Designing a Room With Light and Color

There are so many interior design tips available on designing a room and on the use of light and color that it is simpler to advise you on what you should not do, rather on what you should. It would also likely be more useful to you to be given advice on what to avoid than to have all that same advice regurgitated in different words.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls that many fall foul of, even when they do take the advice of the glossy magazines and TV shows.

1. Failure to Use Windows Properly

When designing a room, most people will choose a focal point and then work outwards. Whether that is a fireplace or an entertainment unit, they forget about the windows. They will set the furniture facing the focal point and work back from there, but why? Think of the light coming into your room, and how that affects its overall appearance. Think of your curtains or drapes, and how they are hung. Also, think of the windows themselves.

Most people tend to fix their curtain rails or rods immediately above the window – in fact attach them almost to the top of the frame! The lower your curtains, the lower your ceiling will seem and the smaller your room! In offering interior design tips on what to avoid, we must also provide some tips on what you should do, and one of these is to hang them high!

The higher you fix your curtain rails or rods, the higher your ceiling will appear. Fix your rods up to a foot above the top of the window and your room will look higher and you will also appear to get more light. Long curtains enhance the height of a room.

Another mistake, therefore, is to size your curtains too short or too narrow. Curtains should not be tight when closed, but fold gracefully to the floor – not 2-3 inches short of the floor, but right down to the floor and even lie on it. You can also introduce a color contrast by using side drapes, falling each side of your main curtains, but of a contrasting color. This can look very dramatic, and provide a vibrant look to this part of your room – the part where daylight comes in!

2. Too Much Clutter

Avoid clutter when choosing furniture, and try to resist buying accent pieces just because they look nice. Too many people have too much furniture so when moving around you have to make sure you don’t knock anything over. There should be at least 36 inch traffic space, and more of there is a wheelchair in the family.

Accessories, such as plant pots and lamps, should be selected to enhance the look of a room, not to fill it! When designing a room you can combine furniture, accent pieces and accessories as a reflection of your personal taste, but you should avoid using them just because you think you like them. If you must have certain pieces on display then use a curio cabinet or a display cabinet for them, and not every available flat surface.

If you have collections of figurines, curios or even sports trophies, corner cabinets and curio cabinets are ideal for these. You can display your collections without upsetting the overall interior design of your home.

3. Poor Use of Color

Many people do a great job with the furnishings and furniture but fall down by leaving everything looking drab and lifeless. Every room needs some color to make it alive, even if just one or two beautiful paintings or prints, or brightly colored curtains. For example, brown or beige curtains can be livened up by hanging a pair of orange drapes either side of the main curtains. It’s amazing what a foot of bright drapes either side of a 6-foot expanse of brown can do for a room!

Don’t make the mistake of being afraid to use bright colors when designing a room. There are no interior design rules that say you cannot use color! Paint your walls lilac if you love lilac, or at least one wall – the rest can be white or beige, but not them all! One orange wall to match your orange drapes would look good – and arrange your lighting to accentuate your colorful accessories and accent pieces. Spotlights are good for highlighting paintings and other individual items.

Finally, choose the furniture. This should suit the general decor of your interior design rather than clash with it. It should fit the room without being overpowering or too insignificant. The fabric or leather colors should match the room or offer a contrast. However, designing a room is more than just about furniture, and the above interior design tips should help you avoid the more common mistakes.