Close your eyes and picture a beautiful home interior. It's elegant, it's cozy, it's literally radiating sunshine. Now open your eyes. If the view before you isn't as good as or better than the image in your head, then it's probably time you spruce things up a bit and bring that vision of yours to life. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to achieve the interior design looks you have pinned on your Pinterest board. No matter how much space you have in your house or apartment, it is entirely feasible to enhance your home's visual appeal. Here we impart upon you 5 interior design "hacks" to help you create or recreate a space that you can't wait to come home to.
1. Declutter Your Space
One of the most important, and some would argue easiest, things you can do to improve your home's visual appeal is to declutter! Clothing belongs in closets or drawers, not on the floor or the couch! It's simple: the more cluttered a space is, the smaller it's going to feel. Putting your things away into storage is one method of creating space in our homes. We can start by making a conscious decision every day to pick up after ourselves and place our items back in their original spaces. Before you know it, the process will become just another part of our daily routines. Resetting our spaces every day will come to be no different than brushing our teeth, and it's a sure way to ensure a clean and spacious home.
If you have a smaller living area, decluttering may also involve parting ways with some of your items. Marie Kondo said it best, "does this spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it." It's a good idea to think about your possessions and consider whether they have fulfilled their role in your life. For the items that have outlived their purpose, it may be time to let them go. Doing so will clear not only your space but your mind as well.
2. The Illusion of Space
Particular furniture choices can be used to create the impression of expanse. Tall furniture may make the ceiling appear lower than it actually is. Thus, when buying furniture for your home, opt for shorter furniture. Similarly, hanging artwork higher up on the walls tricks the eye into thinking the ceiling is much higher. Prevent blocking any pathways by placing most of the furniture in a room against the walls. This allows a room to feel less cramped and maximizes the amount of open space. Chairs with exposed arms and legs and glass tables can also be some great design decisions; these let the light in the room to flow through the furniture uninterrupted.
The best furniture isn't only stylish- it can also serve a purpose. However, sometimes in our crowded quarters, it may not be reasonable to have one piece of furniture for every function. Get more bang for your buck with multifunctional furniture. Ottomans that double as extra seating and storage, mirrors that hold your jewelry, coffee tables that can convert to desks- these designs can adapt to fit your ever changing needs and reduce visible clutter. There are thousands of ingenious inventions like these out in the world now; incorporating even a couple of these in your home can do wonders for maximizing the space you have.
3. Playing with Colors
Ever wonder why hotels so often use only white linen? Sure, functionally speaking they may be easier to clean with bleach and match with other linen color-wise, but from an interior design standpoint, the all-white linens help create a timeless, high-end hotel look. The color white assures guests that the sheets are clean, fresh, and crisp, and it gives off an air of luxury, much like how people who wear white seem to give a sense of wealth because it suggests they have the means to keep their clothing clean and white. While this seems like an insignificant factor, it turns out that Westin's hotel designers conducted a study in the 90s demonstrating that guests preferred white bedding over other colors and suggesting that their overall experience and perception of the hotel improved with white sheets. So why not bring this experience back and apply it to our own homes? It's sure to be an effective design choice on our own beds and bathrooms. That doesn't mean everything has to be white of course; you can add pops of color to your space in the form of throw pillows, duvet covers, and wall art.
Another technique to fool the eye is to employ colors and contrast. Light hues on your walls will make your room look bigger and brighter. We recommend selecting softer tones like light dove grey, off-white, or sky blue to give the room an inviting effect. Afterwards, you can try painting the wall trim and crown moldings in an even lighter color than the walls to create the optical illusion that the walls are farther back, thus opening up the space and making your room look even larger. Meanwhile, you can also employ dark colors to your advantage. Painting your ceiling a darker color can add depth and make it look higher than it actually is.
4. Implement symmetry
Symmetry is a source of visual comfort and balance. Applying symmetry to our homes lends organization and order to our lives in the midst of the chaos in the outside world. You can make a room look both stable and inherently pleasing to the eye by using balance in the placement of furniture, decor, and other elements like color and size. Most rooms have a focal point through which an invisible axis can be drawn; symmetry makes use of this axis via mirrored arrangements on either side of it. For instance, in a master bedroom where the bed is the centerpiece, you can add identical table lamps atop matching nightstands on either side of the bed. This produces a harmonious effect on the flow of your space and reinforces attention to the most important element in the center of the room.
5. Lighten Things Up
Lighting is a key element in opening up a space. Adding light is an effective means of making your room look larger than its actual dimensions. More light equals more perceived space! That could mean swapping out your curtains for lighter-colored or sheer ones, or ditching the drapes entirely. This will not only give the appearance of bigger windows, but it will also allow for more sun to enter your home. Not to mention, a well-lit room will no doubt decrease stress and boost your mood. The beneficial effects of exposure to natural light on our bodies both physiologically and psychologically have been well-documented in medical literature.
Alternatively, you can make your space appear brighter by several other means. One trick could be using a high-gloss paint color for your walls. In the paint technology jargon, the gloss of a finish is measured by reflecting light off of specific angles, and the intensity of that reflected light is designated a gloss unit value. Glossier paints, compared to matte ones, have higher gloss units and reflect light unhindered after they dry. This gives you the opportunity to play around with different gloss values to give your walls certain depth and color perceptions. Another idea could be installing multiple light sources to illuminate your rooms, especially those that may not have windows. For example, you can opt to set floor lamps and desk lamps all over the place until every part of the room is well-lit. Additionally, the color of your furniture should also be considered when making decisions about your home's interior design. Lighter-colored and transparent furniture can improve the lighting level of your home, while dark furniture can interrupt the flow of light in a space and make rooms feel darker. Consider furniture made up of materials like glass, resin, and acrylic to achieve this optical illusion.