You would think that since I studied at college to be a graphic designer that I would be good at all manor of art. This, I am afraid, is just not true. I just know that my home never really looked very well put together, but it has been hard to know why.
First thing I have had to learn is about picking colors. With both fashion and Interior design, the color choices are often much more complicated than that from 2D design. When I design a book, flyer, corporate identity, or anything, I typically use about three or less primary colors. Some other colors show up in photos or illustrations, but the over all look should have three colors or less. Somehow this is not always the case in fashion or interior design. Fortunately, the more I researched, the more I found that classier and more sophisticated styles were more simplified in color scheme. I like simple elegant designs and fashion so this makes me very happy. I also really like all neutral colors (wood, metal, gray, tans, white, and black) with one bright (like pink or green). That should do it right?
Now we deal with texture. Texture is paying attention to what something is made of. The less colors you use, the more texture variety you will want. Another words, you don’t want every thing in your house the same color wood. Light tan walls, light wood furniture, natural weave rug, and copper picture frames would all be in the browns family, but still look really interesting. You want interesting. Too much matching become boring and still doesn’t look good. Drat!
OK. So we got colors chosen, we are mixing textures, but it still doesn’t look good! That is because there is the need for focal points. This is soooo much easier to do in 2D design than in 3D! Every room needs one major focal point (like a fireplace, nicely done window dressing, major piece of art/furniture, or media center). Then you need some minor focal points in a larger area like the living room. Most bedrooms will have the bed as your focal point. Everything else in the room should point to or enhance the impact of the bed. This is typically done by balancing two night stands on either side of the bed and putting a piece of art over the bed. In the living room, typically all the furniture points to the fireplace or media center. If you have space, it is good to have a minor focal point on each wall or space out around the room such as bright colored throw pillows, nice widow dressing, pretty art. Don’t let these minor focal points take away from the main focus. Try to have an ebb and flow to the room. Neutral walls and furniture, exciting window or art piece. Have neutral bookshelves balance on either side of a fireplace with interesting statue between the books. Neutral sofa with interesting throw pillows cause a clear sense of style.
The best way to test all this out before buying anything is to create a mood board. A mood board is where you take pictures and samples of all you want to put in a room, tape it to a board color the same as the walls of your room and see if it looks good together. The samples don’t need to be in the shape of a curtain or rug or chair. In fact, the more abstract the samples are the more you will be able to tell if the colors and textures go together.
Now, hopefully, I will have a well put together house when I move!