Lifehack logo

Basic Concepts of Interior Design for First-Time Homeowners

Unmissable Interior Design Tips

By Carolyn Mitchell Published 2 years ago 4 min read
Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Have you recently moved into your beautiful new dream home and realized you don’t know the first thing about interior design? Not to worry. Plenty of people don’t have an eye for art but can still create a beautiful home. No matter how hopeless you think you are when it comes to design, by following some rules and making an effort, you can succeed.

If you follow these simple principles (and keep your home clean and tidy), you can have a comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing home you and your guests will love to spend time in.

Build Around a Focal Point

Just like in art, an interior should naturally have a single point that your eye travels to first. It doesn’t matter what it is — a wooden table, a chandelier, a bay window, a rug, a fireplace, or a piece of art — but you should have something that centralizes your design.

The concept of a focal point is considered an essential design principle in most art forms, including interior design. It allows you to capture your attention and draw you in. If you don’t have a focal point, your eye won’t have a “resting spot”, and your design might look too busy or incoherent. Too many focal points can make the room feel chaotic.

Name and Unify Your Style

Harmony, unity, uniformity — these are all common words in interior design that mean the same principle. Essentially, your style needs to be consistent and cohesive across the space you’re decorating. Sticking to a single theme and color scheme is incredibly important to make your space look “right.”

You may love some furniture and decor individually, but they might not work together in the same space. When you’re designing your room, don’t necessarily think along the lines of “I like this piece in general.” Think instead: “I like how this piece would look when placed with other items in this room.” Abiding by this principle may also help you save money on your interior design in the long run.

For example: shabby chic, a rustic farmhouse style with artfully “worn” or “distressed” materials, does not look right when placed next to classical and/or pristine furniture. The rustic might look broken, or the perfect might look artificial. It’s hard to pick just one or the other, but it’s crucial.

Color is also important when it comes to the principle of unity. If you look at any popular interior design, you’ll instantly notice that what makes it look so perfect is that every item fits within a predetermined color scheme. An easy way to achieve this is to ensure your furniture and wall colors have minimalist colors and patterns and let your color scheme pop out in the form of upholstery, rugs, and wall decor.

A Rug Ties It All Together

Does your room have all the essentials, but it still feels a little “empty”? You might be missing a rug. A rug is a central element that creates harmony and unifies all the elements into a central point.

There are so many benefits to having a rug, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have them in every room before.

  • Rugs are much more comfortable than a carpet, and also much easier to clean. We highly recommend sturdy, solid floors like bamboo flooring with a rug rather than built-in carpets.
  • A good rug can last for generations, while a carpet needs to be replaced more frequently and is much harder and more expensive to remove.
  • If you have animals, carpets can be a mess for people with allergies or a problem if your pet has an accident.
  • A room with wooden or tile flooring without a rug can feel a little cold, and it’s also nice to protect your furniture from scratching the floor.
  • Rugs help with sound absorption.
  • If you have a large open floor plan, rugs can help curtail off certain areas to create uniformity.

Rugs come in infinite designs and shapes. Many designer rugs add visual interest in the way of fabulous style and depth-enhancing texture. They can be extremely simple, only there to add comfort and warmth — or they can be a stylish centerpiece of the room. There’s a reason antique Persian rugs have been prized amongst royalty since, quite literally, the earliest written history in the world.

Lighting Changes Everything

It’s hard to overstate the importance of lighting when it comes to the feeling of your interior. Cold, too-bright lighting can make a well-designed room feel like the inside of a refrigerator!

The color of the lighting influences our mood. Dim, warm lighting adds a feeling of comfort. Bright, white lighting can feel sterile, but also help keep you awake and focused in something like an office. The position of lighting is also very important: hidden lights and decorative lighting can feel dramatic, central lights can put a spotlight on your focal points, floor lamps can create cozy reading nooks, and much more. Good lighting is the top difference between an average room and a room with a “wow” factor.

Also, maximize the amount of daylight you have coming into your rooms. It’s healthy for your mood and productivity, and there’s no perfect artificial substitute.

Other Small Tips

  • Symmetry and asymmetry can both be used effectively. If you’re looking for an easy design, however, you can make the interior look coherent by making each side symmetrical.
  • Ultimately, you want your home to be comfortable and meaningful. Don’t worry if your home doesn’t look like a magazine: the feeling of the room is more important than the aesthetic. Don’t exclude a sentimental item just because it doesn’t fit with your theme. It’s better for your room to have heart than it is to look like a Martha Stewart showroom.
  • You don’t have to decorate your entire interior at once! Get the items you need to make it liveable, then decorate it gradually over time. You never know when an item might pop up in an antique store or on a vacation that you fall in love with.

Enjoy The Process

Remember to have fun with your interior! Make sure it matches your personality, not the latest trends. That way, you’ll never get tired of it. We hope these tips helped!


About the Creator

Carolyn Mitchell

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer with a passion for home décor and maintenance. She can often be found re-painting & updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.