We often when going through glossy magazines showing pictures of beautiful homes ask ourselves how my home can look like that. The fine balance between functionality & creativity is what makes the rooms in glossy magazines look exceptional & that is the difference between interior designing and decorating.
Designing an interior has to be done in context of the space we have, our character, interests & lifestyle. The famous designer William Morris had stated that you should have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Design room as per the function; be creative without losing sight of everyday needs. For example a family lounge needs comfortable seating, a television to watch; space for kids play & so on. Thus we need to design it for this very functionality & the outcome should not look like anything else.
Treat rooms as the part of whole; common mistake we make is to design each room in isolation. Rooms should flow into each other, which gives spacious look to the house. A common neutral color of walls or continuous flooring can be carried in whole house to bind it together & accent walls in different color or treatment can set the theme for that particular room.
Too much unity can be boring; don’t overdo matching of all the items in the room, repeat elements sparsely& balance them throughout. For example if a boy’s room has blue painted accent wall, avoid using the same color everywhere, in furniture, bedding, accessories etc rather use mix of contrasting & complementing colors to add variety.
Create emphasis; as the rooms in the magazines always have a certain strong feature which is emphasized like artwork, fireplace or window treatment, you too may create a centre of interest, which draws the eye towards that feature area that also inspires the décor of the room.
Appreciate empty space; by restricting the use of colors, strong textures, motifs & furniture, we can create space making effect & emphasize selected details or objects. Be selective, the features of your favorite piece of furniture when given enough space in which to value it, will multiply in decorating worth.
Minimize accessories; don’t be overwhelmed by the use of accessories. Absence of clutter will help visitor’s eye move easily from one object to another & appreciate the selectively chosen features & elements. For example collections of hung artwork are not needed where one or two impressively perfect pieces can create the similar effect without detracting from the architecture of a room.
Power of light; is often underrated in the home interiors & is also the major differentiator between the homes of glossy magazines & our homes. The use of illumination as light should have a dual purpose of creating light itself, and the magical effect that it can offer if used correctly. Natural light within a room should be used to its full potential by adopting a minimalist approach to your window dressings. For example use sheer materials like muslin, silk, and lightly printed voiles.
More often than not in our aspiration to create a beautiful home of our dreams we try to imitate what’s shown in the interior design magazines in our own homes, which turn out to be a disappointment, leaving us wondering where we went wrong. What we need to understand is that each space is unique with its own set of conditions, show respect of space; recognize the functionality, stay disciplined & follow simple design principles to achieve the look you envied in the glossy magazines.