Everyone loves to put their mark on their home, and many of us have Pinterest boards or at least an idea of how we want our home to look. We’ve pulled together some interior design tips for beginners that may help you pull your rooms together with ease.
Our general advice first and foremost is to remember that this is your home that you actually live in. Not a show home or a perfect Instagram picture. Though all of us want our homes to be completely us and look beautiful, you need to be able to actually live in it too.
Also, your budget is your budget, and you don’t need to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. Work within your means.
Let’s look at lighting
1. Though the best days are when the sun is streaming through the window, in the UK we don’t get that luxury often. So, considering lighting is key. Wherever possible, let in natural light - pull back curtains from windows during the day, or have blind fittings that can let in light.
2. You’ll also want to consider accent lighting and colours, for when you want to change the feel of a room at the flick of a switch. Having softer or coloured lighting can transform your space, and give you an easy way to make your room feel new and inviting.
Colours and paint
3. A crucial part of your design, what colours you like and in what style. Having a clear idea of at least a few colours for each room will make it far easier to work with. This may be a new set of colours, or if you are unsure, look at your big furniture pieces and what colour and style they are. If you’re decorating on a budget, paint is a lot cheaper, and comes in a lot more varieties than choosing a new sofa or bed. So potentially work from your furniture first, and you can find your paint later.
4. When you do paint, make sure to grab some testers and swatch the wall. If you do them on different walls at different heights, you’ll be able to see what the colour will look like in different light across the day without committing to a full paint job.
5. If you want to use a bold or striking colour in your home but are a bit unsure, they work amazingly in small places, such as hallways or a pantry. It provides that pop of colour and wow factor you want without committing to a huge wall or an entire room.
How about layout?
6. As well as picking out your furniture, paint colours and accent lighting, it’s probably worth considering the overall layout of the room. Something as simple as leaving a little buffer between your walls and your furniture can make all the difference. Your furniture needs room to breathe, and that tiny adjustment can make all the difference to your room.
7. It is also good to have a focal point in the room, something that draws your eye. Depending on the room, this may be a gorgeous mirror, a colourful accent chair or a quirky clock.
8. Finally, if you are moving into an older property where there may be some odd or old fixtures (maybe an ugly radiator or oddly placed fuse box), consider covering them. For example, if you’ve spent a lot of time and effort transforming your living room then you don’t want the first thing everyone notices to be the old, off colour radiator. Factor in clever covering of these items with furniture, or spend some of your budget on a custom covering or solution to fit your new room.
Dress it up
9. Finally, we want to look at the dressing of the room. The little details that just pull everything together. Firstly, use the power of three, and group any items in threes where you can. Think things like scatter cushions, frames, candles. You may want to do different sizes or shades, but grouping in three is a well loved design tactic.
10. Add in texture, again scatter cushions are your friend here, but a rug or a throw can help add a different texture to the room and make it feel more homely.
11. Consider having seasonal swaps, a small area in your home (maybe a coffee table or a shelf) that has seasonal decoration that can always bring something new to the room. Potentially daffodils in March or pastel colours for Easter, bright colours or fresh flowers over summer, and then autumnal colours and Christmas decorations. It’s an easy way to keep your room feeling new and fresh without putting in too much effort.