Principles Are Principles Forever
Interior design and decorating is one of the oldest of all the arts. Properly understood, it can be very exciting and rewarding to engage in. All you have to do is apply the correct and appropriate formulas, then adapt them to your budget.
It is very important and necessary to find out what you truly need and want. Follow a few age-old foundational principles in order to acquire the success that you’re striving for. A few easily understood principles will enable you to work out combinations and arrangements that will be appropriate and therefore satisfying to you, no matter what type of room you are planning.
Make It Easy On Yourself
When designing or decorating a room or a whole house, you can help yourself a great deal if you make a careful analysis of yourself and your family before you begin. Take time to consider, reflect, and examine specifics of what you like, what you want, what you do, what you hope to do someday, etc.
Write everything down on paper. Be guided by this analysis in your choice of furniture, arrangements, color schemes, and accessories. Describe in words not only what you want it to look like, but what you want it to feel like as well. For me, a “look” without the appropriate feeling and ambiance is nothing.
Make The Right Decisions The First Time
The best way to do it right, once, the first time, is to have a plan. We begin our plan by making a diagram or sketch of the space, including the windows, doors, and archways, paying careful attention that it’s all drawn to scale. It is critical that your room has a floor plan drawn to scale. Usually this means that 1/4 inch will equal 1 foot. If you want it larger, then draw it so 1/2 inch equals 1 foot. This means that 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch will represent an actual 12 inches or 1 foot of real space. You must do the same thing with your furniture, plants, and sculptures — anything that takes up square footage space on your floor. If you choose to skip past this initial step, you’ll definitely have a wrong perception of reality! Once all of your pieces are sketched to scale, carefully cut each one out, making sure each one is clearly labelled.
You must do everything to scale with your sketches. These paper depictions enable you to move representations of your furniture and other items around effortlessly within your environment on top of the floor plan. As you do so, keep in mind where and how the traffic will flow through the space, accommodating for this functional necessity. With patience and some time, you’ll reveal various solutions that will come to your mind that you would never have thought of otherwise. Pre-planning allows you to have much more fun and freedom of expression.
Doing floor plans is the professional way to start. Amateurs skip this. Even if they call themselves decorators or designers, this is one of many fundamental reasons they are amateurs. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail… whether you know it or not.
Eliminating “Paralysis of Analysis”
The preliminary analysis of your home interior design and decorating problems should include answers to several definite questions. Think of this as the Sherlock Holmes phase. You want to ask yourself the right questions, to get the right answers. That way, you can get the right results. Your answers to the right questions will have a deciding influence on the various phases of your plan. Thinking things through will save you time, money, and energy, as well as preventing possible and probable disappointments with your results.
Some Words of Caution
Do not decorate or design in haste, and then later repent at leisure! Even if you have the money to carry out your whole design and decorating program, don’t be rushed into buying anything which will compromise the effect you want.
Don’t be discouraged if you have to operate on a budget. Decide what you can comfortably spend in the beginning, and put most of it into basic pieces that will be a permanent investment in your satisfaction and comfort. Then, spread the rest of it out over “makeshifts” which will do until they can be replaced. These pieces will be temporary until you can afford something better. Sometimes they turn out to be so charming and so useful that you won’t want to give them up. You can allocate them to other areas of your environment.
As you work your plan, you may find that parts of it need altering as you go because you’ve found that they can be improved. However, make sure the contemplated improvements fit into the original plan or concept. Remember, it’s not only about the look. It’s the look and the feel, or ambiance, that you are after.
Don’t be tempted for the sake of a bargain, or any other reason, to spend time or money on a single piece or article which will not add to the effectiveness of your preconceived design or decorative scheme, as you have outlined it from the beginning. Also, remember: Proper, prior planning prevents poor performance!
It’s vital that you realize that you can spend a great deal of money or a comparatively smaller, realistic sum, and get very pleasing results if you have a plan and knowledge.
An Important Closing Comment
Once you work things out on paper, be sure that you have included your floor plans and the written documentation of both your questions and your answers. The rest of the steps must continue to translate that information into action. Always look at the colors and designs in the environment where they are going to be used, and under the lighting conditions there, both natural and artificial. Color is how you light it! Therefore, never guess how textures, colors, designs, or fabrics, etc., will go with each other. Always make your final decisions within the final environment they will be residing in.
Steven C. Adamko, is the owner and founder of Spectrum Interiors, established in 1982.
All of Steve’s designs are personally tailored to the client with the result being orchestrated with the desired Ambiance that is seen, felt, understood, and experienced. He works in a broad range and spectrum of residential and commercial design, as well as furniture and lighting design. His services to others include teleseminars, webinars, and seminars.