Understanding the basics of interior design

Turn your house into a home and learn the basics of interior design with these top tips to bring your vision to life in exciting and practical ways.

What is interior design?

Interior design lets you stamp your personality and sense of style on your dream home. It uses specific techniques and elements like architecture and furniture to construct, shape and manipulate an interior space. There are no specific rules, but certain actions can transform a room.

Great interior design always revolves around an idea that lets you make a space your own – as Rob Graham, Stockland Co-Head of Design, explains…

 

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Plan for real life

It’s important to plan the space you want to transform with durability in mind. You’re probably not going to want to have to redo your work when trends change.

And always consider the end goal for a room – is it a practical space or a comfortable one? Once you’ve got a clear purpose, you can find exciting ways to bring that to life.

Top interior design tips

Here's a crash course in interior design 101 to inspire you. 

  1. Create focal points
  2. Statement pieces like windows or a fireplace draw attention, create a mood and make places more habitable. Arrange other pieces to complete the overall look. Using a pyramid shape to arrange decorative objects (place the tallest element in the centre, the heaviest object at the bottom and smaller pieces layered around and on these) creates a balanced appearance to focal points, like books on a bedside table.

    You can even make use of so-called ‘negative space’ (the empty space around and between everything else) to draw attention to design features.

     
  3. Consider scale and proportion
  4. An enormous king-size bed in a small room throws out the balance of the whole space, so always design with scale and proportion in mind. Equally, there are ways you can play with scale and perspective to do things like create the illusion of extra height by placing tall, thin bookcases in a room.

     
  5. Use contrast and colour
  6. Contrast and colour can help give a room an identity. From creating opposites (hard and soft, black and white, light and shade), you can establish feeling and mood. 

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    Feature walls painted in a different colour can be striking, or you could completely abandon ‘white wall syndrome’ and go for a room painted deep blue to give an illusion of comfort or green to be playful or red to symbolise luxury.


    Another option is picking a main floral colour and repeating it throughout the space to create rhythm. This allows the colour scheme to flow naturally from one space to another. The easiest way to start the colour scheme is with a signature piece, like a rug or artwork, that you’d like to feature.
     

  7. Lighting
  8. Lighting can have a similar effect, making you feel relaxed or focused or happier. This means there are plenty of options for different rooms in your home.

     
  9. Use a mood board
  10. Mood boards let you visualise how your home will look. They allow you to test your ideas before you commit to colours and furniture purchases. Check out Stockland Dreamcatcher to browse home inspiration, create your own styleboard and to discover your style DNA.

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