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The Best Tips for How to Grow Your Interior Design Skills

Looking to grow your interior design skills without formal training? With a handful of key interior design tips and decorating tricks up your sleeve, you can achieve a stylish and well put together home with ease.

Interior Design

What are the basics of interior design?

An interior designer is someone who creates functional, beautiful spaces that define and satisfy the needs for their intended use. It is usually someone who has had formal training, however if you're planning a home renovation yourself, then you'll want to follow the 5 basic principles of interior design.

Scale & Proportion:

Implementing scale and proportion is key to a successful room interior. The trick to getting this right is all in the planning stages. Measure twice, buy once. We're referring to how things are placed and planned out to work within a room. An oversized sofa won't work in a small living room, just as a single arm chair won't work on its own in a very spacious area.


This is about equalising a visual and there are three types of balance within interior design. These are; symmetrical - visually even on both sides, asymmetrical - not necessarily even on both sides but, for example, a couch may have a coffee table with a small lamp on one side, and a large floor lamp on the other to balance it. Radial balance refers to a central focal point with complementary items - an example might be a dining table with matching chairs arranged around it.


How a room flows as the eye moves around the space is important. This includes things like repetition, texture, colour and pattern. For example, a luxurious sheepskin floor rug will tie in with matching sheepskin throw pillows and other textural accents within a room.


A strong anchor piece within the room is a way of creating an element of importance to something within the space. This could be a large window frame with an exceptional view, or a striking piece of artwork to draw the eye toward something.


This is when everything comes together and ties all the principles into one beautiful, functional and stylish space. Harmonious interiors are created when all the other elements are followed.

What is the most important element of interior design?

There are seven important elements of interior design that should be considered when designing and planning a space. By applying the five basic principles noted above, and the seven key elements, then the interior designers within us will emerge. The seven elements of interior design:

Space: Sets the scene and is the building block from which to work. Also consider spacing for furniture and their proportions within the room.

Line: Refers to structural features, ceiling height and windows. Furnishings and furniture placement, size and shape will contribute to lines.

Form: The overall shape of a room and pieces within - think angles and curves.

Lighting: Natural and artificial lighting all play a big part in the feel and aesthetics of a space.

Colour: Ties in with lighting in terms of how colour choices affect the room during certain times of the day. Colour will create the mood and vibe in general.

Texture: This will add depth, dimension and character to a space. Think of things like sheepskin, wood accents and linens.

Pattern: Brings life and interest to spaces and if done well, will harmonise with the overall theme and style.

How can I be a good interior designer?

You can be a good interior designer by paying attention to the details, applying the five basic principles and seven elements of interior design, along with meticulous planning. Take your time and make sure you are considering every aspect, from the designing and planning stage, to the decorating. The internet, of course, is full of top interior design tips. Do your research before embarking upon a project.

Interior Design

It's important to be aware that being an interior designer is different to interior decorating. Designers will be able to structurally alter a room and work up a functional renovation plan with contractors and builders, right through to placing the last cushion on a sofa. A decorator will transform the visual aesthetic of a space and implement the plan that the designer has created.

How can a beginner learn interior design?

A beginner can learn interior design by studying at a specialist design institution, researching online, reading books, watching tutorials and more. There are some great interior design tips and tricks to follow, as we've discussed.

Interior Design

Before diving into the designer side of things, it's a good idea to begin with some home decorating. If you're able to bring your home decor skills into play and create visually beautiful rooms, apply wallpaper, paint a wall, and turn spaces to a style that you love, then you're well on the way to stepping it up a notch. It's all about understanding the function of a room and being practical, whilst retaining aesthetics.

How do you modernise a house?

Modern home interiors can be achieved by simplifying the design and using whites, greys, or black as a main color scheme. Focus on simple, clean lines with minimal accessories for a spacious, modern vibe. Clear sight lines are a characteristic of this popular design style and knocking walls down to open up spaces is sometimes necessary.

Interior Design

It's a simplistic and fairly broad style of decor theme, which can blend seamlessly with many other design styles.

How do you make a room look airy and light?

You can make a room look airy and light by opening up rooms and using natural materials such as wood, stone or glass. Be sure to utilise windows effectively and opt for a light colour palette to help reflect lightness. Bring the outside in with some greenery and avoid clutter.

Painting a pale tone and adding a bright white ceiling will bring an airy, light and spacious feel to any room. Lighting is important - pay extra attention to this aspect when brightening a space for a light and airy look.

How can I decorate my home on a low budget?

A great way to decorate your home on a low budget is to get creative with what you already own. Repurpose furniture and liven it up with creative restoration, a coat of paint, or new handles depending on what it is. Scour thrift shops and flea markets for good finds. Look for the diamond in the rough and bring pieces a new lease of life.

Paint is an excellent way to redecorate and is one of the most cost effective solutions for reviving a space. Change the furniture around and add a nice area rug. If the budget allows then try to spend some on a quality item that will last a lifetime - something like a Wilson and Dorset Shaggy Beanbag or floor rug will transform a room and you'll have these items for life.

How can I update my bedroom?

For a fresh and updated look and feel, clear out the clutter and begin with a clean slate. A fresh wall colour and new art is a great way to create an updated look. Try adding new bedding, refresh your bedside table and bring in a luxurious floor rug.

Add texture through things like sheepskin throw pillows and wood accents. Window coverings can make a big difference and refreshing furniture within the room will help update the decor.

What colour makes a bedroom look bigger?

The best colours to make a room appear larger are those in the lighter colour palette. Consider the myriad shades of white an excellent starting point. Pale grey, blue and green are good lighter tones to consider. A bright white ceiling will also help create a sense of space and it's a good idea to stay clear of clutter when making a room appear bigger.

Replace heavy curtains with sheer options, roman blinds or white shutters to let as much natural light into the interior as possible. Matching furniture and fewer shades will help with spacial perception.

How can I decorate my bedroom walls?

Bedroom walls can be decorated with statement art pieces and family photos. A bedroom is a personal space and ought to speak to those who sleep there, but at the same time be a calming and serene room to rest at the end of the day.

Wallpaper patterns for an accent wall will offer character and uniqueness to the room. A feature wall in a different shade might be all you need for adequate decoration. Sometimes less is more - there's no need to fill wall space up if you don't feel compelled to do so.

In general and to conclude, be creative and learn through trying things out, reading books, online tutorials and talking to trained professionals when taking on interior design and decorating projects for the first time.

1 Comment

  • I am redoing my bedroom design for my husband’s birthday this year. He is always telling me that I need to decorate more, and I am finally going to do it. Thanks for the advice that a lighter pain color can make a room look bigger. I think it would be smart to consult with a professional designer so I can really “wow” my husband with our new space.

    Greta James on

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