When it comes to decor, you don’t have to be an expert to have a home that looks well put together. But there are a few basic rules that designers follow that make a room feel balanced and cohesive. These designer secrets aren’t hard to apply and will take a space from merely functional to absolutely fabulous. Try these five interior design tips to make any room look better.
1. Find Your Focal Point
Every room needs an anchor. That stand-out feature that draws your attention and helps set the tone for the space. Designers call this a focal point, and it should be the first thing you notice when you walk into the room.
Some rooms have a natural focal point such as a fireplace, large window or interesting architectural feature. But if there isn’t an obvious focal point, you can create one with art, a large piece of furniture or by adding an architectural feature such as built-ins or an accent wall. Once you establish a focal point, use it as an axis to create balance when arranging your furniture.
2. Stick to A Color Scheme
Not having a cohesive color scheme can leave your home feeling choppy and haphazard. That doesn’t mean your whole home should be the exact same color, but you should have colors that work together to create flow from room to room.
To help you create a color palette you love, let someone else do the legwork! Find a piece of fabric or artwork that you’re drawn to and pull colors from there. Choose a main, secondary and accent color from the pattern or artwork and then follow the 60-30-10 rule to get the balance right.
3. Choose the Right Size Rug
One of the most common interior design mistakes is choosing an area rug that’s too small for the room. The right size area rug can help anchor the room or define a space in an open concept home. But if the rug is too small, the room will feel disjointed and the furniture will feel like it’s floating around.
Use these tips to help ensure you get the right size rug for each room:
- Unless you have a very small space, living room rugs should be a minimum of 8’ x 10’. The rug should be large enough to fit at least the two front feet of each piece of furniture on the rug.
- A dining room rug should be large enough to fit all dining chairs when they’re pulled out from the table.
- Bedroom rugs should extend at least 2 feet around the bed. Aim for an 8’ x 10’ for a queen-size bed and a 9’ x 12’ for a king.
4. Move Your Artwork Down
Even the most beautiful room can look off if the art is hung incorrectly. The two most common art mistakes are artwork that is too high or art that is too small for the space. Art should generally be hung at eye level, but since we’re all different heights, the center of the picture should be about 60-65” from the floor. If you’re hanging a group of pictures, the center of the whole collection should be at 60-65”.
Since large artwork can be expensive, people often shy away from big pieces that are the right scale for the space. But small artwork just looks lost and out of place on a large wall. It’s rare that a piece is ever too big, so always go bigger when possible.
5. Move Your Curtains Up
Hanging curtains too low is another common interior design mistake. Hanging curtains right above the window frame makes your windows seem smaller and reduces the amount of natural light in the room. Instead, move your curtains up and out.
Hang curtain rods about 2” below the ceiling and allow them to extend at least 6” past the window frame. This will ensure your curtains can open fully to allow the maximum amount of natural light in the room. And choose curtains that are long enough to reach the floor to create the illusion of much larger windows.
With just a few simple adjustments, you can take your home decor up a level. Apply these five interior design tips to make any room in your home look better.