While Interior Design is essentially your personality manifested externally in color and shapes, and there really is no set guidelines, interior design does have a few basic tips that everyone can easily benefit from. Understanding these simple solutions can make your road into your project much smoother.
Lift Your Spirits with Flowers & Plants
Plants not only add vivid pops of color, but studies have shown that the presence of a plant greatly increase your mood.
Although many florists charge a lot for plants, you can still find great flowers at bargain prices. This exact phalaenopsis silk orchid can be purchased at walmart.com for only $28.
Choose Furniture with Function
If we can pull occasional overtime shifts, than why can't your furniture? Choosing furniture pieces that work harder than their less complex counterparts brings a solid return on your small extra investment. Things like plastic beds lifters ($13) create vertical space under your bed, while ottoman coffee tables can function as a footrest, a coffee table AND storage! Be sure to not only look online, but on your locals craigslist.org listings.
Try an Accent Wall
Paint is by far the most affordable design tool available, so go for it! Evaluate your current colors. Do you see a tiny hint of yellow that could used popped out? Do you simply adore your rich jewel toned furniture and want to play on those tones? Or do you want to paint the wall a completely different color that's not already in your floor plan at all? Go to any hardware store in your area and ask for sample sizes to try before you commit. If you own a printer, you could also check out paint distributors websites to find their catalogs and simply print your own swatches. Painting an accent wall is also a lot cheaper and less time consuming than painting an entire room.
Breathe Life Into an Old Fireplace
Has your fireplace not been touched since 1985? Has it been painted over, or possibly buried under years of various building renovations? No problem! A floating shelf can restore it's once pristine mantel, while candles can provide you with a soft warm glow. For that super realistic fireplace feeling, try purchasing a fire light & sound maker, and hide it behind a fold-able wire screen. Are you dying for a fireplace, but your apartment is lacking one? Try searching for a "faux fireplace" or "faux fireplace frame" in your local classifieds or online.
Start at The Start!
The entry way, or the wall that faces you when you walk in, is the perfect place to focus your efforts if you are on a tight budget. Adding a mirror creates depth, as well as functionality.
Do you have that one endtable that just doesn't seem to match anything you own? Paint it. Place it there. Add a lamp, candles or some picture frames to create a welcome home feeling. Search your closet for an unused basket or container, and use it for your keys.
Swap out Doorknobs and Handles
Don't have the time to re-do your entire kitchen? Changing the knobs, pulls and handles can create an astonishing effect in a very short amount of time. Align your choices with your kitchen accessories, furniture and wall colors. Shiny polished silver accessories can make your mundane white cabinets look sparking new, while brass can create dramatic effects on warm-toned or wood floored interiors.
Let the Outside Inside
When choosing paint or window treatment colors, it's important to consider not only what's inside the unit, but what is outside! Do you have a water view? A busy cityscape? A lush garden? Matching a main color from the outside can help unify your space with the outside world. When in doubt, sky blue is usually a comfortable room color, matching well with the sky.
Experiment with Lighting
Lighting is next to Godliness when it comes to decorating. Harsh industrial white ceiling lights can literally kill a mood, while soft dim lights can set the tone for yourself and your guests. Types of shades can not only pair with your interior, but create various lighting effects as well. The placement of the fixtures can also create instant changes. Try adding an accent light to the wall to shine focus on a favorite piece of artwork, or hanging a large paper light from the ceiling as your room's new focal point. Ask your hardware store about switches and plugs with adjustable dimmers for instant drama. Indoor/Outdoor Lantern Candles ($10)