The 3 Most Important Interior Design Principles to Know Before You Decorate

This living room design works because the furniture is properly scaled, the color scheme is tight, and the textures are varied. When it comes to decorating your home, doing-it-yourself can be a fun, cost-effective approach which allows you to have complete control over both the outcome and the budget. But, if you've ever been a DIY-decorate, then you know that sometime, the space you envision in your mind is harder to bring to reality that you'd originally anticipated. Certain pieces don't work together like you'd imagined, your color scheme doesn't seem to work, or the flow of the room just feels "off."

Most of the time, room designs don't work out because one or more of the key principles of interior design has been ignored. With a little knowledge of Design 101, decorating your home can be a whole lot easier, and the outcome much more desirable. Here are three of the most important interior design principles to know before you decorate.

Color: Color is one of the biggest elements of a room design, and often what will make decor feel united or disparate. A good rule of thumb: choose 2-3 hues, and repeat each at least three times throughout a space, across furnishings, accessories, and textiles, in order to tie together the various pieces in the room. As for choosing the actual colors, pick shades in the same tone (i.e. jewel tones, neons, brights) for the most cohesive look, and remember that high contrast hues will result in a bolder, more energetic feeling space, and low-contrast hues will make a room seem more serene.

Scale: If there something amiss about your space that you can't quite put your finger on, there's a good chance the scale of your furnishings is off. Scale is the size of the furniture and decor both in relation to the room it's in, and to the surrounding furnishings. An overstuffed sofa will look awkwardly large next to a single low profile slipper chair, for example, while a streamlined tuxedo sofa and small coffee table will look insignificant if they're the only pieces in a large sitting room. Achieving a properly scaled design comes down to balance. In a room, that means leaving enough floor space to make it easy to move around in, but not enough so that the space feels empty. When it comes to pairing up furniture pieces, small variation in scale are a good thing, but large variations will feel off balance.

Texture: Texture is another important piece of the puzzle, since it helps create a harmonious space. In modern design, for example, using all shiny, hard materials like plastic, metal, and lacquered finishes will make your room feel cold and unwelcoming. Adding in plush texture, like a flokati rug, macrame wall art, or a bunch of throw pillows on a sofa will soften the design and make a room feel more welcoming.

Need help decorating your home? Get in touch with Divine to talk to one of our professional interior designers.