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Interior Design Basics

Mar 25, 2008
Whether you are decorating an empty apartment or just looking to freshen up an existing space, there are some key design basics that might help you make sure your room looks and functions the way you envision. Factors such as your budget, lifestyle, and family size will all play a part in the design decisions you make.

Before you begin

Before you start shopping for new furniture or accessories, take a minute to think about exactly what you want out of your room and what limitations you might be facing. You might have structural challenges you need to work around or an existing color scheme that cannot be changed. Consider the following various factors:

1. Lifestyle

How will the space be used?
How many people will be using space on a regular basis?
Will the space be used for entertaining?
Does the space need to be child friendly?

2. Existing design elements

Is there already furniture in the room? Will it be staying?
What color are the walls? Do the walls have to remain white?
How many pieces that will be used in the room do you own already?
Does the room have adequate storage? Do you need more storage?

3. Possible constraints

Do you rent? If so, what kinds of changes are allowed by your landlord?
Are there any built in features already?
Are you planning on moving in the near future?
Will the room have multiple functions?

Narrowing your choices

Once you have evaluated your current situation, decide what color scheme you would like to develop. Look through magazines and collect clippings of the style you are working towards to further develop your vision of how the space will look and feel once it is finished. It may help if you draw a floor plan to help you remember exact dimensions as well as door and window placement. Once you have an idea of what elements you need, review your budget and prioritize where the bulk of the money will be spent and where money could be saved if needed. Once you have prioritized the primary elements of the room, make a schedule of the various steps involved and make sure you do them in the easiest order.

Design Phase

Before you begin choosing furniture, fabrics and rugs, determine whether or not you will be doing any structural work to the space. Changing dimensions and flow from other rooms can really alter your design choices. Once you know exactly how the room will look structurally, you can start to choose the actual design pieces that will occupy the room. Begin with a furniture placement plan that appeals to you. After completing this step you or your designer can choose styles and colors. If you have a particular focal point you will be using, such as a picture, build the room around it. Now it is time to shop. You can start with the floor, the walls, or the furniture, but it is best to select all fabrics, flooring, and paint colors before making any purchases.
About the Author
Beyond Furniture is a leading retailer of designer furniture. We have dining tables, sofas, coffee tables, bedroom furniture and everything in between. So if you like unique contemporary furniture come and visit our website.
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