8 Basic Rules for Interior Design

Written by Amelia Grant

The abundance of modern design styles allows you to decorate your living space by your preferences. There are so many options that it seems that the choice is limited only by fantasy. But in fact, there are certain rules of interior design, which can help you create the room, hall, apartment, or house of your dreams.

Learn 8 basic rules of interior design that can help you create a trendy and convenient living space. 

1. Purpose and functionality of the room

One of the main factors in design is the purpose of a particular room. The daily routine, age, gender, occupation of each family member is important here. An adult’s bedroom is designed in a completely different way than a nursery, and a living room or kitchen of a large family differs from a small family. 

You need to start with the layout. You should think about what rooms are needed in general, is it possible to equip a dressing room, office, or separate bedroom for each child. Also, you will probably need to combine some areas like a kitchen with a dining room, a bedroom with an office, a balcony with a living room, or choose a trendy “open space.”

2. Finishing materials

In interior design, you can use natural or artificial, or combine them. Abundant stucco molding carved textured decor, an abundance of arches, little-functional ledges, significantly reduce the room, therefore they should be used extremely carefully. Modern interiors strive for practicality – the simpler and cheaper, the better. 

Modern designers choose plastered walls, instead of wallpaper, easily washable tiles or dense linoleum, instead of intricate parquet that needs specific care, a stretch film or suspended ceiling that does not require whitewashing, hiding extra wires.

Materials are chosen depending on the purpose of the rooms: no stone or ceramics are used in the bedroom or living room because these materials are too cold. For the nursery, only natural, environmentally friendly materials of non-marking colors are required. For the bathroom, hallway, and kitchen choose materials that can be easily cleaned.

3. Colors and textures

The interior colors create the mood of the room. Calm tones relax and tune in to rest, while bright tones invigorate and set a working mood. For this reason, bright colors should not be used in bedrooms, bathrooms, or overused in the hall. A neutral, monochrome color scheme looks boring, therefore needs some contrasts. 

Keep in mind that vast spaces with high ceilings and several large windows should be decorated with dark, cold colors. For the cramped, narrow rooms, with a low or medium ceiling, with a single small window, it is recommended to choose materials of light, warm colors. So, the limited area visually becomes more spacious, excessively spacious become more cozy and comfortable.

The texture often depends on the chosen interior style. It can be smooth or have pronounced roughness. It is recommended that the color or texture unite most of the objects in the room.

4. Plants

People, wherever they live, always strive to be closer to nature. Even a small potted flower can improve the interior and fill the room with a pleasant smell during flowering, and some plants can help to get rid of annoying insects. If an empty corner remains in the room, a large living plant can be placed there (palm tree, ficus, large cactus, aloe, nephrolepis, or decorative liana.) In the back of the room, on the northern windows, you can place shade-tolerant plants, on the south side place light-loving cacti and other succulents.

Plants are selected depending on the interior design:

  • For the classic interior choose begonia, ivy, cisus, ficuses, violets 
  • For Provence choose cyclamen, primrose, bell, and myrtle 
  • For Japanese – portulacaria, akkuba, juniper, or camellia
  • For a loft – sansevieria, cereus cactus, thuja tree
  • For minimalism – lithops, large-leaved ficuses, certain types of aloe

5. Black color

The black color scheme is strict and laconic, bold and mysterious. It combines well with any other color for crisp contrasts. But they should not be overused. The abundance of dark tones, especially in small spaces, creates a gloomy, oppressive impression, and narrows the space. In the expensive, noble interiors, solid materials in black color are used (wood, stone, metals, tinted glass, as well as fabrics – velvet, silk, polyester, jacquard, wool, etc.)

6. Correct lighting

The right lighting is one of the most important aspects of interior design. With the help of light, you can change the appearance of the space, but also significantly expand it. It is recommended to use several types of lamps in each room. A central ceiling chandelier, a dimmable lamp above each logical zone, decorative LED lighting along baseboards, cornices, and individual pieces of furniture. 

Do not ignore the natural light. You can install windows with a panoramic view to visually expand the space and fill it with natural light. It isn’t recommended to block the window, strongly “curtain” it in the daytime. When writing, reading, or working at a computer, the light for a right-handed person should fall on the left, for a left-handed person – on the right. Diffused lighting is used near the bed, the children’s room is sufficiently illuminated completely.

7. Furniture

Good furniture should be comfortable, safe, and attractive. It is selected for a certain style of the interior – many firms sell furniture in whole sets: “for the bedroom”, “for the living room”, “for the bathroom”, etc. During the arrangement, you need to choose the center of the composition. It isn’t recommended to put furniture close to the walls. Leave at least 15-20 cm to freely clean dust. Besides, such an interior looks more voluminous. 

If you have enough space, part of the furniture can be placed in the middle of the room. The smaller the room, the less cumbersome furniture is selected. Instead, choose transparent objects made of glass and plastic that will add airiness to the room. So that the interior doesn’t look boring, add elements of various shapes. But increasingly voluminous and carved furniture is suitable only for spacious rooms.

Modern manufacturers offer a huge selection of built-in, transformable, modular furniture – a wardrobe bed, a folding sofa that easily converts into a sleeping place or a sofa with a pair of pouf chairs, an attic bed, a kitchen set with additional pull-out work surfaces or a folding bar counter. It is important to organize a sufficient number of storage places in the apartment.

8. Selection of accessories and decorative elements

You don’t need a lot of decor and accessories. Two or three sofa pillows, framed wall pictures, a couple of family photos, several figurines on the mantelpiece, a bright organizer on the wall in the hallway, or a cactus on the windowsill will be enough. You shouldn’t clutter your house excessively. Get rid of a collection of toys from kinder surprises, souvenirs from other countries, and other things that clutter your living space. 

A bunch of jars of cosmetics, medicines, and what “maybe come in handy”, but not needed even once in the last year, should be thrown out. Leave just a few things that are most dear to the heart.

© 2022, Amelia Grant. All rights reserved.

Share This Article
I am Amelia Grant, a journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness, and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone. Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.
Leave a comment

Latest News

Top 5 This Week


Health & Wellbeing