By Arwa Lodhi
Getting tired of your living space? You don’t need to make radical changes to glam it up! Knowing a few interior design basics and principles can have a huge effect on the look and feel of a room. There are 5 basic concepts all interior designers keep in mind when working their magic on a home:
- Mass, or how your stuff occupies space
- Form, the overall shape of any object or how objects work together
- Colour, the creator of illusion and maker of moods
- Line, the implied direction of objects
- Texture, the touch me, feel me of what’s in your room
If you’re not sure what these mean in practical terms, never fear: we’ve consolidated those 5 simple interior design tips into easy-to-follow advice to help transform your space economically and fairly quickly.
1. Mass: Organisation with impact
Having many objects in a room can be exhausting on the eye. Clutter also affects us mentally. According to WebMD, “Clutter is bad for your physical and mental health…(it) can be a physical manifestation of mental health issues.”
The solution? Pack up your stuff in chic cupboards and shelving. Built in is best if you have the space and budget, but if not, opt for units that match the rest of your decor, or re-paint whatever you find to do so – follow these simple painting tips, and it’s easier than you think!
Images: nyde.co.uk and Jack Thompson via Roberston Design
2. Form: Add plants
A room doesn’t feel quite right if it’s too crowded (see point 1) – or if there are lots of empty, unused spaces. Whether you’re a minimalist at heart or not, you can add to your space with a very basic object that cleans your air, doesn’t cost much, and lends a touch of elegance to your home: plants. If you haven’t got green fingers, consider arranging cut flowers every week or so, or buy plants that are simple to care for, such as snake plants or spider plants. Ensure you consider the light and humidity in a room before making a purchase – the plant won’t thrive unless it’s living in the right environment.
Image credits below: Verandah Magazine Andrew Brown Interiors and The Decorista
3. Colour: Use it where you can
Sure, paint is an obvious way to add some colour to a room – but keep in mind how certain colours affect moods. Yellow and orange are cheering, whilst green and brown are grounding, blue is mellowing and pink is romantic. Metallics lend a touch of elegance and glamour, while matte colour textures in paint are more homey – just ensure you use an eco-friendly paint, like this or this. You needn’t repaint a room – you can also just add a colour pop from a core piece of furniture, like this pink sofa as seen in the Decorista, below, but if you want to really make a mood impact in a room, go for a dramatic wallpaper. These examples, below and in the main image, stand out for their beauty and instantly transform your home into a work of art.
4. Line: Add the unexpected
All-linear decor can be boring and indicate a lack of imagination. Instead, get creative with your decor and use an object unconventionally – as in this trunk-cum-coffee table, below. There’s no limit to the possibilities here: think, drums used as side tables, a cushion-filled, carved out bathtub used as a sofa, or neon lamps used as decorative objects, for example. But the unexpected isn’t just about using objects in an unusual way; it can be about blending eras and styles, such as how the antique chairs in the photo below go beautifully with the modern, lemon-hued sofa.
Image credits: thedecorista.com
5. Texture: Mix it up
Silky smooth faux fur. Plush velvet cushions. Spiky, modernist lamps. Such items add a wonderful array of texture to your home – both visual and tactical. Keep textures in mind and try to mix them up in subtle ways: for example, if you tend towards shiny furniture, such as satin textiles or polished wood and leather, ensure your walls are adorned with a matte paint. On the other hand, if you love dull, muted textiles like linen or cottons, you can offset those textures with gleaming metallic or glass accents. Got a lot of soft, plush furnishings? Contrast those with a jute rug, like the one below.
Image credits: thedecorista.com
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