Today interior design is all about personal expression, and yet there are a few basic principals that all professionals learn early in their careers. To paraphrase Oprah’s favorite interior designer, Nate Burkus, anyone can give their home a polished professional look using these basic principals.
There are three classic categories of style – traditional, transitional, and contemporary. Today, however, things are a lot more defined. Traditional and contemporary are still on the list, but current hot categories include urban/industrial, mid-century modern, farmhouse, bohemian, shabby-chic, eclectic, and minimalism. There are also historical styles: Scandinavian, French, Art Deco, Shaker, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Asian, Coastal, Country, English Country, Mediterranean, Modern, Moroccan, Tropical, and Western.
A focal point can be a fireplace, a large painting, a television, a window, a bed, a walk-in shower, a luxury tub or an interesting piece of architecture. It can be a statement piece, like a unique couch or a bold patterned area rug.
Begin with a color scheme. The top colors for walls for baby boomers are still shades of beige, while Millennials prefer shades of gray according to research done by Houzz. Wood and tile are still the floors of choice, with color and pattern choices that run from light to dark. Using a neutral color scheme on walls and floors allow them to become the canvas upon which the design can be created.
In living rooms, and other social areas, move furniture away from the walls. Use area rugs to create zones where seating is focused around a table. Put money into statement pieces, then accent with texture and pattern using pillows, paintings, bookcases, and décor. Heavy couches should be paired with light-weight tables, and lighter couches should be grounded with heavier coffee tables.
Matchey-matchey furnishings are out. Pull out those hand-me-downs and antiques; find unique ways to re-use the old pieces. Bring out items from the attic or closets, like favorite collections, and put them on display. Use them to tell your story. It is the items we collect through life that make a home personal.
As you experiment with these concepts while creating your personal style, take the opportunity to purge your home of anything you don’t need for a specific purpose or absolutely love. Removing the clutter and only keeping what you love will change the feeling of your home, leaving it lighter and brighter.
Leave a comment below and let us know what happened when you removed the clutter from your home!