The Basics of Home Interior Design

The basics of home interior design are very much the same as cooking. While many of us crave chocolate, would love some tacos but also wouldn’t pass up an opportunity for pizza, we’d never pour all of those into one dish, bake, then serve. Unless you’re pregnant, in which case you can do whatever the hell you want.

Like cooking, interior design 101 requires you to stick to a theme — a flavor palette, if you will. For example, ginger stays with Asian dishes, just like mid-century modern pieces don’t belong in a Victorian house. Even if you’re not an interior decorator, it won’t be hard to master the basics of design with this RealtyHive blog.

Tip #1: Respect the house.

The foundation of your house, its architectural bones — they’re everything. Let the house’s architecture guide your design. If you have dreams of a beautiful Mediterranean revivalist home, you’ll need a house that fits the bill. Trying to force Mediterranean vibes into a Victorian house will certainly feel off.

And before we dive further, remember that it’s not just about what feels right for you. Even if you have no qualms when a home’s decor and structure don’t match, most people won’t feel similarly. As we’ve talked about in the past, a home that’s too niche or personalized is more difficult to sell.

Tip #2: When it comes to boldness, pick one.

A boldly colored accent wall? Go for it! A boldly patterned rug? Why not! However, if you pair both bold things at once, you’ve gone too far.

Mixing bold colors and bold patterns is overwhelming — for some people, it’s practically an assault on our senses. We often forget that what we see impacts our mood, and overstimulating environments can have a negative effect. Granted, if you love the clash (and some people do), implement your style to a single bedroom or study instead of letting that chaos rule the whole house for the best of both worlds.

Tip #3: Less is more.

As renowned designer Coco Chanel once said about accessorizing, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Too many collectibles and knicknacks reek of clutter. 

Minimal decorating, on the other hand, provides a sense of calm and serenity that can’t be beat. It’s helpful for those staying in your house, it costs less than overdecorating, and it allows you to focus on a few important pieces, which inevitably makes the value of those pieces more meaningful.

Tip #4: Consistency is key.

As we mentioned, it’s OK if there’s a bedroom or study or even basement that doesn’t fit your entire home’s scheme. You can’t force a teenager to decorate their room differently, nor would you want to.

That being said, consistency throughout the main rooms of the house provides a necessary flow. A modern kitchen next to a neoclassical living room is confusing. Stick with a general theme and even color scheme that connects the rooms in your home.

Tip #5: Look at examples.

One of the best ways to improve your understanding of interior design basics is to simply look around.

Find what you like or don’t like. Study up on modern trends. Watch architectural or interior design videos on YouTube. Look to the environment outside you and play off of the colors, shapes, and textures you see. The world is your oyster for inspiration!

Whether you’re looking for a mid-century modern house, a classic Victorian home, a modest ranch, or a Mediterranean manor, RealtyHive has it all. Find your next dream home by looking through our listings!

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