Interior Design Styling Tips
To create an interior that’s stylish and inviting the first thing to consider is the colour scheme. The second thing is the look you want to achieve and finally, it’s important to have focal points with statement pieces that anchor the eyes.
One of the first things I learnt in design school was how to use a colour wheel. Getting the colour scheme right is so important and can be a daunting prospect but once you’ve mastered the wheel it’s a piece of cake and every designer’s secret weapon in creating cohesive interiors. In art class we were taught there are three primary colours and that all colours are created from a combination of these. The colour wheel is organised in a specific way that shows how colours combine, blend and contrast. It’s divided into 12 colours and three categories;
Primary – Red, Yellow, Blue
Secondary - combining two of each of the primaries to create green, orange, mauve
Tertiary – formed by mixing a primary colour with a secondary colour next to it
The colour wheel works in four ways; select two colours that are diagonally opposite each other on the wheel (complimentary), select varying shades of the same colour (monotone) choose colours that sit next to each other on the wheel (analogous) and finally the triad colour scheme made up of three colours evenly spaced on the wheel (triadic).
Pair contrasting colours that complement each other. It’s always best to let one colour dominate and make sure you leave some neutral tones for balance such as white or grey. Choosing complimentary colours adds balance to a space. Blues and Greens are cool and calming whilst orange and yellow adds warmth. Vivid colours set the temperature of the room; adding an opposing hue can provide balance.
Monochromatic colours can be sophisticated and understated. Choose your favourite shade then play around with different tones of the same colour or keep it simple and use the same hue throughout. Be careful not to create a space that is too ‘cool’ or too ‘warm’ by including neutral walls such as white for ‘warm’ colours and choose natural, earthy surfaces such as timber for cooler selections.
Create contrast with a simple partnering of two or three colours that are side by side on the wheel. To create a homogenous look use the 60-30-10 rule when introducing colours. Allow 60% for the dominant colour, 30% for your second choice and 10% for the accent tone.
This colour scheme is made up of three colours that are evenly spaced on the wheel to create a balanced, less intense statement than the complementary option. Again, let one colour dominate and accentuate with the other two hues. Incorporate plenty of neutral tones for a softer look.
Deciding on the Style
Choosing the style that will work for your home is simple; allow the architecture of the home the era and the location decide. If your home is modern go for a sleek, minimalist look, if it’s a period home embrace the era. The location of the home will also be a factor such as coastal, rural, arid, or urban. Most importantly, it’s best not to base the design around just one colour. Use the hues that you love and that reflect your style and personality.
This is the place or places that the eye is drawn to. It can be created by using statement pieces that are sculptural and dramatic or that add a bold splash of colour and define the palette of the room. There’s no hard or fast rule to creating a focal point and it doesn’t necessarily have to be one piece but can be a grouping that creates a story and acts as an anchor. Numerous focal points are a great way to define large rooms with multiple functions by segmenting them with statement pieces in each zone and keeping the eye moving through the spaces, creating balance. In a larger area three focal points work well whilst in smaller rooms one or two usually do the trick without looking busy. How do you determine where the focal point should be? Generally, this is where there are full walls that don’t have doorways or furniture to hinder the placement of pieces. The best focal point is usually the one that you are facing when you enter the room. Play around with it until it feels right. If the room feels cluttered or chaotic you can create a tranquil and inviting space just by rearranging or subtracting things that don’t work.
Golden tips for a winning interior
Don’t create rooms that are too ‘themed’ or furniture that is totally matched. It’s a good idea to mix old with new pieces to create an interesting, inviting space. Use pieces that are not all uniform. Try different vase heights, shapes and colours for example to add interest to the room. For a terrific selection of porcelain vases visit our website and view the Oceania collection, there's something to suit every interior.
Light filled rooms are inviting so pull back the curtains and bring the outside in with windows that look out onto lush greenery. Be careful not to clutter with too many items. The iconic fashion designer Coco Channel believed that less was more, ‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance’ she quipped. Finally, take your time, there’s no rush to finish. Let the room grow around you by collecting pieces from memorable trips or quirky items that you’ve stumbled upon and let it be an expression of who YOU are and not a place that looks like it came out of a furniture catalogue. Remember, decorating a home is a personal thing, a reflection of your personality.