The Ten Commandments of Interior Design

Your room should express your personal style.  But how do you know what that is?  Here are a few tips that will help you think about style.  Take a little time with this process, work with your designer and put the entire profile together.  Remember, the process is a conversation — don’t rush it!

1.  Discover your personal style. Read the shelter magazines and cruise design sites on the web.  Start a style and idea folder (Pinterest!) of rooms you love.  Don’t be afraid to incorporate items (furniture, art, whatever) from different design styles — mix and match. This eclectic look enriches the look of a room. Learn what inspires you. And, refuse to be categorized! This relates directly to the next point:

2.  Its all about you. Though you want to be proud of your room, don’t worry about your neighbor. While styles and trends are great ways to get new ideas to spruce up a room, don’t base your entire design around what you think will impress your guests. Consider your hobbies, activities and passions.  Do you have existing furniture or possessions that should be incorporated?  Make sure that your style is uniquely yours. Remember-you have to live with your design choices every day, not your neighbors!

3.  Don’t settle. Don’t just buy things to fill the room.  Better to do without for a short period of time than put the wrong piece in and then have to live with it.  It will be well worth the wait when you’ve assembled a room made up of things you love.

4.  Work to a plan. Using an accurate floor plan and then adding in all the elements of your design plan is the best way to ensure a great design. It allows you to spread out your purchases and still achieve the cohesive look that you’re after. It allows you to learn as you go! However, remember that no plan survives contact with reality. You too should be prepared to be flexible over the course of your room project.

5.  Embrace color. Color is one of the best ways to to add warmth and personality in a room. Even in a neutral room! Find what shades make you happy and use them to add some life to your room. Small rooms are a great place to make a dramatic color statement.

6.  Don’t worry about the New-New-New. Like most everyone, we love to work with the new colors and fabrics, and we’ll try to keep you updated on them.  However, make sure that your style is uniquely yours. Great design is timeless.

7.  Lighting is crucial. In addition to the functional aspects, lighting also helps to set the mood or add design to a room. Try different types of lighting, such as incandescent or halogen, or use lighting fixtures, such as sconces and chandeliers as part of your design theme.

8.   Consider your options for your walls. Wall art doesn’t need to be expensive — it needs to please you.  Framed personal photographs tell about people and places that hold great meaning for you.  Incorporate art.  Selected wall art can reinforce your colors and design… and bring unequaled depth to your room. Consider putting a mirror in every room! And expand your definition of art: any unique item can be art in your room!

9.  Ceilings need love too. Add crown molding or paint the ceiling a slightly lighter shade of the same color. If there is no crown molding in a room, there is no reason to not extend the color on the walls into the ceiling to create a cohesive, never-ending look to the room.  Just be sure to choose a ¼ lighter shade of paint on the ceiling since horizontal planes tend to look darker than vertical planes.

10.  Consider flow. Open floor plans make color flow and design flow more important than ever.  No room is an island.  Some colors complement each other and work wonderfully together.  Others just seem jarring and uncomfortable when used together.  Help with color families is widely available on the web or from our designers.
Design styles should also flow from one room to another.  All surface textures and finishes should be considered in your plan and be used to draw the design elements of one room into another.

Of course, choosing a furniture store partner is crucial to the design process.  If you choose by Design we don’t intend to let you down in any of the important points above.  We help people discover their personal style every day.  We would love to help you.