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Interior Design Basics: 5 Interior Design Tips for Beginners

Written by:
Anastasiia Polokhlyvets
Photography:
Spacejoy (cover image), Ahmed Amir, Igor Starkov

We all want our homes to look like in interior design magazines and shows. It seems so easy and obvious to achieve when on the TV screen, but in reality, what we see there takes weeks to design by skilled professionals. So, there is nothing wrong with getting stuck with your remodeling project — just keep trying and do the best you can. And to help you, here are five interior design beginner tips.

Don't Push Everything to the Walls

Furniture placement is not about pushing everything to the corners. It just makes the room sterile and dull. The general idea of getting more free space is understandable, but think about this — when you are in a forest, it still seems vast disregarding all the trees that are pretty close to each other.

The room must "breathe," and to do so, try moving some pieces of furniture a few inches away from the walls. You'll see that instead of making the space feel smaller, these gaps will do quite the opposite. In addition, the pieces will no longer seem glued to the walls, and the general outlook will become much more interesting.

To go even further, you can try adding some elements in the center of the room. It can be a small coffee table, stool, or, maybe, a bean bag. Adding plants or decor to the first two will make the room look even more lively.

cozy living roomimage © Spacejoy

Lighting Is Everything

Don't rush with repainting the walls if the colors look dull. Lack of lighting can be a cause of that. There are all kinds of light sources that have to be taken into account, including natural light coming from the windows, floor lamps, overhead lights, and accent lighting. Even wall and furniture colors count as they are responsible for reflecting the light and helping it spread to other areas.

Proper lighting deserves a separate article on its own, but here are some key principles to follow:

     - Use more than one light source for the room.

     - Give more light in bathrooms and kitchen.

     - Lighten up the corners.

Also, go easy on the overhead lighting. If you overdo it, the room may look like a surgeon's office.

pendant lampimage © Igor Starkov

Small Details Make Big Difference

While you focus on big pieces, such as a sofa or a dining table, don't overlook small elements. Things as small as cupboard handles and vases are very important because they create accents. Accents stand out against the general palette and make the room much more interesting. This is especially important in minimalistic styles where smart place accents account for a major part of the house's atmosphere.

Another essential part of any interior design is the wall art design. Not only does it add color and visual interest to a room, but it can also express a certain mood or theme. For example, canvas art prints are a popular choice for living rooms and bedrooms because they offer a wide range of styles and sizes. Abstract prints can create a feeling of motion and energy, while landscape prints can add a sense of calming tranquillity. 

But those accents should contradict the general outlook in the right way, which means you'll need to pick the right colors. Try to mix and match different variations and make adjustments until you find something that feels right to you. It's also a good idea to find a bunch of references and organize them using an free mood board creator and look at them to get ideas.

hanged hammockimage © Ahmed Amir

Showrooms Are Not for Copying

You most certainly look through piles of interior design magazines and might have visited a few showrooms. While they look all shiny and attractive, remember that their prime goal is to sell a set of furniture, not to instruct how you should furnish a room. If you try to reenact it precisely in your apartment, the result will disappoint you as it will look completely lifeless.

A real home should have some rough edges, out-of-place elements, and sentimental things since it is what makes it look alive. Pictures in magazines are made according to rules of design and composition and don't suppose that someone should live in a layout like this. Their prime goal is to make advertised decor and furniture look as good as they can, and nothing more.

Don't Spend All Money at Once

When budgeting, it's better to take things slow. It's easy to get carried away and blow all the money on bells and whistles, while key elements stay neglected. A good practice is to start with the big pieces of soft furniture — begs, sofas, armchairs, and so on. They attract more attention, and you are going to spend lots of time using them, so they deserve more funds. Minor needs, on the other hand, can be covered using DIY or relocating your old decor.

Another good practice is to take a pause on big purchases and live with them for a while before buying anything else. During this time, you may spot more space for improvement, and your priorities may shift.

interior design tipsimage © Spacejoy

Conclusion

Here are the five beginner interior design tips that can help you transform your home into the cradle of comfort and style. Remember not to be too hard on yourself and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need any. Spend your money reasonably, pay attention to details, and enjoy the process.


By Liliana Alvarez

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