House design is a delicate art. Not everyone has the talent and a natural eye to conceive and outline captivating spaces, both interior and exterior. Still, if you do not have the money, nor do you feel the need to seek consultation from the professionals, you can always rely on these 7 design ideas to freshen up your home, a weekender or rental property.
1. Go bright
The “default” safe decision when it comes to both interior and exterior design of your household is to go for lighter hues on dominant areas such as walls, floors and ceilings. The color white is a good baseline, but you can also go with some very gentle hues that have a touch of cold or warm to them (depending on the texture of furniture and your preference). Bright colors make all spaces appear larger, airy and vibrant.
2. Don’t avoid contrasts
Still, even though you should always go bright by default, you should also not avoid making contrasts. A well-placed set of contrasting colors can set a vivacious mood that keeps the eye fresh. For example, if you have bright white walls, you can go with a bold, basic color for the furniture like fiery red, and contrast it with a minty carpet. Some designers like to combine turquoise and gold, others like to go for dark blue and orange. No matter what you decide, just try to keep the bigger picture in mind.
3. About that bigger picture
Your house is an entity, and even if you don’t believe in Feng Shui and energy fields, it is established that a variety of broad design choices can easily impact your mood. This is why you should make sure that each and every room balances out, both as an isolated entity and as a part of a whole.
4. Faking height
Sometimes, our ceilings appear to be too close to our heads for comfort. This is not an uncommon architectural flaw of many houses, but you can work your way around it. If you want to fake height, you need to work on the vertical design – accentuate “movement upward” with tall cupboards, mirrors and paintings aligned one atop the other against the wall. You can further bring in a sense of tallness by adding quality vertical blinds, which are especially nifty if you are aiming for the minimalist approach.
5. Mirrors are never a mistake
If you feel that the space appears to be too claustrophobic or that it lacks that “oomph”, adding a mirror can be exactly what the doctor ordered. In fact, you will hardly ever make a mistake by adding mirrors, even if you are not a designer. They can “extend” the space and, since they reflect existing surfaces, they will complement the existing design choices and color schemes.
6. Let the interior and exterior blend
If you own a household with a back yard, you should aim to blend the interior and exterior by either renovating your windows to make them larger, or simply clear the existing ones of curtains and debris in order to get a good view of the garden during the day. Having a clean view of the lush greenery from the inside of the house will get you more natural light, which is always a good thing.
7. Add shade to the backyard area
Of course, too much natural light, especially if you live in a predominantly tropical area, can be ameliorated through a set of tasteful awnings above your porch and some strategically well-placed trees with expansive treetops. By creating enough shade in the back yard, you are making sure that the plant life stays green, and you won’t necessarily have to invest in expensive energy-efficient windows that don’t easily heat up when exposed to sunrays.
While professional designers have years of experience in their respective field, you are the one who will live in your house at the end of the day. Therefore, it is completely legitimate if you want to have full control of the design choices and you have your own, personal idea of what makes an appealing design. Thankfully, we live in a time when so much useful information can be found on the internet and you can make informed decisions based on a little bit of research.
by Amelia Atkins