The 3 Principles of Interior Design

Account for function, mood and personality in any decorating project with these pointers.

By: Shari Hiller and Matt Fox

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A beautifully decorated interior not only functions well but it creates a mood or a feeling and shows off the personality of the family that lives there. It’s attention to these three important ingredients — function, mood and personality — that ensures decorating success.

Before painting and rearranging, spend some time thinking about your family and how you live. Look through magazines for inspiration and pull out ideas or rooms that appeal to you. Gather things from around the house that make you feel good and study them carefully for color cues and perhaps a clue to the mood you’re looking for in your home. This is the beginning of a well-planned and decorated living area.

As for the rest, let’s start with function.

Function

Decorating is more than just eye appeal — it’s making a room really work for you. Here’s how to do it, element by element:

  • The focal point: Sometimes rooms have natural focal points (places the eyes travel to immediately upon entering a room) — a fireplace, a bay window with a view, maybe even a built-in bookcase. If the room doesn’t have a natural focal point, create one with a dynamic piece of art or a colorful area rug.
  • The furniture: Determine whether the furniture satisfies the functions you’ve planned for the room. If a piece isn’t working or if it’s too large or too small for the size of the room, get rid of it or trade it for something else around the house that may be more appropriate.
  • The lighting: Lighting should be selected for the functions of the room as well as for visual appeal. Every task will require either direct lighting from a lamp or indirect lights that simply brighten the room for conversation or TV-watching. Accent lighting — floor spots, track lighting or recessed spotlights — enhance texture, color and room details.
  • The furniture arrangement: Draw your room on graph paper. Measure and mark electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Measure your furniture and place it in your floor plan. Generally, the main furniture pieces are directed toward the focal point, keeping the major traffic patterns open. Fill in with pieces you’d like to have that may or may not be available now. Be sure to balance high and low pieces as well as heavy and light ones around the room.

Image courtesy of Phillips Collections.

Mood

The mood or feeling of a room is created by your choice of colors, the style of furnishings, the amount of texture and pattern you choose and your accessories. Since there’s so much to think about when creating a mood, establishing a theme through the selection of an inspiration piece can make this portion of a decorating project much more fun and interesting. Here are the factors you need to address when setting a mood:

Image Courtesey of Company C, Inc.

  • The inspiration piece: The easiest way by far to decorate is to start with some source of inspiration. A decorative pillow, a favorite scarf and even a magazine photo are good places to begin. Select your inspiration piece wisely, and be sure it makes you feel good when you look at it. It’s the basis for selecting your theme, colors, patterns and textures.
  • Theme: Analyze your inspiration piece and develop a theme name for it. For instance, a needlepoint pillow with a botanical design on a black background may inspire a title like “formal botanical garden.” Be descriptive with your theme name and all sorts of supporting ideas will come to mind. Botanical prints, striped walls, greens and floral colors, formal fabrics and furniture, dark woods and black accents all fit this particular theme.
  • Color cues: Color should always support the theme. Many times, the colors that are most appropriate are found in the patterns and design of your inspiration piece. Generally, it’s best to choose three colors in a room: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, found throughout the room in fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy and excitement to the room.
  • Patterns: Stripes, checks, florals and plaids are just a few of the patterns to consider as you continue supporting your theme. It’s all right to mix patterns as long as you do three things:
  1. Keep the background color the same.
  2. Make sure all patterns share the same colors.
  3. Vary the scale or sizes of the patterns.
  • Texture: Too many smooth, shiny objects or too much nubby, rustic texture becomes tiresome. Use variety to keep the room interesting. Even a pattern can be used as texture. Many prints look dimensional and therefore add depth to a decorating scheme.
  • Furniture: Aside from being functional, your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme. Some pieces may function well but their style or color may stick out like a sore thumb. Try to salvage it with slipcovers, tablecloths or paint. If it’s a lost cause, remove it from the room.

Personality

Here’s your chance to put your personal stamp on a well-planned room. Here are some strategies:

  • Accessorizing: Pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs are all integral parts of a great decorating plan. Generally, they should support your theme, but allow more flexibility here; an antique picture frame could add wonderful variety to a contemporary room. Accessories are located on walls, mantels, furniture, tabletops and floors; they can be paintings and photos or pillows.
  • Whimsy: This is optional in your decorating scheme, but it can counteract any sterile quality that may have been created by strictly following all the guidelines. A beautiful country sitting room may get some relief from a playful quilt placed over the fireplace.
  • The unexpected: Interest doesn’t have to be whimsical; it can simply be something unexpected in a room, like a brightly-painted ceiling.

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Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long

A change in season often brings with it an entirely different take on colors, styles and patterns. For design aficionados, it offers a chance to tinker with the color scheme of their house in a subtle and elegant fashion. Yet most of us are put off by the idea of having to drastically shift between colors every two to three months. This also means that you need to rethink your entire design theme at times. While having a neutral backdrop with bright pops of color is a wonderful alternative, one still needs to pick the right accent colors to pull off this look.

Carpet tiles for the porch in white grey and eggplant Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Laura U

Today we shine the spotlight on three beautiful colors that are currently among the hottest shades doing the rounds in both the worlds of fashion and interior design. Cutting across the barriers of varying seasonal trends, this trio gives your interior a trendy look all year long and makes sure that you are never caught off guard!

Cheerful and Versatile Coral

If you have an interior that seems drab and even mundane, then just add a pinch of coral and you will see it spring back to life! With bright oranges making a grand comeback in 2014, coral is the ideal color for those who wish to join in on the trend and yet dare to decorate with a difference! While bubbly Tangerine has been dubbed the in color by some, coral is a refreshing alternative that is far more elegant and equally vibrant. Instantly adding glamour, simple coral accents in the form of throw pillows and stylish drapes can easily change the entire appeal of your living room or bedroom

Lovely coral accents bring visual lightness and complement the dark navy blues perfectly Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Darci Goodman Design

Beach style bedroom with a striped rug and fabulous coral and aqua accents Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Echelon Custom Homes

Farmhouse style living room with a bright coral accent wall and iconic decor Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by ZeroEnergy Design

For those looking to incorporate coral in a more permanent fashion, we suggest a blend of beautiful, light aqua and luminescent coral accents for a fresh, Mediterranean style. This is a style that seems perfect for both spring and summer, and a dash of lime green along with fresh yellows makes it even more engaging. Just swap out these light shades for dark chocolate and deep browns, and corals look equally appealing once cold winter days arrive.

Coral combined with light blues usher in a Mediterranean charm Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Lori Smyth Design

Bring in some coral hues with smart fabric accents and decor Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Give your ceiling a fresh makeover with luminous coral Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Jere Bradwell

Lovely coral with pinkish hue for the relaxed modern bedroom Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by ABRAMS / Photography by Eric Piasecki

Move away from bright pinks and give coral walls a shot this summer Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Page 2 Design

Pastel version of coral for the trendy modern nursery Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by RN Interior Design

Coral coupled with refreshing lime green to create a breezy living room Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Jill Wolff Interior Design

The Vibrant Magic of Teal

Here is a color that not only works well on its own, but seems to complement coral beautifully! Teal is a mixture of blue and green and comes in a wide variety of shades and hues. With a change in its intensity and the amount of white or grey that is mixed with it, teal can paint a picture varying from the radiant to the refined! As versatile as coral, the many shades of teal make it as much a part of the summer home makeover as the winter overhaul. And it is this adaptable nature of teal that has made it so popular in the last few years.

Creative combination of teal and yellow in the living room Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Erin Williamson

Exquisite use of teal accents throughout the stunning living room Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Possibilities for Design

A more masculine use of teal accents in the bedroom Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Below you see four lovely inspirations that show you how gorgeous teal looks as a summer hue. Sometimes closely resembling turquoise, teal can even alter the appeal of a room by simply changing the intensity of lighting around it. White, teal and bright pops of orange are a perfect blend for a living or dining room with coastal or Mediterranean style. Capturing the informal appeal of summer and fall flawlessly, lighter tones of teal evoke images of a sunny day on the beach.

Combine teal with lighter shades for a summer style living room Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Eclectic dining room with a breezy combination of Caribbean Teal and white Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Kimberley Bryan

Multiple shades of teal and an accent wall that borders on auqa Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Two trendy colors Bright coral and light teal in the living room Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Sometimes we stumble upon the most uncanny color combinations, and navy blue and dark teal is one such duo. Bold and modern, teal also works well with gold, yellow and warm earthen colors. Teal accents make a big impact visually even when used sparingly, making it easy to incorporate this color without committing to it fully.

Beautiful teal chaise lounge placed in a living room with navy blue walls Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Horchow

Smart teal accent wall in the white contemporary kitchen Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by NW Home Designers

Teal used along with red and gold in the eclectic kitchen Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Home Office cabinets painted in cool Caribbean Teal Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Rachel Bauer Design

Posh and Majestic Eggplant

The world around us has a huge impact on the colors that we choose, and exotic purples have once again taken over from steely grays since the day the world economy found its footing again. (Or so say the experts!) Regardless of the reason behind it, eggplant is a color that you want to use around your house in the next few years. Sophisticated and stunning, this color is admired by may. In fact, the latest research suggests that even infants prefer this regal shade in their nursery! Much like teal, you can pick between the many shades of eggplant to alter the overall vibe of your home.

Aubergine makes a sophisticated and grand visual statement Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Z Gallerie

Stylish kids room with walls in eggplant Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Rachel Reider Interiors

Luxurious bedroom brings together deep eggplant and light green in a subtle fashion Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Angela Todd Designs

Deeper tones of eggplant are ideal for living room accent walls and decor additions. Bedrooms benefit from a lighter shade of eggplant, as it helps create a more relaxed atmosphere. Since the color is so rich, be careful not to fill the room with too much aubergine. A couple of plush accent chairs or a gorgeous couch in brinjal is often enough to give the room a touch of class!

Curved sofa coupled with Tom Dixon wingback chairs in eggplant and plush ottomans Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by David Howell Design / Photography by Peter Margonelli

Eggplant accent wall enlivens the bedroom in neutral hue Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

Give your contemporary kitchen a touch of finesse with eggplant walls Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by XTC Design Incorporated

Smart color combination gives the contemporary bedroom in Dublin a refreshing serene vibe Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Think Contemporary / Photography by Barbara Egan, Reportage

Lighter shade of eggplant and mirrored fireplace give the living room a warm cozy vibe Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

by Bruce Palmer Interior Design

Alter the color scheme of your living room with decor additions Hot Color Trends: Three Fashionable Hues That Serve You All Year Long Year Trends Three Serve Long Hues Fashionable Color

 

 

 

10 Ways To Get Shabby Chic Style

By Tara Nolan

Don’t let the word “shabby” fool you when adapting the principles of shabby chic style into a room. The look may be unstructured and lacking in formal rules, but this timeless aesthetic can add an effortless elegance to your home. With handicrafts, salvaged furniture and vintage textiles available not only in flea markets, but also in retail shops (often as reproductions), you don’t have to search high and low for the perfect piece. You might even have a diamond in the rough right under your nose – a down-and-out piece of furniture just waiting to be whitewashed and restored. That’s the beauty of shabby chic style – it’s budget-friendly and easy to acquire. Here are some ways you can get the look.
These beautiful accessories will transform a space, giving it the essence of shabby chic style.

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Seating you can sink into
Believe it or not, beanbag chairs are part of that laid-back, shabby chic vibe. Even Rachel Ashwell, who trademarked the term “shabby chic” back in the ‘80s, features a few beanbag chairs in her Shabby Chic Couture line. This one from Pottery Barn has been updated in a sumptuous, white, shaggy fabric – the perfect place to curl up with a book.

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A well-worn table
Straight lines and man-made materials do not have to reign supreme in the dining room. Reclaimed lumber can be stripped and made into a table, or an existing piece can be whitewashed for that signature, worn, shabby-chic look. Place your table on a faded rug and if you have mismatched chairs, unify them with simple slipcovers.

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Antique frames for art
Ornate frames and framed mirrors can be refinished to display treasured art on the walls. Create a grouping over a sofa or find one lovely specimen that can help with decorating the fireplace. Some of these frames are in disguise at flea markets and antique stores – you may find them painted in various shades of metallic. But give them a light sanding and a coat of white or pastel paint and they’ll be ready for their spotlight on the wall.

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Give once formal seating a shabby chic makeover
Worn, vintage essential chairs provide the perfect canvas for modern paints and fabrics. Many stores are selling reproductions of various styles, for example, the 18th-century bergère chair, while others charge big bucks for an overhauled seat. Yard sales and antique markets may yield cheaper versions that you can make over yourself.

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Light up a room with a chandelier
Whether you opt for a modern reproduction, as shown here, or uncover a vintage gem, stunning chandeliers are a great way to add a little quirky elegance to a space. Hang one over a table or in the corner of a room for extra light. If your pre-loved find is missing a piece, take a spin around eBay, hit up an old lighting store or browse through flea markets to find the replacement glass or beads you need.

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Set the table with linen napkins
Bring back the aura of fine dining with linen napkins in a variety of well-worn colours. An old, stained tablecloth that you’re loath to part with can also be cut and sewed into a matching set – minus the stains. This new table setting might even inspire you to pull out your grandmother’s vintage silver and gold napkins too!

decor-shabbychic-bedding

Create airy, beachy ambiance in the bedroom
White, sumptuous bedding adds a light, restful atmosphere to the bedroom decor. Look for white-on-white patterns or details accentuated by intricate needlework, like pin tucks. A couple of haphazardly displayed cushions in light, floral fabrics can add a dash of colour, if needed.

decor-shabbychic-sidetable

Take shabby chic style outside
A little exposure to the elements can inadvertently turn a piece of outdoor furniture into a bona fide piece of shabby chic furniture. This table, for example, would look elegant in the garden surrounded by delicate, white iron chairs.

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Make use of well-worn storage options
Old dressers needn’t be confined to the boudoir. They can also be used in an entrance hall, feminine home office or dining room as elegant storage options. A sanding, a couple of coats of paint and another sanding will give a piece that well-loved look. Look for dainty, vintage knobs to add colour and charm.

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Serve tea in vintage cups
Fine china can add whimsical sophistication when entertaining. Use vintage tea cups to hold everything from tea and punch, to sugar cubes and bonbons. If you’re on the hunt, mismatched cups and saucers can be charming, but be careful of the poor little vessels that have been filled with wax to make teacup candles – one use for teacups that we’re not so sure about.