Interior decoration holds the ability to completely transform a space. It involves the enhancement of a space or spaces through artistic, aesthetic, and practical design decisions. Interior decorators are adept at constantly researching and coordinating new ways in which to decorate a room to make it the best it can be for the space itself as well as your lifestyle. And if you want to upgrade your interior design game, we spoke to interior designer Martina Hayes to find out her top 5 insider interior design secrets.
Secret no. 1
The first secret an interior designer uses is to create a clear brief, particularly considering the space in which you’re decorating. Too often do we see that this has been neglected, then only to be left with a space with bad flow, low functionality and totally out of proportion.
When decorating it is so important to think properly about who this space is for, how it’s going to be used and how it will improve daily life. Take the time to figure out what is that you want. As you continue to decorate your space you will have a clear vision, therefore leading to positive and confident design decisions.
Secret no. 2
Now that you have created a strong interior decorating vision, it’s time to consider the scale of the space. Scale is often neglected when decorating a space but is the key component for making your space feel just right. If the room you wish to decorate is on the smaller size and you select furniture that is very large and bulky it’s going to have a negative effect on the space. Just because the furniture is large, it doesn’t make the whole room feel large. In this scenario it can achieve quite the opposite. To resolve or avoid this altogether, choose furniture that better fits to the scale. When shopping, don’t overlook the measurements of the furniture.
For example, you could choose a lounge with legs rather than one that sits completely on the ground. This makes the room feel a lot more spacious. Opt for closed storage in larger areas so as not to feel overwhelmed or cluttered. A great hack to finding the correct scale for a space is through decorating with rugs. It’s easy to become lost on what rug size to choose. Your rug should be large enough to fit any and all furniture underneath. If your rug is too small, it makes the entire room appear and feel smaller. If in doubt, choose one size larger for a rug. When you have the right size rug for the space it becomes a lot easier to properly visualise and understand the scale that you’re working with.
Remember to create the space in mind with your lifestyle and how that will become the best solution to enhance your everyday life.
Secret No. 3
Decorate with sustainability in mind. Sustainability has never been more important and leads to making positive and conscious design decisions. This means as your decorating will keep in mind natural, social, and economic resources. How you can apply this when decorating is through your choice in materials, designing for durability and adaptability.
Great fabrics to think about are bamboo and linen, as not only do they both have anti-bacterial qualities but are also sustainably grown and renew and rejuvenate well. Suppress the urge to go out and buy everything new. Access what you already own and ask yourself how these items can be made over and reused. Interior decorators design with change in mind, as to decorate the space for an ever-changing lifestyle. Choose high quality materials that will last a lifetime. Working with natural fibres such as wool and timber naturally add a lot of warmth and character to a space.
Secret No. 4
Selecting colours and patterns is a fun and exciting part of the interior decorating process. Don’t choose colours on a whim, think again about your vision and the space. Colour will greatly impact how the space feels in terms of scale and size as well as a deeper emotional connection. Different colours affect people differently, various colour schemes are suited to different areas due to the way that they provoke different emotions and motivations.
If you’re working from home a lot more now, you may consider a colour pallet that is stimulating as well as motivating for your mind. Your colour scheme will be different again to that of a bedroom which may have a softer palette to feel more peaceful and tranquil. Wallpaper is another great way to add colour, pattern, and character to a room. There are so many wallpaper designs to choose from that will be perfect for your decoration vision. If you enjoy a simpler colour scheme but still wish to create more character in the space you’re decorating consider artwork. Artwork is an emotional choice and affects all people differently, it can add a splash of colour and a lot of character.
Secret no. 5
When an interior designer decorates a space there can be many challenges in that space including low ceilings, the shape of the room, and strange layouts. The secret to working around this is by creating distractions, illusions, and techniques of manipulation.
This often comes in to play when you are decorating a small bathroom or en-suite. For a lot of people their en-suite is the first space you use in the morning and the last you use in the evening, making it an important and frequently used space. A great technique for a bathroom with low ceilings is to lay the tiles vertically rather than horizontal. This provides an illusion of higher ceilings. This technique can be used in other spaces too. It’s great to be aware of how shapes, lines and curves may affect the space and how to work with them rather than against.