Life by the Blonde - Tips from the Female Eye for the Modern Guy.
Designing and filling your home’s interior can be a minefield. There are so many choices out there, mountains of info and inspiration and an array TV programs out there with an appetite for renovating which set unattainable time-frames and budgets.
Don’t despair! There are a few steps you can take to ensure your spaces are considered, balanced and pack plenty of style punch. Here are my top 5 factors to consider when creating a cohesive room design.
1 Lost in Space
Arguable the most important consideration when designing a room is how the space works for the needs of the people using the room. Don’t incorporate a large dining room into a home if the family in question are take- away regulars or incorporate a small compact kitchen for a potential master chef contender.
Don’t forget to take into account the negative space in a room – vaulted ceilings for example can be utilized with larger-than-life pendants or oversized fans or ship-lap cladding to stop it feeling like an airport hangar.
It’s also important to consider to leave enough space around furniture so people can comfortably move through the room. Generally, 1200mm is enough between significant pieces of furniture within zones. For a more spacious and luxurious feel then 1500mm buffer would be ideal.
It’s all about balance. Balance the negative with the usable space and your room will feel even, spacious and considered.
2 Let there be light!
Good lighting plans are often over-looked during renovation or build but it really can make or break a space. Your floor plan generally determines your lighting plan and if you have it, natural light is always best. Just remember natural light changes through the day and will change the way colours look. Morning light is normally cool compared to afternoon light which is warmer in colour.
As well as utilizing natural daylight you will need to incorporate a good mix of ambient lighting. Too many bright down-lights can kill a room so don’t over-do it. Instead floor lights and lamps, table lights, wall lights and recessed wash lighting can come together to bring light to whatever space you need as well as create mood and ambiance.
I prefer to use warm light in home to create a warmer, cozier homelier feel - save the bright white fluorescent lighting for retail spaces and the dentist’s chair! Try to use light to illuminate interesting features in a space. It may be a piece of art, sculpture or an interesting architectural feature.
We are all aware how warm and cool colours can change the space and the people in it. How do we choose a scheme which works well will all natural light, the style we are going for and will still look current in 10 years’ time?
Look at the amount of sunlight you get – natural sunlight will make a white room dazzle but may feel drab without it. It’s best to test your colours in spaces before committing to painting the whole home. You can buy little tester paint pots and try them out before committing.
I like to work on a 60/30/10 rule. This is where sixty percent of the colour used is the main colour and acts as an anchor or back drop for the rest of the space. Thirty percent of the space could be a secondary colour, this tone needs to works harmoniously with your main colour but be different enough to have its own identity.Lastly you will want to find a ten percent accent colour, which can be a pop of anything that grabs the attention and makes a statement or simply breaks the space up.
Remember colours choices don’t to need to be paint based. Anything in the home can make up these figures – walls, floors, artwork, throws or even your sofa. They all works together to create a story and build a palette.
Colour is a very personal thing so don’t commit to anything you haven’t fallen in love with.
Texture is important in any space. A heap of glossy shiny surfaces means your living area may well start to look like a doctors’ surgery on the other hand you don’t want so much texture you feel like you’re in a Turkish souk either.
As with light and colour, it’s all about balance. Balance the knitted textured throws with velvet headboards, the plush silk pillows with marble table tops, the unfinished oak floor with the natural linen curtains.
5 Shape and Pattern
Having a balance in your shapes brings the element together. You wouldn’t put a round rug under a rectangular table – it just wouldn’t sit right. A balance of round, square and triangle shapes generates interest and grouping shaped-liked objects can help make a space feel cohesive and settled.
The same goes for patterns. You would necessarily mix a traditional muted toned paisley pattern throw with a modern chromatic chevron rug.
The Blonde's Practical Tip
The best way to move the ideas in your head out into reality without making expensive mistakes is by setting up Pinterest boards on different aspects of your interior design project. Whether the boards are more of a general look and feel or more specific, relating flooring, furniture and lighting. It’s a super way to help get your ideas down in one place as a reference. Or get yourself armed with a stack of interiors magazine and cut out images you like. Both options give you an overview of what you like so when you are ready to start your interiors project you have a clearer vision on what the end result you want to achieve is.
Or just call us - it's what we do best ;)