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Interior Design Basics: How to Design a Room

Have you ever been invited over to a friend’s house and the second you step inside something feels…off? 

Maybe the living room feels cramped, or the decor is overwhelming. 

Maybe the home just feels uninviting. 

It’s probably because they simply don’t know some of the interior design basics. 

If you’re buying a new home or trying to give your house a refresh, then you need to know some basic interior design do’s and don’ts.

In this article, we will discuss why interior design is important and the key things to remember when designing a room.   

Let’s get started!

Why Is Interior Design Important?

Why should you care about your home’s interior design? Because your home should reflect your personal style! 

Having a home that you’re proud of makes having guests over so much more fun. 

Adding your own personal touch turns a house into a home, making it feel more comfortable and uniquely yours.

One of the main reasons we suggest following interior design principles is they can make small rooms feel larger and really transform your space.

How To Design A Room: Interior Design Do’s and Don’ts

So how can you design a room to feel more spacious while also showing off your personality? Here are a few interior design basics you should know. 

Don’t Hang Small Frames/Art On Large Walls

When choosing what to hang on your walls you need to consider sizing. If your decorations aren’t proportionate to the size of the wall then it will look out of balance. 

If you have a small wall then hang smaller pieces. If it is large, hang bigger pieces. 

Pro tip: Do you have something small you want to hang on a large wall? Get several of them. A collection of smaller frames thoughtfully placed together can make it look more proportionate. 

Do Hang Curtains Higher And Wider Than Windows

While curtains are probably one of the last things you think about when designing a room, they can highly impact a room. Hanging your curtains higher up on the wall can make the wall look taller. 

Similarly, hanging your curtains wider than your windows can make the wall feel larger. We recommend hanging curtains so that when they are open they’re only covering a few inches of the window. 

Pro tip: Measure your window and multiply it by three! 

Don’t Use Rugs That Are Too Small For The Room

Keeping on the trend of proportionality, let’s discuss the sizing of your rugs. When shopping for rugs, you don’t want to buy a rug that is too small for the space since it can make the floor feel bare and can throw off the look of the entire room.  

It is best practice to have the edges of your rug reach under the furniture and even go beyond a few inches. 

This can make the room feel larger and also cozier! 

Do Leave Space Around Furniture

We often want to maximize our open space by pushing all of our furniture against the walls or up against each other. But having space around each piece of furniture actually elevates the room.

When setting up a seating area we recommend having a minimum of 4 feet and a maximum of about 8 feet. 

Don’t Over-Match

While there are businesses that sell furniture collections, we recommend mixing and matching because you don’t want your whole house to be all the same color or style. This allows you to add your own personality to your home instead of looking like a retail furniture showroom.

You can mix up colors, textures, styles, materials, and more! 

BUT, you still want everything to relate and look good together. In simple terms, you want the furniture to be cousins, not siblings. 

Do Use Different Textures

Mixing different textures is a great way to take your design to the next level. 

Use throw pillows to add a bit of texture. Another example of playing with textures is to get a chair that looks similar to your couch but is a different fabric and texture. 

Mix and match between:

  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Woven
  • Fluffy
  • Sequences
  • Matt
  • Glossy
  • Coarse
  • Soft

Mixing up textures adds dimension to the room and prevents your home from looking like it was pulled from a showroom. 

Don’t Clutter

There’s a fine line between stylish and cluttered. While you don’t want your accent tables, shelves and countertops to be bare, you also don’t want them to be over-cluttered. 

You do not need to have decorations in every spot of your home.  If you have a lot of memorabilia or decorations you want to display, consider spacing them out throughout your home or rotating them throughout the year. 

Do Be Bold With Color

Yes, we know, white and clean is currently on trend. But doesn’t that get a bit boring?

Try adding little pops of color throughout your home. You will want to select colors that go well with the rest of your room. 

For example, if you want to keep your walls neutral you can use colorful curtains or throw pillows. If you want to get a bit creative, you can paint one wall a bold color as an accent wall. 

Don’t Be Too Symmetrical

When decorating your home you may think that it needs to be symmetrical in order to look good. In reality, that can be a bit boring.  

Both sides of your room do not need to be exact matches. We recommend shifting things a bit off center to keep things attractive to the eye. 

Do Be Proportionate

Now you might think because you shouldn’t be too symmetrical that you also should not be proportionate. Nope!

Just as we mentioned earlier with curtains and rugs needing to be the right size, the same thing goes for your furniture. 

When your furniture is too big it can make the home feel claustrophobic. Too small and it can make your home look barren. 

Don’t Make It Too Themed 

When decorating a room it’s common to have a design you love or an idea you draw inspiration from. While that can be a great way to show your passions and interests, you want to avoid becoming too themed. 

Instead of being literal with your design theme, you can draw inspiration through the colors you use or the style of your furniture and accessories. 

For example, if you want a beach-themed oasis, that doesn’t mean you need to add seashells and flip-flops everywhere. Instead, you can use soft blues and crisp white furniture to create a beachy vibe. 

Do Take Your Time

If you don’t have the time or budget to do your entire home exactly how you want it, don’t worry! It takes years to perfect your style and you can add as you go along. Decide what is a priority and start there. 

Plus giving yourself time to think out every aspect allows you to create a cohesive design. 

Buy Your Dream Home & Design it With Minto

Still looking for your dream home? We can help! 

Minto Communities has a wide range of beautiful communities throughout Florida and South Carolina. From our 55 and better active living communities to our family-friendly neighborhoods, we offer resort-style amenities along with exciting lifestyle activities and events.
Once you’ve selected your new Minto floorplan you can design your perfect dream home by visiting the design center located within each sales office. You will meet with a trained design consultant who will walk you through the selection process, offer advice and answer all your questions. For inspiration, check out our Westlake Design Center!

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