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Interior Design Ideas

Your preferred interior design style and theme generally reflects your daily choices. A lot of theories and ideas about design are actually incorporated in your very own style. You may not have known that it is possible to combine together different styles of interior design. However you must be aware that there are guidelines that must be followed as far as interior designing is concerned. In creating a room, you can be free to incorporate your own personal style without bearing any guilt feelings. This covers your personal biases on what you like and don’t like. If you happen to love bright colors and/or aerodynamic curves, by all means go for it and don’t apologize. After all, your style is merely you expressing yourself outwardly.

Top 5 Design Themes

Contemporary Interior Design

Regardless of the characteristics your living space has, contemporary interior design induces a modern feeling. It exudes an aura that is clean and smooth but still livable.

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Sleek and linear are two (2) words that best describe the furniture bearing this style. Wood or steel which have simple finishing, as well as other clean finishes are beautiful. As expected, outdated traditional items have no place in this design style. However, mixing and matching of different furniture styles is allowed provided you utilize only one (1) tone as well as the same range of material for all items. A good example would be brushed steel. To produce contrast, those made of wood are either dark or very light.

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On the other hand, no-frills and clean-looking are what the window treatments look like. An alternative to curtains are blinds made of wood or bamboo which are a favorite, as are simple shades made of cloth that is textured lightly. There are a lot of shiny surfaces present in contemporary interior design, and in creating a contrast wool, slubbed silk, and linen can be used. Do not ruin the intended result though by making the mistake of utilizing too much. Stay away from complicated patterns as you must avoid acquiring a cluttered look. Remember that the contemporary interior design symbolizes just the exact opposite.

This style is also characterized by generally neutral colors, hence a bit of color here and there is allowed to make the overall look less boring and more interesting. Accents and accessories such as lamps, rugs, and artwork may include bold colors. Other decorative items such as sculptures and paintings must have styles that complement or blend with the chosen themes. In this case, abstract subjects or pieces also known as expressionistic work are common in contemporary interior design. Give ample thought and attention to the colors present in the artwork you intend to include in your design, to ensure that they will go well with the rest of the colors that you intend to incorporate into the room. Again, stay away from too much decoration as this style embodies simplicity, hence your accessories must impart a clean, no-frills look.  There are sharp edges in this design style, and organic, naturalistic forms serve as a perfect contrast and vice-versa.

The lighting of a room plays a major role in terms of the perception others have over it. Lighting types such as track lighting, stand-alone lamps and recessed lighting are more preferred and trending over the traditional ceiling lighting. Stick to modern styling and simple yet bold finishes when searching for lighting fixtures for your room. To make the contemporary interior design more interesting amid the neutral colors, you may use colorful accent lamps, but settle for just one (1) or two (2) colors within each piece as this will suffice. Another acceptable option are lamps made either of simple wood or steel carrying plain shades.

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One can put together a room with a contemporary interior design for a reasonable cost. Certainly, you will be able to find brand-new pieces that are on sale or second-hand or used ones that you can either alter or fix, or use just as they are. This style also does not call for many items so that in itself will lower costs. In fact, less is more. All you need is a bit of planning and effort to transform your home into a fabulous contemporary interior design.

Modern Interior Design

Minimalistic design is the core of modern interior design. It is also represented by glossy finishing and the presence of modern gadgets. The process involved in adopting this style actually involves less stress as it does not call for any deep and time-consuming thinking with regards to the right kind of furniture and other aspects of design. The idea is to honor your personal preferences by simply picking what you like and what in your opinion is unique. That is considered art in modern architecture.

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What really constitutes modern design?  Wherever you see the interior of a room, home, office, etc. that contains plain or undecorated surfaces, that’s modern interior design. Natural design is also considered modern design. Hence one example of modern design is a contained space be it a room, home, office that uses natural light to brighten the space. Concern for the environment is at the forefront of modern times and its relevance can be apparent in modern interior design. The use of natural materials combined with innovation architecture-wise is a symbolism of modern design.

Let us now take a look at the architectural elements of a space such as the door, the flooring, the window and skylight. As previously said, bringing more natural light to fill the space creates a modern effect. In addition to this, solar tubes and sliding doors likewise make the grade. Furthermore, open flooring and spaces that serve a multitude of purposes, as well as entertainment sections are also staples in modern design.

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Surfaces considered as modern design are made of natural materials as well as finishing such as paper, wood, stone, cotton and ceramic tile, fused with stainless steel, glossy marble, chrome as well as lacquer. Also throw in modular furniture and a few big-sized oil painting or a sophisticated wall mural. In doing rooms, especially the living room, multi-purpose spaces, or entertainment areas, do remember to place family photos or your favorite artwork. To demonstrate, consider decorating a narrow wall with an artwork hung vertically together with a few black lacquer frames. It is either abstract art or natural for the theme. To achieve a Bohemian appeal, you have the option to add in a mural that is hand-painted.

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Next, decide on what palette to go with. Provide a cool tone by combining neutral shades together such as light earth tone or blue-based gray. If you prefer white walls, you can throw in a bit of black for added interest. More accents can work in shades of orange, light green, or red to complement the black and white. You are free to experiment by infusing some creativity into the modern design. Examples are using vintage wallpaper, paintings hung on walls, or cascading sheers that have various colors. All these are helpful tips and guidelines for applying modern interior design to your space.

Mediterranean Design

The colors of the earth and sky including yellow, lavender, orange, salmon, peach, and other shades that represent the jaunty Mediterranean culture are as expected, the hues that symbolize the Mediterranean interior design.

Other elements that constitute this style are tiles with intricate workmanship, heavy wrought iron gates and grills, and very large urns. Other kinds of furniture and décor can also go well with them.

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Still another inclusion of this style is the utilization of foliage both for landscaping as well as indoors as decorative items that serve as accents in the interiors of a space. Basically, this interior style is architecturally simple with a personal stamp by way of the owner’s own collections and décor. Consequently in line with simplicity, homes or spaces adopting the Mediterranean interior design have no useless structures that may not actually serve any exact purpose.

If you are someone who would like to incorporate the Mediterranean interior design style in your home or space, you should use a lot of mosaic tiles on backsplashes and floorings, burnished hardware, and a bit of ornamentation.

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This style uses furniture that does not go out of style, in short classic. It may be a combination of Italian, French Country, Spanish, and Greek pieces. This is why this style has maintained its popularity throughout the years more so among first-time homeowners who have just spent a lot in acquiring a home and are determined to make the interiors last as long as possible.

Embarking on a Mediterranean Interior Design Project

You will never encounter a shortage of interior decorative pieces and accessories bearing the Mediterranean touch. This is due to the huge popularity it is enjoying currently. Those who have made up their minds and have chosen this style are aware that it is both easy on the pocket as it is effort-wise.

To be successful in deploying this style means banking on your creativity and doing a lot of research. Common amongst all the Mediterranean homes or spaces is the signature paint. Usually the rich terra-cota hue is used to cover the walls. Should you prefer a lighter shade, a more lively yellow or a striking French blue will look just as great.

Although the color itself and by its own will evoke the Mediterranean atmosphere into the space, you should go further still by applying or creating the wall texture that is just as part of this style.

You can incorporate it simply by using paint rollers which leave an unmistakable pattern with rough texture similar to traditional Mediterranean homes. As an added tip, do not use the enamel type paint, but rather use a flat type paint because this can produce the required chalky texture.

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The right Mediterranean furniture embodies a sleek and simple appearance, has classic curves and patterns that symbolize the romanticism of the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle.

Wrought-iron garden sets are excellent for the outdoors of a Mediterranean-inspired home, as are oversized couches for indoors that breathe of comfort. If your budget cannot include brand new pieces or sets, there is a way to overcome this hurdle. Simply replace the upholstery for new fabrics in neutral shades and complement them with lively colorful pillows and shawls.

Your attention should be shifted to the lighting element once you are done with selecting the large pieces. Even if purists may disagree, track lights are still a good choice for Mediterranean-inspired interiors.  A room or space can acquire a sense of serenity by having either tabletop or standing lamps or a combination of both. They are also practical to have as they can easily be moved around whenever the need arises.

Just as icing is to a cake, finish off your Mediterranean interior design project with some plants to liven up the room or space. You have the option to get a striking flower instead of the usual plants that need caring regularly or that need to be taken outdoors for sunlight.

Traditional Style

There are so many aspects in a home or space that need to be considered when adopting the traditional interior design. It ranges from the floor to the ceiling and everything in-between, hence also including the trim, the wall finishes, the window treatments, and of course the furniture.

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The designer incorporating the traditional style must take care to include all the aforementioned elements in creating or putting together a great design. Lighting, wall treatments, flooring, and furnishings are equally important in influencing the end result. Every one of them are considered steps that must ultimately support the last and final step, thereby producing an interchanging staircase of design if you may. And to help you design this delicate stairway are tools in the form of themes, colors, textures, and placements.

Traditional to modernistic, from eclectic to retro, these are the ranges of the themes for traditional interior design. To my knowledge, the final decision as to the theme to be adopted for the space should be the responsibility of the homeowner or business owner. A person’s space is his/her own arena where they can showcase whatever message they want to express. The responsibility of a designer should be to listen carefully to what they want and need, and from there create an answer for them.

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Provide your clients with print material such as magazines and catalogues which they can check out to help them assess what they really want out of their space. Traditional interior design is a simple enough concept that can easily be understood. After they have more or less formed a more concrete idea of what it is they really want for their space, you may proceed to uncovering their needs based on the lifestyles that they have.

Keeping the cost down is a natural consideration for most clients who have children, for obvious reasons. On the other hand, recreational spaces answers the need for specific entertainment activities for someone who has an active social lifestyle and will require entertaining often.

The next step after having arrived at a decision on which theme to go with, is to decide which colors should be used in implementing the theme. My usual advice or recommendation to clients is to consider which hues will go best with the space at hand rather than thinking along the lines of which hues will best fit the person or owner. Do you think I am right or wrong?

More often than not, clients will initially choose their favorite colors. Take note however that there are times when the favorite color does not always transform into the right wall paint. It is a more common practice in this style to give priority to what the room actually needs in terms of paint color, rather than focusing on the individual’s personal preferences. The logic behind this is that even though the clients may not initially love or appreciate the recommended color, they eventually do so after seeing the finished product.

Refrain from adopting a know-it-all attitude when talking your clients into taking this course of action to avoid arousing negative feelings in them. If they are not very forthcoming with the idea, help them visualize the end result by showing them pictures of the same colors in magazines so they can get a bettergrasp of what you are trying to put across to them. Do not underestimate the influence of magazines and catalogues as they are a major source of information and inspiration.

Now that you have determined the theme for your interior design project including the range of colors on which to work on, what do you think is the following step in the process?

Quite frankly, the largeness or smallness as well as the limitations of the project will be the gauge of what should come next. If the flooring is to be a part of it, then it is advisable to consider your window treatments as next in line because having them done and over with will allow you to focus more on the flooring. This will also eliminate the danger of collecting unwanted paint stains on a new flooring while wall treatments are being done, so do not be too excited on installing your new flooring prior to the wall job. See to it that the wall jobs are completed and absolutely dry before jumping into the flooring work.

You should consider the needs and lifestyles of your customers in choosing among the various kinds of floorings available in traditional interior design. One that is flat and convenient and can be washed with the least of effort is recommended for households with kids. A big rug usually accompanies any recreational room for this household type. Customers who prefer to have a room carpeted should be advised against it. Make them see your point of view by explaining to them that these rooms are going to be used quite often than the rest making them more prone to danger from kids. A soiled rug will entail far less cost and effort compared to a soiled wall to wall carpeting replacement.

After the wall and floor treatments, it is time to work on the window treatments. At this point, refrain from bringing in any furniture as this will only crowd the room unnecessarily. Sheer window coverings should be the thing for small rooms to allow more natural light to enter the room and make it appear larger. The same window treatment should be applied on dark rooms for the same reasons. Short rooms can appear taller by applying curtains that spread from the window all the way to the floor. Draperies are a good alternative which also serves as contrast to short furniture.

In traditional interior design, there are many choices for window coverings to suit any home. On deciding which one is best for your project, also consider how it will appear on the outside as well as inside. For instance, if the window happens to be very open then the client may wish for more privacy. Hence, you will have to comply with this need. Once the window treatments are completed, install or apply any wall accessories that you intend on displaying in the room before going to the following step.

And now the furniture! Traditional interior design calls for some basic but major rules to keep in mind with regards to how you arrange it. Firstly, there must be fluidity or continuity, and lines must be created. Secondly, there must be enough walking space. Thirdly, it is a sin to over-crowd or clutter the space. And finally, creativity must be present.

After the furniture has been arranged and “tested”, you can move forward by accessorizing. Fixing some instrumental accessories into place is the norm in traditional interior design. Remember that too many accessories can clutter a room which is a no-no. Simplicity is elegance and elegance is simplicity.

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Look for possible great conversational pieces in well-defined accessories or items. Encourage the client to contribute their personal touches and if they creative, to make an accessory of their own.

The beauty of a room combined with its functionality is the symbol of traditional interior design. Just blend all the elements in the room in such a way that it will provide both usefulness and prettiness to strike an excellent balance between the two.

Zen Style Interior Design

The Zen style in in interior design is enjoying more and more popularity these days even if it is probably one of the styles that are hardest to define. The reason is because it is not exactly a style. It is also not categorized as a religion, an art form, or a philosophy either. This even as the Zen style interior design could actually be all of the above. Rather, an apt description of Zen is that it is a pure state of being.

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Zen in reality had its origins in China, although the common misconception is that it is Japanese. Probably the simplest definition of it is that it is a branch of Buddhism that has meditation as its focal point to assist in gaining enlightenment. The pure Buddha mind within ourselves is sought to be truly awakened through inner awareness and experiential wisdom. Much as I have tried to truly define Zen, it still escapes me becausewords are not sufficient to fully express its real concept.

This does not by any means intend to imply that it is hard to do the Zen style in your space. There are some basic principles that you need to be familiarized with to be successful in this endeavor.

Creating the Zen Style in Your Home

Take a hint from the hectic kind of life that is lived nowadays, the ultra-modern technology that we live with, and the pace with which we go about our daily routines. Think about the stress and the tension that accompanies the modern way of life, and you will understand why there is a demand for the Zen interior design.

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There definitely is a clamouring need to de-stress or unwind. To do this, you need to go home to a relaxing atmosphere at home, something that can calm your nerves and give the peace within. It should serve like a tonic to your soul, something that will give you the opportunity to recharge and reflect at the same time. The idea is to have surroundings that will ultimately cause you to get in touch with your inner self and constantly remind it of what is truly important in life.

Visualize Zen as a state of mind in order for you to achieve creating the Zen essence in your home or space. Put all your attention on the here and now, on calmness, stillness, on simply being present. It is just as effortless to visualize it in your mind as it is to do so in your home or space itself.

As with any design style, the initial procedure entails having to clean up. This means every room in your home has to be cleared of all unwanted and unnecessary things, accessories and what-have-you. A clear room is the way to a clear mind. You need to justify to yourself what items need to be discarded and what need to be kept. Ask yourself if you cannot or can live without it, then be firm with your decision or conviction. Furthermore, be guided by the fact that what you eventually keep should answer a purpose. If for instance however, you cannot separate yourself from a thing just make sure you can safely tuck it away in a storage place so it can’t be seen.

Since Zen is primarily about functionality and open space, you really have to trim down the number of furniture. Furniture is not the only element you have to keep to a minimum. Consider the walls, ceilings, and floors as well. Eradicate what is elaborate and fussy so as to achieve the Zen ambience.

Next thing to give attention to is the color. Zen color combinations are soothing and easy on the eye. This means overwhelming colors and color combinations are definitely out. What will work are neutral shades that reflect or represent nature such as gentle shades of blue, green, beige, and browns. As expected, complicated patterns are a no-no. On the contrary, lines must be simple, smooth, and streamlined.

The furniture should be arranged in such a way as to create a smooth flow of energy and traffic. There should be enough space between furniture to allow easy navigation and movement, eliminating the dangers of tripping or bumping into anything as you move about the room. Overall, a Zen room should be able to induce harmony and peace both of whichare conducive for meditation.

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You must know that there are no furniture items, wall decors, or artifacts that are individually categorized as embodying the Zen design. The Zen style or appearance is achieved or created through the coming together of all the elements in a room, or the collective impact based on how you put together all the design elements. The lesser objects you have therefore, the lesser mistake you can make.

Finishing Off the Look

Examples of items or objects that you can include in your Zen room would be a bowl of pebbles, a waterfall picture, a painting depicting a landscape, a water feature or specifically a water fountain, a pot of plant, a vase with only one flower in it, an ornament made of wood, a piece of crystal, candles, seashells, or any other thing from nature or symbolizes nature. A simple rule when followed can achieve the best results:  less is more. Toss simple beauty and peacefulness to create the perfect Zen style for your home.

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