The Beginner’s Guide to Interior Design

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The world of interior design is a daunting one to enter. But don’t be discouraged! We’re going to break down the basics so you can make your own home look like the most inviting, stylish place on the planet — without breaking your budget of interior design pay rates.

1. Decide what you want from your home 

Some people may feel that they need to buy designer furniture, paint the whole house a bright color, or have perfectly styled roll-out drawers. But no matter what you choose to do in terms of interior design, make sure that it’s something that YOU want, not something you think you should want.

2.  Scope out your space 

Before you start repainting or reupholstering furniture (or hiring someone to do so), take a good look at your area — and then start planning. What’s the purpose of your room? What do you want to do in it? Do you want to separate areas? Are there valuable items that need protecting from an unruly infant or severe toddler-handling?

If not, then you can probably get by with a few key pieces of furniture and some clever storage solutions. If you have high-value items, like silverware or a vintage chandelier, then it’s best to go over your plan with an actual professional first.

3.  Purchase the right furniture 

There are two ways to go about this. You can buy your furniture from a store, or you can save money and buy it from a thrift store. The first is the more traditional choice — but if you have the time, make the effort to go to a thrift store instead.  You’ll almost always find cheaper furniture that looks better than what you could find at a retail store (and it will usually be in better condition).

4. Trim your edges 

The edges of furniture can be where most of your design work will happen — so your furniture should fit well into its environment. If you’re going for something bright, then use bright-colored paint on the edges of shelves, tables, and cabinets. For something more subdued, use matte gray or a dark, solid-colored paint.

5.  Throw some color on the walls (but not too much) 

Like the trim on your furniture, the walls of your home can be an important part of your design scheme — and the right color can set off existing elements in your home. You don’t have to go around with a gallon of blue paint and a paintbrush, but it’s good to have at least one wall (preferably behind where you spend most of your time) that fits into your overall color scheme.

6. Space is everything 

By this point, you should have an idea of how you want your home to look — and now it’s time to make that happen. It’s important to consider the space you’ve got, because interior design can quickly go awry without proper planning. Think about where things are going to go — and make sure that there’s enough room for them!

7.  You’re halfway there 

Once you’ve planned out your layout, you’re halfway home. Now that you know where things are going, it’s time to actually get them into place! Decide how much money you want to spend (or what parts of the room your budget is going towards).

8. Personalize it!

After you’ve bought the furniture and put it all together, remember that you can always add your own personal touches to bring it from good to great. After all, it’s YOUR home — so make sure that it shows! Then you’re going to need to pick a style of furniture that compliments the room and coordinates with your other design elements. Once you’ve picked out the right pieces, make it your own by simply adding throw pillows, curtains or a rug (or all three!).

9.  The finishing touch: lighting

When it comes to lighting, you can get by with a few well-placed lights that are dimly lit. The best way to set the tone for your entire home is with good lighting. A dimly-lit living room can be equally as uncomfortable as a bright and sunny one — so take some time to find great lighting options.

10.  The touch that makes it your own  

Really, there’s no limit to the number of designs you can create — so have fun! The key is to personalize whatever design elements you choose. Make sure that they represent you and your life, not just a random person’s choices. 

There are so many things to cover in interior design, including color psychology, wallpaper selection and other choices that can make or break a room’s look. 

Summary:

Like we’ve said, the world of interior design is a daunting one to enter. But don’t be discouraged! We’re going to break down the basics so you can make your own home look like the most inviting, stylish place on the planet — without breaking your budget. Some people may feel that they need to buy designer furniture, paint the whole house a bright color, or have perfectly styled roll-out drawers.

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