Interior Design

Interior Design Principles

Interior design is the process of taking an new of existing space and transforming it into a new surrounding that is pleasing to the eye and hopefully with a good sense of practicality. Interior design is performed in a wide spectrum of buildings, from flats and fine houses, theatres, concert halls, banks, offices, restaurants, hotels, and churches. In some cases the architect of a building is also the interior designer, whereas in other cases an architect and an interior designer work in harmony on a project to ensure a unified approach. However, usually the interior designer works independently creating a decorative scheme for the space that complements the building's architecture.

The Interior Design Process

A professional designer normally works from drawings and use these as a base the internal design renderings. In this process the designer will, in the first instance, take into account the internal layout with the positioning of doors and windows and review the use of the space as a base input to the design. From here, the designer will then balance the effect of furniture, floor coverings curtains and wall finishes to harmonise these into a coherent and pleasing scheme. In this process colour, textures and finishes will pay a key role in the creation of an idealised ambiance for the space. It is inevitable that the designers final choices will be guided by the clients desires and budget together with the intended function of the room being designed.

It is at this stage after the colour scheme has been decided that the important considerations of lighting are made. The lighting, which would generally be a combination of natural and artificial light, will undoubtedly be a major factor in creating the right atmosphere for the room. Cool colours, such as blue, green and grey with warm colours such as red, yellow, orange and brown, together with strong dramatic colours such as burgundy, red, brown, purple and black along with the less prominent colours of beige and pink when used wisely will create the right ambience in any room. Specific colours, for instance white and cool light colours will create the illusion of greater space, whilst others for instance black and warm dark colours will diminish the illusion of space. By varying the tone and intensity of certain colours they can be made either to blend unobtrusively with other colours or to stand out strikingly. To highlight smaller objects in a room a contrasting colour should be used which will make them conspicuous against the background colours of the room.
Colours add to the ambiance of of room in the following ways:-

  • Red is powerful, passionate and stimulating and adds a dramatic shot of colour creating a sophisticated space.
  • Yellow brightens up a room injecting warmth and sunshine creating positive welcoming ambiance and adds a fresher look.
  • Creams soften whilst maintaining a clean and modern look flattering and enhancing architectural features.
  • Brown adds depth and personality.
  • Orange can stimulate warmth and a sense of well being and helps make a room more stylist and comfortable.
  • Green is a calming colour adding a feeling of tranquillity, balance and space to a room.
  • Lavender has a strong link to nature and will produce a calming effect.
  • Blue has strong links to nature and is calming and easy to live with.

Adding the Illumination

It is always best to determine the layout, furniture and finishings for a room before the lighting. This is because the choice of lighting will dramatically effect the visual appearance of the room and needs to be finely tuned to the interior design and colourings. It is a well recognised fact that crystal chandeliers truly help in making a room look more elegant. A chandelier will be a beautiful lighting fixture and home decor piece across the spectrum of properties from large mansions to small cottages. A chandelier placed as a complementary fixture can be positioned in the traditional rooms, the living room, dining room, bedroom and increasing more these days as a prime feature in the bathroom or on-suite. Another very popular positioning for chandeliers is now in kitchens. Chandeliers signify luxury, class, and beauty. They become the jewel acting as the sparkling centre piece that beautifies the room. Typically smaller and more delicate chandeliers can be in a multitude of places in the home, for instance, the hallway or entrance porch and chandeliers in the bathrooms can transform the whole look of the room whilst providing elegant, soft overhead illumination.

Lighting Schemes and Layout

The other important consideration will be the size and number of chandeliers that are used to illuminate the space. For a room of standard rectangular proportions it is generally accepted as best practise to hang a single chandelier in the centre of the room. Conversely if the room is long and thin, for instance a dining room used for banquets, then hanging identical chandeliers appropriately spaced along the ceiling will produce a very good aesthetic effect. An interior designer can assist in the choice of layout of lighting and also in the determination of size. Now there is a general rule of thumb that says that you add the width of the room in feet to the length and this will give you the diameter of the chandelier you need in inches. The hanging height is important as well and it is best to always allow 6.5-7 feet of clearance from the floor, for a chandelier hung in an area where people walk beneath it. Conversely, if the chandelier is hung above a dining table it can be just 30 inches from the table. Another important consideration when lighting a room is the effect that you are looking to achieve. As an example, for a room in a cottage with low ceilings then wall lights will maximise the visual size of the room and by complementing these with table lamps you can create a very warm and comforting ambiance. Also consider texture in the light effect as a strong direct light on to a heavily textured fabric or wall of stone or grooved timber will flatten it and reduces the visual appearance of the texture. Additionally features usually have to be given special treatment concerning lighting to bring out the best in the feature and to help others notice it in the overall look of the room.

Sourcing the Lighting

Your interior designer may have preferred suppliers for lighting products and you may choose to use these, but alternatively you may decide to source the products yourself. For ideas it is certainly worth viewing products in specialist lighting showrooms and this is a good way to make product and design choices. However, light fixtures and hanging chandeliers can be invariably found at better prices on the internet rather than the lighting showrooms. You might say we would say that as a retailer specialising in the on-line channel, but check it out for yourself by a comparison in your neighbourhood. Clearly if you are buying products from Bohemia, which is where the best chandeliers come from, you will need to pay for shipping, but even with this added you should see a good price advantage be using the internet. Chandeliers are known to add timeless beauty, class and distinction to a home, so make your choices wisely as a chandelier which is of high quality will be with you for generations.

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