Whether you are redesigning an area of your home on your own or working with an Interior Designer, there’s the temptation to jump in and get started right away, without doing much research or leg work. While the excitement to get a project going might be high, it’s important to take the time to carefully consider a few things first. Knowing what you want from the space plays a big role in coming up with the best possible design for it.
One of the most important considerations when planning a room’s design is how that space will be used. If you’re designing a bathroom, for example, you want to think about whether it will be used by an adult couple, by a family with several children or by guests only.
How you arrange the furniture and other objects in the space determines the flow of it. Ideally, you’ll want a space that has a gentle flow, so that things don’t seem crowded. There should be room for people to move easily among the furniture, without having the space be too sparse.
Lighting is incredibly important when it comes to designing a space. Depending on the room, you might have an ample amount of natural light to work with, or you might have to bring in sources of artificial light. Having too much light can be just as bad as having too little light. A room that is too bright can be very uncomfortable to be in, while it’s difficult to get things done in a dimly lit room. When considering the best lighting for a space, it’s a good idea to think back to how it will be used, too.
Think of the furniture needs for the space before thinking about the smaller details. How you’ll use the space plays a part in the furniture that will work in it. For example, a decent amount of seating is usually a must in a living area, while a workspace is important in a study or office. Consider the size of the furniture and how it works in the room too. You don’t need to have only small pieces in a small space, but you want to be careful not to choose too many large pieces if the room itself is small.
Height matters when selecting furniture and when deciding where to hang artwork or wall décor. It also matters when it comes to lighting. Usually, a good rule of thumb to follow is to position things at eye level, so that people don’t have to lean back or look up to see any artwork.
6. The Amount of Stuff
Bookcases that are overflowing, pillows that cover the entire sofa, and vignettes that look more cluttered than curated — it’s possible to put too much in a space. The size of the room and how you’ll use it will give you an idea of the amount of stuff that is appropriate. A few large items are usually better then many small, inexpensive items.
How practical the space is connects back to how it will be used. If you are designing a study, for example, it will make sense to place the work area by an outlet, so that any devices can be plugged in. If the space needs a lot of storage, such as a kitchen or bathroom, that should be included in the design.
8. Balance and Harmony
Everything should work together in the space, so that there’s a feeling of cohesion and connectedness. Creating balance and harmony in the space doesn’t mean that everything needs to match perfectly. It does mean that the space should feel as though it belongs with the rest of the home.
9. Mood and Atmosphere
The mood of a room can influence how a person feels when they are in it. It’s worth thinking about how you want to feel in a space before you start making any design choices. For example, deciding that you want your bedroom to have a cozy atmosphere will influence the choices you make for its design with color, fabric, and finish selections.
The colors you choose for a space can impact its mood and atmosphere, as well as its flow, lighting, and even its use. If your goal is to create a calming room, choosing a fire engine red wall color will work against you, for example. Your color palette should be one of the first things you decide on before starting a project.
Whether you are redoing your bedroom or want to breathe new life in your living space, Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design can help you design a space that you want to live in. Contact us today to get started on your next project.
So many activities, from reading to applying makeup, just aren’t possible without a good source of light. However, lighting isn’t something many people think about when choosing a design for a space. They then end up with a room that could look great, but no one can really see it. When you’re working on a room’s design, don’t forget to think about lighting. The better the lighting in the space is, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it.
Even in design, functionality should matter just as much as form. The right lighting in a space means that you can maximize its use. For example, if you plan on using your living room for watching TV, reading books, and entertaining guests, you’ll want to have a lighting scheme that lets you use the room to its full ability. The light shouldn’t create a glare on the TV screen, for example, nor should it be so dark in the room that it’s difficult to see printed text.
Getting the light right in other rooms of the house increases the functionality of those spaces, too. If you prepare food in the kitchen, it is helpful to have lights that are directly over the workspace, so that you can see what you are doing. If you apply makeup or style your hair in the bathroom, the lights should be towards the sides of the mirror, so that there aren’t awkward shadows on your face and so that you are able to see well enough to blend your makeup.
Different types of light play different roles in a room. Some lights can be used to highlight details of the space. For example, you can place lights inside a bookcase to accent vignettes or decor on the shelves, or you can place a light above large work of art to draw the eye to it. A ceiling light angled over an architectural detail or sculpture will call attention to it.
The type and amount of light in a space can determine what colors work in it and which ones don’t. Hues look different under different sources of light, so it’s important to think about what types of lighting will be in a room before choosing paint colors or furniture colors. What looks to be a vibrant blue under the bright light at the paint store can turn out to be a muddy or dull color in a room with just a single overhead light, for example.
Set the Mood
How a room is lit can influence how people feel when they are in it. Harsh, fluorescent light can make a room feel uncomfortable or can give it an institutional feel. In contrast, soft and warm light can make people feel welcome and relaxed when they are in a space. Think about how the lighting in a fast food restaurant makes you feel, compared to the soft, dim light at a fine dining establishment.
Getting the Light Right
Getting the light right depends on the space and on what you hope to do in that space. Lighting is usually divided into three types: task, general and accent. Task lighting is a must for rooms where you will be doing any type of work, whether you’re reading a book, balancing a checkbook, or dicing vegetables. Task lighting should be placed in the areas where the work will take place, such as next to a reading chair or above the kitchen counter.
The positioning of general lighting, such as a chandelier over a dining table or a row of recessed fixtures on the ceiling, draws focus to one area of the room. You might find that having your general light fixtures attached to a dimmer helps you further set the mood for the room. Accent lighting, such as dim table lamps, candles or wall sconces, add a decorative touch to the space while increasing its warmth and overall ambience.
Lighting can make or break a room. If you want to create a lighting scheme that makes the most out of your space, Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design can help. Contact us today to learn more about the basics of lighting and design.