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Interior Design Basics

Do you want to redo your living room, yet you havenít got a clue as to what you want to do? The answers lie within yourself, you just have to find them. Interior design is based on a few basic premises; which are style, function, color, and texture. Add your storage and budget issues to the mix and you are on your way.

Start with style. What are you drawn to? Do you like sleek, modern lines or are you in love with traditional elegance? Do you like a little bit of whimsy?

Are you drawn to the intricate and ornate or the cozy rustic look? Donít forget retro is now the rage. Whatever you like, there are countless styles to choose from. You can choose one or mix and match for an eclectic look. Whatever you choose, make sure it reflects the real you. Look through magazines and watch home shows for great ideas and tweak them a little bit to add your personality to the mix. Many furniture stores offer the help of an interior designer at a minimal cost.
Function: Is this room going to be a formal space or a laid back family friendly gathering place? If you plan to entertain, you need to have the space for people to flow through the area. Do you need to incorporate a small office area into the room? If you have children, you will certainly need the room to be kid friendly. Donít forget about your hobbies when planning out your design. You may want to add them to the dťcor. Lastly, donít forget to pick a spot just for you to relax and enjoy.

Color: Bringing color into your home is a natural way to create a mood. Warm colors such as reds and yellow promote sociability while the cool color schemes of blues and green add serenity to your home. It is important to remember to have colors that blend with or contrast one another. You donít necessarily want everything to match. See our article about choosing colors for your home.
Texture: Texture adds depth and interest to any room. You want to mix textures and colors to make your room visually appealing. Textures can be added in pillows, curtains, and artwork. Add some metal candlesticks with a stone water feature.

Storage: Storage is always a big issue for everyone. Do we ever have enough? My advice is to always add storage space to every room. You can tuck storage space under your open stairway or add a shelf to keep things off your desk or floor. Bookcases not only store your books, they can be used as a showplace for art or memorabilia. A window seat can tuck away blankets or toys. Use every available space that you have.

Budget: Budget is, unfortunately, the determining factor in most design. You can cut corners by going to flea markets and estate sales. A little paint goes a long way in changing the ambiance of your home. Make your own pillows and window treatments. If youíve always wanted a fireplace, but canít afford it, make yourself a faux fireplace. All you need is a mantle and surround that you can make out of a number of materials. Again, go through magazines and watch home shows. They have great ideas for people on a budget.

Lighting: Every room needs ambient lighting which is lighting that will light the whole area. This lighting usually comes from the ceiling. You may also want to add task lighting for work or reading areas. This can be in the form of recessed lights or a simple lamp. Recessed lighting can also be used to spotlight an architectural feature or artwork.

The best advice I can give you is to use your own personality to reflect your room. Showcase your hobbies or travel finds. If you are a vibrant person, show it with the use of color. Donít be afraid to add a bit of whimsy. Your memories are the treasures of your life. Surround yourself with them!


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