Sun, 14 Jan 2001

You can be your own interior designer to suit your style

* Everybody can learn to be their own interior designer; to design their own home to suit their own lifestyle, preferences and family needs. * Good design is simply about creating a comfortable interior which is pleasant to live in and in which each room is planned so that it suits the purpose for which it is intended. * Before you start thinking about room styling, color schemes, home furnishing or floor and wall treatments, you should work out a basic plan of the whole house, even though you may intending to design and decorate one room at a time.

Making a Plan

* A room should be always planned according to its main use, so that the furniture, equipment and any appliances fit comfortably into the space available allowing people to walk around the room, to open doors and drawers, and to use the equipment and furniture effectively.

Choosing A Scheme

* All rooms have three major surfaces--the floor, the walls and the ceiling. They may have other dominant elements, such as the units and work surfaces in the kitchen; the upholstery on sofas and chairs in the living room, etc. * The scale of pattern and the strength of color of any fabrics, wallcoverings or flooring you choose must always relate to the surface area on which they will be used. Bold designs and strong colors look best on wide expanses of wall, large floor areas, generous sofas and chairs, and at opulent windows, while small patterns and paler colors are more suited to restricted floor and wall areas. * Take your room plan with you when you go to see what is available. No scheme can work around vague ideas. It can only be implemented with actual fabrics, wallcoverings, paint, flooring, light fixtures and accessories.

A Choice of Style

* The modern and contemporary styles allow you to pick a wide variety of styles or "looks."

* English Country House

* Evolved over many centuries, this is a style that today inspires decorators all over Europe, the United States and even Asian countries. Its emphasis is on informal grandeur and comfort aiming to create a warm and welcoming ambience. The English country house style is best suited to large rooms.

* Country Cottage

* This look is as likely to be found in almost every part of the world. The style works best in small, low-ceilinged rooms without elaborate architectural details. It favors stained or natural wood, used for simple pieces of furniture. Most natural materials, such as wood, stone, slate, rush, cane, wool and cotton fit in well. Avoid using modern materials such as smoked glass or chromed steel or those with grand associations such as marble, silk and brocade.

* Oriental

* The Oriental style is exquisite, minimalist and free from clutter such as the Japanese homes. The few objects used, whether functional or decorative, are placed with great care, with avoidance of symmetry.


* The Minimalist look is a legacy of the pre-war Modern movement. It is intentionally bare and free from clutter. Minimalist rooms are severe and rectilinear, furnished with hard materials-natural such as wood leather, stone or man-made such as plastic and chromed steel.

--The Complete Home Decorator