding lights that can help you navigate the tunnel of decision-making and finish your projects with flying colors.
So, bring the colors under control and work your magic with décor touches. Tie it all together into one consistent amalgam. Whenever in doubt or encountering an obstacle, turn to aforementioned rules for guidance or consult the professionals. Play by the book, but try also to infuse your own personality into the space. Let it celebrate your passions and echo your sensibility and taste.