First of all, before you begin to do anything, you need to know what you like and what you don’t. Perhaps you already have an idea of the style you want to create, if so, great, you can get started. If not, then take a look around show rooms or browse magazines and the Internet and see what jumps out at you, what you find attractive, and base your initial ideas on that. Ask yourself how a particular look or style makes you feel and you will get an idea of whether it is appropriate for you or not.
Popular styles include traditional, modern, retro, minimalist, country cottage, or a themed style. Themed styles can be based on anything that inspires you, a character, a place, a period in history, a culture or maybe water or nature theme or a theme based on the Wild West. There really are no limits to what is possible, allow your imagination to run wild. It is possible to combine styles, however, be careful about mixing too many styles together as this can lead to a cluttered unattractive look so it is best to stick to one or two at the most. Once you have established what style you want to create you can begin to shape your Interior Design project.
Initial elements to consider
• What is the purpose of the room or what will the room function as for most of the time? For example, is it a family room, a bedroom for sleeping in, a room for working in, or a play room perhaps? Will there be a lot of entertaining? Do children and pets have to be considered? All these elements will have an impact on what choices you make.
• The health and safety of everyone likely to be using the room is a top priority so think about what health and safety considerations you have to make and incorporate these into your plan.
• Calculate what budget you have to work with and how much you are prepared to spend on each area, for example, any changes to the structure of the room, the amount you will spend on floor coverings, ceilings and walls, and how much you are allowing for furniture, fixtures and fittings, materials and finishing touches.
• Identify what parts of the room can be changed and what can’t. For example, the existing position of doors, windows, fireplaces, even walls. Can they be moved, is it necessary, what is realistic?
• Identify how much space will actually available and measure it carefully. Draw up a detailed floor plan so that you know what you have to work with and where you are going to position everything, particularly larger items of furniture. There’s no point in rushing out to buy an item of furniture only to find that it doesn’t fit when it arrives.
• Consider what natural lighting there is and whether you will have to incorporate artificial lighting or whether you can maximise on what natural lighting there is.
Developing the style
Think about the main elements of design that will help create the style you want, this includes form, mass, shape, colour, texture and pattern. Decide how you are going to cover the walls, ceilings and floors in order to convey that particular look or style you want to create.
Have you thought about a focal point and what it will be? For example, a fireplace, an attractive piece of furniture, a painting or other work of art, or even a window can all act as interesting focal points.
Identify what furniture or other larger items that you want before you decide what colour schemes you are going to use as it is easier to find harmonious colour matches that way. When you have chosen your furniture make sure you measure the various items to ensure that they not only fit well, but that there is ample room for all the other items of furniture you want to incorporate. Remember to allow space for walking through doors and for doors to open.
Finally, choose the materials, fabrics, fixtures and fittings that will help define your chosen style.
Completing your look
Putting the finishing touches to any room can be extremely rewarding as finally you get to see the particular style you wanted to create come to fruition and you can stand back and admire your work. Plants, flowers, wall hangings, bowls of fruit, candles, ornaments, cushions, table clothes, throws, can all add to the overall ambience and mood of a room. With proper planning beforehand, your end result is likely to be exactly what you want, a beautiful space that is safe, practical and comfortable for all those using it.
Interior design is an art but that doesn’t mean it can only be embarked upon by those who are fully qualified and trained. By observing what others have done for ideas and then drawing on your own imaginative skills to expand on those ideas and by paying attention to detail, you can create your own unique space, one that reflects your taste, style and personality, one that defines who you are.