Guest Post By Emma Williams
Some people have a natural eye for interior design.
If you’re not one of them, it’s good to have an interior designer on speed dial.
Planning to undertake some renovations on your home?
Here are twelve interior decorating secrets you should know before getting started…
Choose a consistent colour palette
You may be thinking that mixing different styles is a big no-no.
This isn’t true, however. mixing styles can look great and can offer plenty of interest but only if each piece is consistent with your chosen colour palette.
Three to four colours work best.
Use large art in small spaces
In a small space you may assume that the furniture and art should be small but you should actually aim for the opposite.
Too many small pieces tend to chop up the space but using one large piece of art as a focal point will make a small space feel grander.
Large art serves as an anchor to small rooms.
Create calm with colour and patterns
Adding quiet, painterly patterns in a soft tonal colour palette with a mix of white, grey and taupe gives a space a sense of calm.
Texture is key and can create a lot of dimension and movement.
For added effect, mix up the pattern scale with an assortment of small-, medium- and large-scale prints.
Draw in the views with black paint
Don’t be nervous to paint accents black.
Painting the inner frames of windows black (the part that touches the glass), for example, will turn your windows into a picture frame, drawing your eyes through each room and out to the view beyond.
Keep functionality and practicality in mind
The best interiors are those that take you and your lifestyle into consideration.
This is especially true in areas like the kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of your home and you spend more time in the kitchen than any other part of your home.
With this in mind, functionality should be your primary goal when renovating – from the placement of your bin to the overhang of your breakfast bar.
Inject your personality
Interiors that avoid your own personality quirks will lack the soul you want from your home.
Interior trends come and go so avoid fads and instead focus on what you love.
Re-purpose objects that carry a place in your heart, choose decor from different shops, and be authentic.
Stop comparing your home to those in magazines – they don’t take into consideration your personality.
Swap Pinterest for Instagram
Everyone raves about Pinterest for all things interior design but Instagram can offer a slice of ‘real life’ that Pinterest lacks.
Find a blogger, interior designer or home decorator you love and follow their every move.
Follow a person with a similar lifestyle and you’ll find inspiration for your home renovation project everywhere.
Start with the end in mind
Know what you are trying to achieve by setting a brief, getting clear on the mood and style, and building a visual representation of your objective.
Having something visual you can refer to can help you to stay on track and get the result you want.
While you’re at it, check out this budget guide for decorating your home, which will help you set a budget for the project.
Aim for storage
Benjamin Franklin said: “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
With this in mind, storage is your home’s best friend.
Look for furniture that maximises utility such as ottomans and end tables with built-in storage.
Make your furniture work double-duty.
Be thoughtful about materials
The quality of the materials you use in your home will affect how you and your guests experience a finished room.
Good quality materials have a sound and feeling that’s different from poor quality materials.
Generally speaking, natural materials reign supreme.
Use muted floors, walls and sofas
Keep walls, floors and sofas simple and indulge in inexpensive items like cushions and lampshades for personality.
Adding one accessory that is oversized and out of proportion will make a room look far more interesting yet balanced when paired with a mute canvas.
If you can’t afford an interior designer for the entire project, consider hiring an interior designer to edit your decoration.
Similar to hiring an editor for a book project, an interior designer knows when to add elements and when to take them away.
They might tell you that there’s one too much of this element or that two elements are weakening one another.
Keep the receipts from your purchases and get the strongest composition from your efforts.