The 10 Commandments of Interior Design

10 commandments of interior design may be a bit strong. But there are rules of thumb that work. 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. Above all, accumulate a lot of options for yourself. 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.

Have you taken our Design Style Quiz? It might help to sharpen your focus on the looks you love:


But… 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. Styles and trends are great ways to get new ideas to spruce up a room. But, 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. Never just buy things to fill the room.  (Make no mistake, we love to sell stuff). But, better to do without for a short period of time than put the wrong piece in. Then you have to live with it.  It will be well worth the wait. Assemble a room made up of things you love.

4.  Work to a plan. This is one of the most important of the 10 Commandments of Interior Design. Create an accurate floor plan and then add in all the elements of your design. What is more, a plan empowers 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 battle plan survives contact with reality. 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. Indeed, even a neutral room is made of colors! Find what shades make you happy and use them to add some life to your room. Smaller rooms can get too busy. However, 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 great design. 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. Use lighting fixtures, such as sconces and chandeliers as part of your design theme. Be sure your light comes from different heights and directions.

8.   Consider your options for your walls. Wall art doesn’t need to be expensive – it needs to please you.  For instance, framed personal photographs tell about people and places that hold great meaning for you. Selected wall art can reinforce your colors and design. What is more, art brings unequaled depth to your room. Consider putting a mirror in every room! Most importantly, expand your definition of art. Any unique item can be art in your room!

9.  Ceilings need love too. Ceilings are boring. Chiefly because of their lack of… anything. Maybe add crown molding? Or paint the ceiling a slightly lighter shade of the same color! Consider this alternative: 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. This works because 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.  The good news is that help with color families is widely available on the web or from our designers. Design styles should also flow from one room to another.  Consider all surface textures and finishes in your plan. Use them to draw the design elements of one room into another.

Those are our 10 Commandments of Interior Design. Of course, choosing a furniture store partner is crucial to the design process.  To sum up, 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. All things considered, that is our highest mission. We would love to help you.

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10 commandments of interior design