A house shouldn’t just be a dwelling. It shouldn’t merely be another space you exist in; it should be an environment that you thrive in. Similar to how, over time plants and creatures have evolved to suit their environment, a house should evolve to suit you. Whether this means having lots of surfaces with knick-knacks on them, pictures on the walls, or potted plants strewn about the main living space – your home should be the place where you can breathe a sigh of relief and leave behind the stress and concerns of the outside world.
It can be difficult to know where to start with this though, so we’ve gathered a few helpful tips to assist you in turning your house into your own personal refuge.
The very first thing to consider is your house’s floor plan. Where are the biggest rooms? Which spaces get the most natural light? These questions help you decide what rooms will serve which functions. The biggest room in the house will typically be the lounge room or main living area, but if you don’t envision yourself entertaining much, maybe the biggest room will be dedicated to a collection or personal hobby. Making these decisions will set out the framework for what your house will look like, and from there we can proceed to the next step.
Colour is a massively important element of interior decorating, as colour effects the illusion of space, and the right colours in the right spaces can either make a room feel like an open, freeing expanse or like a claustrophobic trap.
Where space is limited, avoid overly dark or bright colours. Dark colours will create the feeling of oppression and inescapable bleakness, while bright colours will interact heavily with the available light, creating an overly stimulating, frenetic atmosphere. In small rooms it is best to use dull shades and tones, like washed-out pastels or airy colours.
Larger rooms offer a wider range of hues and shades to choose from, and generally these rooms are likely to allow more showcase for your personality. However, the effects of dark colours can still be felt in large rooms so if you want darker colours, just make sure you don’t go too dark, or save the dark colour for an extant “feature” wall surrounded by brighter shades of the same hue. Meanwhile brighter colours in larger rooms fare much better, as the light disperses more evenly around the entire room, minimising the intensity of reflected light.
This will change room-by-room, obviously, but the essentials included in most rooms are chairs and tables. In kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and recreational spaces, the design of chairs and tables can change drastically, but it should always fit the colour palette established for the room. If you can’t find anything you like in that colour scheme, try finding wood grain furniture, as wood grain designs and textures can pretty much fit almost any space.
The French term objet d’art (ob-zhay darr) literally translates to “piece of art” and is a common term in interior decorating to refer to any object within a space that is meant to decorate or beautify that space in some way. In other words, the objet d’art of a room consists of your favourite paintings, knick-knacks, collector’s items, and other memorabilia. Making sure that your space has adequate room or attractive display systems for these items is important, as not only does it become a point of pride for you, but it’s the little extra touches of your personality that will make your home a truly comfortable space to live in.
Last but certainly not least is your window treatment. Window treatments refers to your chosen apparatus used to control light and heat in your space, as well as block the views of prying eyes from outside. Curtains and drapes are generally more “homely”, even though drapes are made of higher-quality materials and therefore considered more “upper class”, they can lend an air of softness to a room.
There are many great and beautiful ways to use curtains and drapes to dress a window space, then perhaps you’d prefer blinds. Blinds consist of a simple mechanical structure that allows a piece of material or several slats of material to cover your window, offering more exact control over the amount of light and heat that enter a space, while being slightly less reliable when it comes to privacy. Also, many blinds can appear cold and clinical. However, if you like the idea of blinds, then there’s no shortage of options out there.