Interior design is fraught with danger, and even small mistakes can prevent a room from living up to its potential. The addition of just a single accessory can change the entire balance of a space – for the worse as well as better. With this in mind, here are six common interior design dilemmas, and some suggestions on how to overcome them…
1. What Colour?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer, especially when you consider that the colours you have in your head won’t necessarily translate well into real life. What works on paper may not work in practice, and paints can look quite different once they’re actually painted on to a surface. Moreover, you have to think not only about the colour of your walls, but also your furniture and flooring.
As a rule of thumb, it is generally best to choose neutral colours when painting a room. There are several reasons for this: (1) fewer regrets – a neutral colour can be changed far more easily; (2) other, brighter colours can still be added through the use of accents, accessories and lighting; (3) it is easier to pair neutral colours with other colours; and (4) what looks great to you may not look so great to others, and this can affect the price of your home should you decide to sell it.
2. What Furniture?
Another dilemma faced when it comes to room design is the addition of furniture. In order for a space to ‘flow’, furniture must fit in well with its surroundings. Yes, it is possible to make a room look great regardless of its higgledy-piggledy furnishings, but this requires a discerning eye – and one that doesn’t necessarily pick up bits and pieces just for the sake of it. You can overcome this problem, though, by simply choosing a theme and sticking to it, whether it’s minimalism or mid-20th Century design.
3. The Catalogue Effect
Whilst getting inspiration from a show room picture in a catalogue is fine, sometimes it can be nigh-on impossible to make your room look distinct from said picture. You may even have once seen a room that you liked, and find yourself copying its style subconsciously. This can make the room seem somewhat uninspired and impersonal. The best way to prevent this from happening is by varying the textures, patterns and materials of your furnishings, carpeting and so on. Add pictures, artwork and antiques – the more personal the better – to give the room an original flourish.
4. Not Enough Space…?
… Then make some. Clear all your surfaces and start afresh. If you suffer from accessory overload, get rid of at least two-thirds of items by either recycling, selling or storing them. If you feel that something is too precious to get rid of, store it for use at another time. You can even save certain accessories for the varying seasons, ensuring that your home will benefit regularly from a different look. For smaller spaces, stream down furnishings wherever possible. For example, a corner sofa is often better than two separate sofas.
5. Quality vs. Quantity
In every case, quality wins; and it is better to have one great quality piece of furniture that will last a lifetime rather than several pieces of furniture that are liable to damage and breaking after a year or two. Doing this will help you create a room that you’d actually like to live in, as opposed to a room that needs constant changing.
6. Achieving Balance
As mentioned previously, every room needs to ‘flow’. Unevenly sized items of furniture and clashing colours can ruin a room visually, ultimately leading to a space that’s unappealing to live in. Therefore, symmetry is of the utmost importance in a room in order to make it look and feel pleasing. That’s not to say that everything must be the same, rather that décor, items of furniture, and accessories should all balance well with one another. For example, accessories should be spread evenly within a room, whilst colours schemes ought to be complimentary.