Always make a point to use natural light to the best of your ability. Place areas of most use (ie. dining or living areas) in the spaces that get the most light. Avoid crowding items into a space as this can make it feel smaller and darker. Better to choose a few high quality items and give them room to breathe.
To get a polished look for your gallery wall, pick a theme or colour scheme to link the different pieces. This example shows some strong, graphic pieces with a bit of vintage kitsch, all drawn together by dominant colours black, white and red. Try to mix it up and have fun with it!
Wall hangings such as traditional loom weaving, fibre art, macrame and tapestries have come back into style recently. One easy way to get this look is to find a small rug that has enough visual interest to hang on the wall as art. This can also help to bring colour and softness into a room that might otherwise be quite bare
Ever wonder why different items of furniture are usually a certain height? As shown in this vintage diagram from 1952, the standard measurements are all designed with the average 5’9″ human in mind – quite brilliant when you think about it!
Before you decide on a new paint colour for your room, be sure to paint swatches of all your colour options on every wall. This will allow you to fully analyse how it will look under all of the different patterns of lighting from both indoors and outdoors (don’t forget to check how it looks in both day and night!)
As a designer, a good skill to practice is being observant of your surroundings. When you see something that sparks your imagination, just snap a photo or write a note. Taking inspiration from places other than the interior design world, such as the colour scheme from a street mural, is likely to result in more original designs.
The best designers are those who can find compromise between their artistic vision and the practical needs of their client. For example: an expensive white leather sofa would be a very poor choice for a client with kids and a dog, no matter how well it fits in the colour scheme! Something durable and easy to clean might be a better option for a family.
Charles Eames is a well-known modernist American designer and architect, famous for creating many iconic furniture styles (such as the now ubiquitous Eames chair). He believed that putting in the effort is all that is required for success, and we have to agree with him!
What’s the secret to achieving a minimal look without appearing simply unfinished or clinical? Start with a well-lit space, stick to high-quality pieces in neutral tones and add natural materials such as wood, rattan and stone. Finish with some rich but uncluttered details – think a touch of gold on a picture frame or a textured woven basket.
Interior design is all about making a space work for your client. Being up to date with current trends can help to keep your look contemporary, but this will always take a back seat to knowledge of design fundamentals such as colour theory, constructing floor plans, lighting and more. Anyone can copy a picture they find in a magazine, but to actually make that look work in a new context is where the challenge really lies.