How to Reduce or Eliminate Your Mistakes in Interior Design and Decorating

We all reside in houses of one kind or another. When furnished, whether well done or not, they constitute the environment in which we spend the great part of our lives. These environments influence us continually and profoundly.

To the degree that your home is beautiful and comfortable affects us favorably and provides a wonderful haven for recuperation of mind and body. It also facilitates a richer and more satisfying life. To the degree that it is uncomfortable and lacking in beauty, it provides the exact opposite. This can develop into a potentially devastating degree.

As you can see, a properly furnished home is a very significant matter. It affects your life, as well as your attitude and ambitions. Your home should be an environment that is as supportive of your life as possible. Therefore, knowledge of how to furnish a house properly is very meaningful.

Beauty and comfort in a home do not result from chance or happen by accident. They result from the proper application of a reasoned process. Two quotes on the back of my business card illustrate this perfectly. They are the foundations of my business philosophy. Firstly, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” Secondly, “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”

Transforming a blank canvas into a picture or carving a block of stone into a beautiful sculpture is comparatively less creative of an endeavor than transforming an empty house into a place of beauty and comfort. The major distinction between the painting or sculpture and a house is that you are looking at the artwork. In the home you are not only looking at the interiors, but you’re also enveloped in them. Therefore, interior design and decoration is also an art of selection and arrangement in a three-dimensional environment. This will require knowledge, appreciation, discrimination, and good judgment. Since interior design is a part of architecture, like a hand in a glove, it differs from painting and sculpture in that it has a very practical aim. Your home must not only look good, but function well. Being supportive of your lifestyle is the end goal.

When you set out to furnish your home, you face a threefold problem.

You must select and arrange items that suit the age, sex, and temperament of the individuals; whether one or many, as well as meet the needs, express the tastes and aspirations, and fit the budget.
You must see to it that the furniture and accessories are selected and arranged to suit the home in terms of scale, proportion, coloring, and style. It may be eclectic, transitional, traditional, or contemporary.
Finally, you must see to it that these things are not only suitable, but also good-looking and aesthetically pleasing. In addition, they must all combine to form a harmonious and beautiful whole.

The treatment of your house and each room within it involves the interplay of three factors, which I differentiate as the personal, the architectural, and the aesthetic. No decorative problem, however simple or complex, can be solved correctly and appropriately unless each of these factors is properly considered and given their due importance in order to achieve ideal results.

Even though the personal factor is of extreme importance, the architectural factor is one of the first things taken into account. The size and other physical characteristics of the rooms will determine what goes into them.

The personal factor is critical from the point that houses are for people, and a house exists to make adequate provision for the satisfaction, needs, and preferences of the individuals that will inhabit it. The prior statement is simple common sense, yet professionals as well as nonprofessionals ignore it frequently. Many look at it as “decorating” without due consideration for personal aspects relative to the real needs and preferences of the occupants.

This is not about fads or the newest craze! You must never forget that if you choose to disregard the personal factor, or make it of subordinate importance, you will pay the price in loss of comfort and beauty. If your main concern is to comply with the newest fad or craze of the hour, you may experience an hour’s satisfaction. But you will most assuredly fail in achieving any dignity and individuality, or the fine flavor of distinction found only in homes whose decoration and design are established on the studied needs and tastes of the occupants.

As far as the aesthetic factor is concerned, making the furnishings fit the house is also of great importance as well as making them fit the people who live there. A properly furnished home meets all the real needs, both practical and aesthetic, of all the occupants, and relates them to the architectural factors as well. This paves the way for a pleasing and harmonious composition that is unique and personal.

Briefly, here is what you need to consider. Imagine three intersecting circles. I’ll name them Circle A, Circle B, and Circle C. Circle A represents the total number of things available, without reference to their suitability, and are intrinsically good-looking, or pleasing in an aesthetic way. Circle B represents the total number of items that would satisfy your personal requirements. Circle C is the total number of elements that would satisfy the architectural requirements. The small area where all three circles intersect is the “sweet spot.” This specifies the total amount of items and elements that are capable of satisfying all the conditions… the personal, the aesthetic, and the architectural. The remaining are the choices that you are limited to, in order to create the most holistic design possible. This will eliminate all the “fluff” and potential errors that could ruin your surroundings.

Dream big and allow yourself potentially wonderful results that greatly enrich your life!

Steven C. Adamko is the owner and founder of Spectrum Interiors, established in 1982.

All of Steve’s designs are personally tailored to the client with the result being an “Orchestrated Ambiance” that is seen, felt, understood, and experienced. He works in a broad range and spectrum of residential and commercial interior design, as well as furniture and lighting design. His services also include Teleseminars, Webinars and Seminars.

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The Use of Color to Express Personality in Your Interior Design and Decorating

Nothing is more personal than color! Nothing expresses your personality with clearer or more unmistakable attraction than color. The primary and secondary colors are six in all, with three colors per category. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors, which are combinations of the primary colors, are orange, green, and violet.

Color is a very deep and complex subject from the following the viewpoints: scientifically, emotionally, visually, spiritually, and intellectually. It touches every aspect of our lives with meaning and symbolism. Therefore, it is helpful to understand color and how it impacts your life. Your understanding of color does not have to be at the PhD level. Just a good, solid, basic understanding will do.

First and foremost, color has its source in light, and natural light comes from the sun. Therefore, color is how you light it! Color is perceived based on the source of light that is used to illuminate objects, and the way color is absorbed and reflected back to your eye.

Color can be described in three terms… Hue, Value, and Intensity.

Hue means the name of the color. Value means the relative lightness or darkness of a color. Intensity means how dull or vivid the color is.

Red suggests fire and blood. It is associated with activity, aggression, and passion. It is interesting to know that the aggressive and advancing quality of red makes a room in which it is used seem smaller in appearance.

Yellow looks most like the sun, as it expresses the quality that the sun seems to give out. With light and warmth from the sun, we are cheered as well as made more light-hearted. Yellow in a room will produce similar feelings under normal conditions.

Blue has an opposite effect from red. Its’ reactions are restraint, coolness, repose, and distance. By association, one thinks of a clear blue sky and the cool breezes from the blue waters of the ocean.

Orange is always warm and advancing, as well as cheerful, vibrant, and glowing. To a lesser degree, orange has some of the effects of the colors red and yellow.

Green is the union of yellow and blue, and expresses the qualities of both. Nothing could be more restful, soothing, and agreeable than the cheering and cooling effects of a seat in the shade upon the green grass under luxuriant green trees, in the middle of a hot day. It is easy to see the practical application of this in decorative art and interiors. In a sense, it is almost a neutral, as it is a great backdrop color for any other color, as evidenced in nature.

Violet, or purple, historically has been the color of royalty, as well as a color that represents intelligence and creativity. It has the qualities of red and blue.

Incomplete as the above descriptions are, they’re sufficient to establish the point that personal qualities or individual character traits can definitely be expressed in terms of color, or hue.

Value, the second attribute of color, is the quality of lightness or darkness of a color. It relates to a multi-step gray-scale; from white, through increasingly darker shades of gray, to black. A tint is a value lighter than a color’s normal value. For example, pink is a tint of the color red. A shade is a value darker than a color’s normal value. Maroon is a shade of the color red.

Intensity is the third quality of color. This aspect is the most important of all for a proper understanding of interior design and decoration. This quality determines how brilliant or how forceful a color tone is. Softer and less aggressive tones are called neutral or neutralized colors.

The most valuable question in using color decoratively is that which relates to the distribution and correct placing of neutralized colors in relation to the more intense ones. The biggest errors in the whole realm of color, used in interior decoration, are committed in this area. The following two major principles will clarify this matter for you:

“Backgrounds should be less intense in color than objects that are to appear against them in any decorative way.” What this means is that walls, ceilings, and floors must be less intense in color than hangings, upholstery, pictures, and other decorative aspects.
“The larger the color area the less intense it should be, and the smaller the area the more intense it may be.” According to this principle, hangings and large rugs must normally be less intense in color than toss pillows, lampshades, decorative ceramics, and other accessories. These fundamental ideologies also apply to fashion. For example, for a man, a red necktie is more appealing than a red suit. For a woman, a red flower or ribbon is more decorative on a black stylish hat than a gray ribbon would be on a red hat.

Even the slightest attempt at using color discloses its’ power to express your personality. With a little knowledge and wisdom, you can use it to your best advantage.

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Low Cost Interior Design and Decorating Tips

Thinking of a home or office renovation, but worried about the cost of the interior designing and decorating? Do you think you can’t afford to spend much on the interior designing but wish for an elegant make over for your room? You don’t have to get vexed about not having too much money to spend on your decoration, because you can do a fabulous job of decorating your house without spending much of your pennies, if you do it wise.

Plan your budget
Low or high, you should always have a specific budget plan for your work, rather than saying ‘I want the room’s interior design to be done at a low cost it is better to have an idea of how much you are ready to spend. Coming to the correct value may not be possible but giving an almost accurate estimate will always help. Divide your budget under different task like, $ 100 for new furniture, $ 50 for paint etc rather than quoting the whole amount. But remember your budget plan should be realistic and should be strictly followed for a successful low cost interior designing.

Be the interior designer yourself
Hiring a firm or a specialist to do the makeover might give you a completely remarkable room or office, but remember the more established they are, the more you will end up paying them for the service alone. So it is best to take your imagination into play and come up with how much you are going to spent and what would have to be changed or introduced. You can refer articles in magazines or the internet to get ample ideas on how to do the job at minimum cost.

Shop low and wide
You are planning to decorate the interiors of the room, so it calls for full day fun shopping. Are you aware that most of the goods you buy at the branded Shoppe may be available at an unbelievably slashed price in local shops and auction houses? So take your time to hunt in the second hand shops, bargain market and any shop with a year ending sale or shop renovation sale sign board. You are going to hit on something great at an unbelievable price. But just getting the thing at a low price should not tempt you to buy it; you should buy only those things you came to shop for. Otherwise, the low priced shopping experience will turn to a conflicting one.

Get your things auctioned
If you are renovating the place, you may have to remove a piece of furniture, curtains and a lot of junk you may no longer require. Rather than shifting them to the storeroom, you can get these things sold at a low price to get a tip on your budget; you can either auction it or sell it to a second hand shop. Remember your stuff might not fetch much, but removing these will help you to de clutter the room and at the same time get a small raise on your budget. But if you are doing the interior designing and decorating from start, don’t worry for not having anything to sell; you can have an option of choosing very wisely and designing the room afresh with no time loss.

Reuse your stuff
You can use a lot of things at hand in a novel and creative way to make the interior designing a fun and creative experience. You can make a cushion cover out of your old curtain by stitching together the pieces but while choosing the fabric, see to it that it either gives an arresting effect to the otherwise blunt room or else combine with the mood of it. You can also use an old piece of furniture and polish it to make a centrepiece of the room. Your grandmother’s chest drawer can boast the main attraction in your drawing room if you space it well and take care to project it.

Decorative pieces
Decorative items and wall painting can come in any range and sometimes it may cost you a fortune. But it’s not just costly decorative pieces and antique collections that can make your interior boast a good appearance. You can use a family portrait or a painting your little one did to give a new look to the walls. These paintings and photos don’t just come free, they are worthless and just a good frame will do the job. Similarly you can also use decorative candles and gift pieces in a creative way to change the face of your room.

An extra coat of paint
An extra coat of paint can always give a facelift to a room. Interior designing is never complete without a well painted wall. Choose the same shade of paint as your previous one as getting a new shade will require more coats of the paint and hence it will increase the cost of painting. But you can do a contrasting shade on just one wall if you are bored with the ‘same old paint’ this not just give a new face to the room, it also saves a bit on the paint.

Keep it simple
Be it kitchen, bedroom, office or study; keep the room as simple as possible. Reduce the number of furniture and extra piece of couch to give your room a neat, organised, spacious and new look. Your rooms and office should also have a touch of your personality so work on it.

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How to Find the Right Designer for Your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.”

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!

How do I maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do I find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

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Cheap Interior Design and Decoration

Most people spend a lot of money for the interior design. Sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Can someone make a beautiful interior design and decoration without spending a lot of money? Of course he can. I do not claim that the result will be the same with an interior design made by a professional and getting the most expensive furniture, but you can have a “good” result with just a few money. Some people take loans in order to decorate their house. This is unacceptable for me.

Here are some ideas for cheap decoration and interior.

1) Take a used sofa and get some nice covers. It will look very nice, believe me. Even if the sofa is partially damaged nobody will notice. But you must be careful just to be comfortable, and not to be damaged and have problems when someone is going to sit. I am talking about visual damages that will be covered by the covers.

2) Use many pictures on your wall to fill it instead of getting expensive furniture. A picture can replace a lot of things. It also makes the room look bigger as it does not require any space. In children rooms and bedrooms you can even use cheap posters. Posters also have the plus that you can put on the wall whatever you like, for example your favourite singer or band, your favourite team etc.

For the living room it is not good to use posters. You need normal pictures with frames. But don’t worry there are also cheap pictures, unless you want to buy an original painting. But why should you do that? who will understand if the painting is original or not. Unless you invite in your house art experts. But even in this occasion you can not impress them anyway without spending a lot of money, so concentrate on the appearance and the interior design.

How to choose a picture for your living room and how to place it is an other topic that will need time to mention now. If you want to see more you can visit my website and find completely free interior design and decorating ideas. I don’t try to make money from that, just share my ideas. Maybe you should also have a look there. And remember do not spend money if you don’t have money. You can make wonderful things with just a few hundreds dollars!

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