Each room in the home is often referred to as a blank canvas, a space filled with endless potential for your creativity to be unleashed.
That feeling as each piece you introduce to your room adds a new layer to your design, from installing the new grey laminate flooring all the way to fitting an elegant light fitting and other finishing touches such as vases and portraits.
A good way to describe this feeling would be watching artists like Bob Ross, who take a blank canvas and transforms it to become a visually stunning piece before your very eyes. This not only provides you with a sense of accomplishment and self-expression, but also other members of the family will benefit from a fresh and inspired home design.
However unlike a single canvas an artist may use, the home typically features 5 key rooms – the living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bathroom. This means that you have 5 blank canvases to work with, and this is before you even consider additional rooms such as the study and the reception room as well.
This means that a key factor to creating a successful, satisfying and uplifting home design is maximising the impact that each of these canvases have, making each and every space count.
1, Looking at what you have to work with
The first area that any designer should look at is what you have to work with. There is little point in creating an elaborate design in your head if the room itself is unable to accommodate such ambition. All that this will lead to is a great design on paper which in the end will run off the canvas, being wasted and potentially ruining the flow of your room.
The best way to avoid this is to take a look at the space on offer, along with other features such as natural lighting and unique room design elements, such as alcoves and partitions. This will give a clearer understanding of the potential your room holds and how best to utilise the space you have. In some instances, taking the time to look at this can even reveal hidden potential your room possess, such as enclosed fireplaces and exposed brickwork.
Interior design can often be blurred behind a line of form over function. A great example of this can be found in design magazines and websites, which are filled with pictures of stunning living room, bedroom and kitchen designs.
However, as jaw dropping as these designs look, they would be nearly impossible to maintain in the long term, particularity in a busy family environment. This is because these designs fail to walk that important line between form and functionality.
When looking at your living room, bedroom or even bathroom consider what the room itself will be used for. Doing this creates a clearer picture of what features will and will not work in each room. For example, it is obvious that the dining room will have a dining table, therefore you can build your design around this; aiming to create a stunning design while also keeping the room practical and functional.
Another example of this is the bathroom. This is a room where functionality is everything, therefore designing around that principle can promote further creative exploration. For example, everyone needs a fluffy towel in the bathroom, therefore decorative towel racks, perhaps with a nautical theme is a great way to inject your own unique style while working within the rooms defined purpose.
3, Doubling up
Many homes have a standard 5 room layout; however, many smaller homes may only have 3 – 4 rooms. However, this reduced space is no reason to hold back on your design ambitions, as a great way of taking advantage of your space is to double up a room design.
A common example of this in-home design is the kitchen – diner combination, using a single space for food prep and family dining. Another great example of this could be a bedroom/study combination taking advantage of an unused alcove space and slotting in a computer desk and PC.
By doubling up on room spaces, you make more efficient use of your canvas, creating a unique fusion of styles and purposes that are individual to you and your home needs.
4, A little self-restraint
Seeing a blank canvas in front of your very eyes is always an exciting moment, each room brimming with potential.
It is easy then to begin buying up anything and everything you can to go in your living room and dining room design for example. However, a little self-restraint will go a long way in making every space count, particularity as you risk disrupting one or all of the points mentioned earlier, as suddenly things will begin to become cramped and may become unpleasant to live with on a day to day basis.
Working with the dining room again as an example, going out and impulse purchasing a stunning brand-new dining table not be a great use of your space.
This could be because it does not fit well within the space you designated for it, being larger than expected and disrupting the flow of the room along with limiting further design improvements. Even worse the table may not fit at all, wasting both money, time and affecting the motivation to continue with the original room design.
5, Taking things a step at a time
Let’s go back to the Bob Ross reference from earlier – when did you ever see him throw a full pot of paint onto a blank white canvas and say right that’s that?
The answer is never, instead each painting was created a bit at a time, with each new layer bringing the picture to life.
This exact same process is critical to interior design, particularity if you want to make the best use of each space in the home. Taking things, a step at a time will provide you with a better perspective of how your room design will look and even allow you to evolve it based upon the features you have added.
A great example could be the living room, choosing laminate flooring over carpets may unlock potential for a new design of wallpaper or colour scheme for your room which may not have thought of initially.
Taking each of these 5 points into consideration when designing your will mean that no space will go unutilised, taking a blank canvas and making it something that is unique only to you.