There are so many home makeover shows on television these days that it's easy to think that anyone can become an interior designer. Of course anyone can design a room, but whether it looks good and stands the test of time is another matter entirely. Unless you've got money to burn and plenty of time on your hands, or are addicted to decorating, your design is going to need to last for quite some time. If it looks dated within the year, it's going to be hard to live with.
Do put plenty of thought into your design. Consider the size and shape of the room when you're thinking about ideas. You may love dark walls, but in a small room this can often make the room feel small and cramped.
The more in fashion a particular style is, the more likely it is to looked out of fashion and dated. If you want a design that will stand the test of time, pick something classic and timeless. Remember the other fashions that have come and gone over the years. No one now would still want to have a rag rolled walled with a stencilled border!
Minimalistic design can look good, but remember that a lack of soft furnishings will make a room echo and be noisy. If you love hardwood floors, but have children or noisy dogs, you may well want to get some rugs. It really will help to absorb the noise.
Always measure furniture before you buy it. Generally furniture looks much smaller in a large showroom and then seems huge when you get it into your home. Measure it, then mark out the space it will take up in your home.
Loud designs and bright colours need extra thought. Will you really be happy with it in years to come. You need to think long and hard about it, especially if it would be time consuming or expensive to replace it at a later date. If you're considering bright patterned bathroom wall tiles, or a feature wall with pink flamingos on, don't rush into it!
Don't use too many colours. Picking two contrasting or complementary colours, or a few shades of the same colour will work well. Using several colours all at once can be too much, too garish. Also don't go for too many patterns. If you love florals then use them wisely. A floral wall would be fine, but teamed with a floral carpet and a floral sofa the effect will be overwhelming. Of course this same concept can be applied to other patterns such as stripes.
You should also give some thought to your lighting. Lighting can make all the difference. Too bright and your room can seem stark and clinical. Add some lamps and you'll have a much more relaxing room. Pick a coloured bulb to create a totally different effect, or invest in one of the many colour changing lights available that cycle gently through an array of colours giving the room a different feel periodically.
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