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Interior Design Ideas

Using interior design ideas to create a professional look in your home and making spaces inside more efficient has become the challenge of many home owners. The spaces we have to work and live in are getting smaller and smaller while the tasks and responsibilities are getting bigger. Here are some ideas and tips for interior designing modern homes.

Making small spaces bigger

Nooks and crannies in a home can sometimes be a nightmare for an interior designer, but from the functional aspect of a home these are perfect storage areas. Used effectively you can stack all of your belongings away to achieve a clean, minimalist style. Here are some interior design ideas to use with small spaces.

  • Making them look bigger is often a great start. The area looks less cluttered and is not as smothering. Paint the walls all in white but with long rooms paint the ceiling a darker colour to bring it lower down. White furnishings are a very elegant touch. Beautiful as a guest room.
  • Don’t use the floor, use the walls. With tables, chairs, bookshelves and beds all taking up space on the floor it can be difficult to get around a small room. Fix bookshelves or shelving on the wall, possibly converting it to a narrow cupboard with doors if you are going the minimalist route.
  • Stack shelving in a corner using the bottom shelf as a dressing table under which you can slot a chair. Lovely for a little girl’s room.

Brighten up your bathroom

Paint can go a long way to giving your home and airy feel. The bathroom is an area that you can play well with and for those that receive a lot of light you can incorporate many interior design ideas here. A multi coloured feature wall can bring summer into your space. Decide on the colours by choosing three to four warm or cool colours including white. Divide up the wall in vertical stripes using masking tape, varying the widths. This feature wall will open up the rest of the bathroom. Decorate with solid colour bath linen.

Interior Design IdeasAdd elegance to your living room

Once again a feature wall in a living room can add a certain amount of style. Research some basic patterns that can be printed and using silicone sheeting, make a stencil. Use the stencil to create the effect of wall paper on your living room walls. While this does have the effect of closing the room in slightly, it creates a warm, cosy space. Add scatter cushions and dim lighting.

Open plan living areas

Newer houses have a serious space limitation and as such the interiors have been left open plan to create the illusion of space. While this gives a great impression of space, living in it does not always add comfort. Some interior design ideas focus on closing up the spaces with classic style wooden partitions adding style and flexibility. There are many more interior design ideas that can be used to enhance the function or comfort of a home.

Interior Decorators

Interior decorators have long been renowned for their habit of gracing the homes of the rich and the famous, choosing textiles to add contrasting reflections and making a room appear more majestic. While this is one of the benefits of being rich and famous, it is not always what interior decorating is all about.

Commercial design

Many interior design companies focus on one of two specialities, one of them being commercial interior design. This includes:

  • Designing stores so that the window displays attract optimum attention, making sure that the isles are wide enough and that the general outlay of the store creates a flow and increases sales.
  • Office layout that promotes a working space conducive to productivity taking into consideration traffic flow, light sources and distractions such as noises.
  • Space organisation has become important in work places with being able to access it and also have it out of the way. Interior decorators are able to optimise the working space making employees more efficient.

Residential design

The other avenue that interior decorators go is that of residential design. Their involvement can be right in the construction stages with the architect, planning the interior spaces in terms of furniture and fittings. In fact interior design is an essential part of constructing compact apartments, for example, they need to allow enough space for cupboard doors to open when there is a bed in the room or space in the kitchen for a rubbish bin as well as a fridge.

Home improvement tips

There has until recently been a big focus on large residential projects from construction to full scale decorating. The shift has been in the direction of smaller projects paying special attention to space saving and de-cluttering. Some of the ways that interior decorators can overcome challenges in your home include:

  • Creating larger surface areas in the kitchen as well as storage space using walls.
  • Adding the illusion of space to smaller kitchen where counter tops have been maximised.
  • Ensuring that there is room for all appliances including washing machines and dish washers.
  • Planning open plan areas to add cosiness with the use of room dividers.
  • Products that complement the current furniture.
  • Accessories such as pot plants, paintings or other wall features.
  • Colour is an incredible way to create an illusion or to add a specific atmosphere.

Your biggest asset

Using interior decorators in your office of course adds a true monetary value to your business as productivity is increased and production time is reduced. In your home, a decorator will add a touch of style that is classy, unique but that which can easily fit in with the tastes of a prospective buyer. Knowing that your home has something that no other has gives you the confidence to stick to your asking price. Making sure that your home is not just well presented but also functional goes a long way towards making a good impression.

Interior Design Software

Interior design software is going to be integral to your job as an interior designer. Part of the courses you take will be dealing with the interior design software that is available and you will be taught how to use them. While there are many different types of software available with newer versions coming out all the time, the principles are the same.

Using interior design software affords you greater efficiency. Not only does this result in a faster turnover of clients, but it also makes your time more valuable, making it possible to deal with more requests. More impressive presentations mean winning over prospective clients. Create 3 dimensional models and change colours, shapes and sizes at a click of a button to produce a realistic impression. You can also visualise how placing of cupboards will affect the layout of furniture.

Using software also produces accurate designs, resulting in less trial and error. It allows you to produce CAD drawings in lightening fast speed, saving them in a compatible format ready for printing on large scale.

The most common interior design software packages in use

Home Designer Professional is probably one of the top software when it comes to functionality and built in options, but also when it comes to price. It comes with a range of furniture groupings including the option to import your own so you can create the exact look you have in mind.

The library comes with more than 5,000 items and a customisable interface with even more that can be downloaded from the web-site. You will also find in the region of 1,000 editable templates of sample designs to help get you started or draw your own 2 dimensional plan accurately scaled to render it in 3D.
Arranging lighting is a dream come true, with a night and day view, showing you the effects that the lighting has on the room.

Costing, though not part of interior design, can affect your client’s decisions. Achieving the expectations while staying within budget is part of what makes a successful interior decorator. The expenses can be calculated in a flash. Input the material prices while the software adds up how much is used. Quickly change the materials to come up with the new value.

Other interior design software packages include:

  • ArtiCAD
  • Live interior 3D
  • Punch! Interior Design Suite
  • Total 3D Home Design Deluxe

A note about the Punch! Interior Design Suite is that it is known for excellent value for money. While it has most of the functions of the other more expensive brands of it is missing the kitchen planner, room templates that can be edited and a roofing assistant. However it is one of the few that includes plumbing plans.

Learning to use interior design software is an essential part of most interior design courses and it becomes part of everyday life. It is important to find a cost effective version that allows you to be creative by offering a user friendly interface.