Interior design basics for beginners

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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If you've long had a passion for interior design but it scares you a tiny bit, we have the perfect article for you! It's not hard to get to grips with interior design basics, not when you know where to start, so we have created this handy beginners guide to help you find your feet and gain some confidence when it comes to planning a new decorating scheme.

All of our tips boil down to one thing; not running before you can walk. There is no shame in being a beginner, everyone is at some point, so let's start with the basics and go from there!

Plan extensively

Teddington Kitchen Extension: modern Dining room by A1 Lofts and Extensions
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Teddington Kitchen Extension

A1 Lofts and Extensions

Before you go anywhere near paint chips, rollers or a DIY shop, sit down and make sure you have a really definite plan in your mind. We're not being patronising when we say that, we just know that projects can evolve the more you think about them, so you need to know that you have reached your final plan.

Interior design basics don't get much more prescriptive than this, as until you know for sure what you want to create, you can't really get started. The planning stage should be much longer than the execution and if you want to create something as stunning and cohesive as this space, from A1 Lofts and Extensions, you need to be sure you have everything perfectly mapped out.

Stay simple

Again, we promise we aren't being condescending here, but keeping your plans nice and simple will minimise the chances of you straying into territory that you aren't entirely comfortable with. By keeping to interior design basics, you will be able to not only keep control of your project but also really pull in the costs too, so it's worth not doing anything too complex to start with.

Any design project will necessarily need a level of project management attached to it and if you plan to do that yourself, you need to be sure you can handle the pressure!

Opt for balance

modern Living room by Gaia Design
Gaia Design

Diseño Icónico

Gaia Design

Underlying any project is a need for balance, so regardless of what colour scheme you are planning or furniture style that you're opting for, as long as the room as a whole remains balanced and well blended, it will work. Take a look at this lovely living room and you'll see what we mean!

While black and white is a stark and hard to manage colour scheme, by keeping both colours equally matched and balanced, this space doesn't feel too austere or serious. The addition of different materials helps to break up the scheme too, with a fluffy rug and smooth leather seats contrasting perfectly and balancing each other out. Clever stuff!

Harmonise different zones

Open plan spaces can be a tricky thing to get right, especially if you are new to decorating and are only just getting to grips with interior design basics. Instead of having just one defined space to contend with, you'll have a vast open area, with multiple functionalities to combine and that can get confusing!

To ensure that each separate area works within the wider scheme, be sure to give them individual attention. Work to a selected colour palette and with designated materials and from there, seek to treat each zone as a unique entity, just within a wider scheme. That way, you won't bite off more than you can chew!

Retain practicality

Regardless of what room you are keen to try out your new found interior design basics knowledge in, make sure that your efforts don't overshadow the functionality of the room or space. When it comes to hallways, this is doubly important, as they are so often underused storage goldmines that if you seek to make them something super special, you might negate how useful they are altogether!

We think this arty installation is hitting all the right notes, as not only does it look fab, it also doubles up as a handy coat storage area! Now that is taking things to a professional level!

Follow a trend

When in doubt, get the inspiration out! Interior design basics can seem like a challenge to master, but if you are a keen student, we don't think you can go wrong by following some of the most fashionable trends around. There will be heaps of inspirational pictures to work from and you can get a real feel for your favourite supply shops and furniture makers, which will come in handy for other projects! 

We don't think you need any more help from us now, but just in case you do, take a look at this Ideabook: Mistakes To Avoid When Decorating. It's all very well knowing what you should do, but if you also know what to avoid, you'll be sure to succeed! Forewarned is forearmed, after all!

Do you feel a little more prepared to take on a new challenge? Is there a room in your home you plan on tackling? Let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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