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Interior Design 101: The 5 Essential Basics to Designing Your Home

by Ann Ferguson

Interior design is a form of self-expression, which is why it's so important to get it right. You want your space to show off who you are while creating a comfortable, inspiring, and functional space.

That's a lot to keep in mind! And that's just making your plans for a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design. However, with these essential basics, you'll be on your way to creating your dream home in no time!

1. Spend Wisely

Couple furniture shopping on a budget

Interior design can be expensive, and the temptation to buy everything you like at once is strong. However, that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune to create a stylish and inviting space. It's all about planning your aesthetic and spending your money wisely on key pieces that will make the biggest impact according to your preferred design.

You'll want to save extra for big-ticket items such as beds and sofas, as these are the focal points of many rooms. After buying these, live with them for a while before you start searching for accent pieces.

Pro Tip: Avoid cluttering up your space; focus on items that serve a purpose, like adding visual appeal or functionality.

2. Lighting is Essential

Home with lots of lighting choices

Good lighting is essential for any interior design project. Not only does it set the mood for the space, but it can also make a room appear larger or smaller. If you're working with a small space, opt for light-colored walls and use mirrors to reflect light. For a larger space, you can go darker with the walls and use strategic lighting to create different areas within the room.

Don't forget to factor in windows as your natural light source and use more than one lighting source for the room, like floor lamps, overhead lights, and accent lighting. But for overhead lighting, remember to go easy there, as too many can make your space feel more clinical rather than homey.

Pro Tip: Make sure to lighten up the corners of each room to create a sense of space!

3. Accent Pieces

Living room with lots of accent pieces

Every room needs a little something extra to make it pop, and that's where accent pieces come in. Accents add personality and character to your space, whether it's a piece of art, a colorful rug, or an interesting piece of furniture. You can find bowls, books, serving trays, vases, mini statues, and more to add to your shelves and tables.

And don't be afraid to mix and match! A mismatched set of chairs around your dining table adds visual interest and a touch of personality.

Pro Tip: Don't forget to layer different textures into your design to make your space more exciting and homey!

4. Spacing

Well-spaced out living room

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing their home is placing their furniture right against the wall. Which makes sense since you want to have as much space as possible — but you might actually be taking away some of your space. So, try to move your furniture away from the walls by a few inches to give them breathing space.

Another common interior design mistake is not giving enough space between furniture, which can make a room feel cramped and cluttered. Instead, try to leave at least a few inches between pieces of furniture. This will create the illusion of a larger space and help you avoid that crowded feeling.

Pro Tip: Add elements to the center of the room, like a coffee table, stool, bean bag, etc., to help create a cohesive look and add a sense of space.

5. Keep it Comfortable

Woman relaxing in cozy chair

Your home should be a haven where you can relax and recharge, not a showroom straight out of a magazine. You have to live in it, after all. So don't forget about comfort when you're designing your space!

Incorporate soft fabrics, cozy furniture, and plenty of pillows to make your home as inviting as possible. Don't focus so much on making everything match — add more of your personality to the space through memorabilia, drawings, photos, or even grandma's old quilt. This way, you'll balance your picture-perfect design with a cozy living space you love coming home to!

Pro Tip: Bring some plants into your interior design for added freshness and a pop of color! Look for easy-maintenance plants like Devil's ivy, Aloe vera, Lavender, and snake plants!

Get Started

With these five essentials in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating a stylish and comfortable home that reflects your unique personality. So, if you're ready to start planning your interior design, especially your furniture, Westco Home Furnishings has everything you need to make your dream home!

And if you have any questions, please give us a call or stop by! Our team is happy to help you with anything you need!