When you enter someone’s home, who they are and how they live in many ways is revealed. Your own home can become a place to better control your life and feel better living it. Whether you are updating your current home or designing the interior of a new one, there are endless amounts of things to consider—but here are just a few.

Decide Your Personal Style

What kind of person are you? While it is hard to quantify, looking at different home aesthetics people use in home magazines and online images can help you get a better mental picture of what kind of home you want to inhabit. Some people like the sleek, modern look, while others prefer a more rustic vibe, or even design their space according to their interests, and everything and anything between. Figure out what you’re looking for, and then start gathering ideas accordingly.

Use Negative Space

Talk about how to use negative space in your home. Whatever you decide to place in your home, it’s just as important to plan out what space you won’t use. Positive space refers to space that is filled by something, whether that be where a couch is placed or a clock is hung on a wall. If, for instance, the clock is an ornamental wall decoration you want to draw the eye to, you should avoid hanging up many things around it or space them in a way that leads the eye to the clock. As strange as it sounds, that empty or negative space in your plans affects its design perhaps even more than the positive.

Use Colors to Invoke Emotions

Painting a kitchen either a dark, sultry red or a soft, baby blue certainly changes how you feel when you walk into that room. When deciding on the right color for your walls or furniture in any room, think about what kind of emotions you want a person to feel there. In a kitchen, often something bright and cheerful can help get the dishes done; in a living room, something warm and friendly invites people to socialize. Plan your color schemes around the emotions you personally desire for yourself and others to feel in your home.

Complement Colors

Talk about complementing colors. There’s certainly no style or fun in designing a room all in one color, of course. Pull out a color wheel if you haven’t yet and look at what other colors best compliment the one you’ve already decided on for your walls or very fashionable couch. Many places online can provide tips on what complementary colors are good for the kind of style you’re going for as well. It’s best to complement your wood furniture with the rest of your home, and overall provide a contrast that makes your main color pop.

Vary All Design Elements

The principle of variation expands over all other principles of design for a reason. Despite your love of furry texture, for instance, it is in no way a good idea to purchase most or all of your furniture with fur, but in varied textures. Likewise, showing off a patterned rug only works if that is the only place in the room you have such a pattern. In general, the principle of varying your space can be applied to whatever interior you’re currently designing, and ensure that, while themes and styles are present, there is a balance that pleases the eye and directs it accordingly.

Match the Room’s Purpose

Some rooms are more functional than others, so keep in mind while designing a room what people will actually be moving and doing in that space. In a kitchen, there needs to be room to move around easily and quickly, while having less negative space in a living room is less important where people mostly sit. For other places such as a bedroom, dining room, recreational room, and so on, what furniture or decorations you place will often be determined by your personal preferences for that room. In the case of designing your office space, for instance, different styles will work depending on the kind of office you need. Do a little research and go from there!

Remember Lighting

Often one of the forgotten elements of design, the lighting in your room directly impacts the placement of furniture and devices, the look of the colors you’ve chosen, and the useability of the room depending on the hour of the day. Make sure to check where and how the sun falls through the windows in the room, and in the evenings what areas may need lamps or other additional light more than others. Remembering the room’s purpose is also important here, as it may impact what kind of light fixtures are appropriate as well as what ambience certain shades and brightness levels will give off as opposed to others.

Find Joy Through Design

With all of these considerations, it may be hard to balance what you want and what a space needs while designing a home. Remember that the function of interior design is to tailor your living space into exactly what you need it to be. When getting caught up on small decisions about color and exact placements of decorations and furniture, you can always go back to the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish–the small things matter less than the general actions you’re making to improve your life in such a visual and visceral way. Look for healthy ideas and items to include in your design that will actively improve your physical, mental, and emotional circumstances, and ultimately, find joy in change.

Your home is what you make of it, so choosing to design it more intentionally can add beauty and versatility to your life as you beautify and vary the space around you. Make sure to consider the many variables that go into making an interior well-balanced, pleasing to the eye, and suitable for the practical use it will be needed for. A space well-complemented within its own design elements can then complement the rest of your life!


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