Interior Design Plans
Interior design is all about determining the best way for your family to enjoy your living space. Completely overhauling the traffic flow, lighting, and design elements in your home can be an incredibly satisfying way to express your personal style. If art and design isn't your thing and you simply want a livable space, you might be best served by working with a professional interior designer.
Working With a Professional Interior Designer
In the case of a new build, the contractor and interior designer will work together to ensure that the interior of your home reflects your personal taste and your lifestyle. Many clients have never taken the time to determine what their personal style or taste actually is, and one of the skills a good interior designer has is the ability to conceptualize what their client really prefers. A designer will also be able to utilize experience with past clients to tell you if a particular furnishing is worth spending your money on, or to warn you off of making bad color choices or decisions like installing carpet in a bathroom.
When choosing a designer, take the time to make sure that the designer is sympathetic to your taste and budget. Speak extensively with past clients and determine how happy they were with the designer's services. Stay clear of designers who push a particular brand of furnishing, as they may be more of a sales rep than a professional who has your best interests in mind. Some designers may also work primarily with certain styles. Engaging a modern art designer to re-create a period interior may not be a wise choice. Check to see if the designer is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
General Mistakes to Avoid in Interior Design
Professional designers recommend that you skip pure white walls, unless the architecture absolutely demands it. The starkness can be too much for a living area, and if you have small children, keeping the wall white can be almost impossible.
Determine the dimensions of the room before you start buying furniture. Too many people find a couch or bed that the love and take it home only to find that it's too small or too large for the room. Determine what scale of furnishings will work the best in a room and then start looking for something that fits the scale.
Determine your budget before you shop or contact a professional. Without prior planning, costs can quickly get out of hand, especially if you have to get a custom build or special order. Make a firm decision about how much you can spend before you start making purchases.
You should also keep scale in mind for your artwork. Just like your furnishings, a huge painting will overwhelm your room and throw everything off balance. Finding the right balance is something that interior decorators are famous for, so consult a professional if you can't find the right place for your artworks.
Don't go for an extremely "matchy matchy" design. If everything in the room is the exact shade of light blue, it will look flat and dated. If also won't look as if real human beings are living there. Allow for a color palette that will make the room look lived in and vibrant.
Give Your Own Design Skills a Go
Thanks to the internet there are numerous free room design programs that you can use to let your inner artist create the perfect room that fits your lifestyle. With these programs, you can change paint color, relocate or remove walls, and add furnishings at will.
Ikea offers two programs that allow you to design a room and to design a kitchen. Of course, all of the components that you "design" with will be IKEA products, but the company does have tons of experience in designing modular furniture, and you can get a good grasp of scale and palettes using this tool.
Armstrong's Design a Room allows you to upload 3D images of your existing rooms or to choose from preloaded room styles to determine the prefect color combination for your cabinets and counters.
Homestyler has lots of professional-grade design programs, but if you're looking for a way to plan out a small space such as an apartment or home office, they offer a free program that allows you to do just that.
Sweet Home 3D offers the highest degree of customization that you can find in free design software. Use it to provide the most options in your home design.
Interior design offers to chance for you to express who you are as homeowner. In many cases, a professional designer can help you obtain the look that you want. Whether going it alone or working with a professional, remember to keep in mind scale, color and allowing a room that breathes with its occupants.