When we think about our homes we often underestimate the amount of time we spend in them and the impact that these simple structures have on our everyday lives. Spending your down time in a dull, lifeless interior can leave you feeling drained and moggy, while a space that is vibrant and full of life can leave you reinvigorated and inspired to go out and take on the next project. This is exactly what the art of interior decoration looks to achieve and for those who follow the practice a creative sensibility, a well trained eye and an inherent understanding of balance are essential tools of the trade.
Interior decorators focus on everything from interior architecture, finishings right through to furnishings. The deliverable at the end of the day being to create a comfortable, beautiful space which invites the inhabitants in to stay just a little longer.
The trade has been around for quite some time and in Europe the practice can be traced as far back as the early medieval.
Over the years it has evolved and in today’s world a good interior decorator will have a solid grasp of the history of design, ergonomics, psychology, building codes and also be able to work with all these concepts within some sort of computer-aided drawing program which brings it all together. It’s a multi-faceted profession and it’s made of more than just aesthetics, it includes research, analysis and integration. But although it is quite involved as we already know, there are some immovable truths, let’s go over a couple of them now.
1. Use of Space
We’ve all heard the adage “less is more”, well this is especially true with interior décor. Space gives the room a chance to breathe and adds an aura of elegance when done correctly. This is actually perfect when you’re working with a small budget but be careful, too little and it’ll look like you haven’t finished moving in yet. The rule is simply that you should be able to move around freely without the room feeling to cluttered or overcrowded.
2. Be Individual
Ikea and mega home stores have made it all too easy to pick a theme and run with it, add the convenience of being able to pick up everything you need in the same location and you’re left with many homes looking almost identical. Avoid the inclination to follow the crowd and make your own choices. Your individuality will speak volumes if used correctly and prevent your home from becoming a cliché.
3. Focus Points
This ties in closely with point 1 as when you allow simplicity and sufficient space in your room, it’s a fantastic opportunity to include a central focus point. This could be anything from a fireplace, to a mantel or a magnificent art piece. This is an age old technique that is timeless, just make sure the piece really deserves to draw attention.
This is an all too often overlooked aspect of design. Lighting creates ambience and mood like no other medium and the use of layers in this regard can add a welcome and dramatic effect to a space. Try vary the wattages of the bulbs at different heights (within glass cupboards or overhead for instance) and make sure you are highlighting the best aspects of each room accordingly.
The colour pallet is an essential guide when decorating any home, but it is just that, a guide. Be bold when choosing your colour arrangements, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and make it your own. It’s not to say that your colours should be bright and jarring, not at all, they can be soft and gentle, or whatever you choose, but sometimes following your instincts can lead you down a road you never would have thought of otherwise, and this can ultimately be very rewarding.
Regardless of the methods and mediums you choose, interior decoration is about expression and balance, enjoy the process. Very often it’s an ongoing process that is perfected over time so have fun with it and trust your inner voice.