Interior Design: Tips of the Trade

interior design tips


With over 35 years of distinctive interior design experience at Hoskins Interior Design, we have helped many clients create homes that reflect their personalities and needs. Successfully moving a project from concept to final product requires a wealth of knowledge and expertise. However, today we are going to share with you some insider tips of the trade to guide your interior design experience.

1) Draw It Out: Draw your design concept to scale to make sure that everything you are planning will work together. These drawings will serve as a foundation for your project, guiding you through the many decisions ahead of you.

2) Mind the Scale of Your Lighting – A common mistake we see in many design projects is installing lighting that is too small. Make sure your chandeliers are to scale for the space they are meant to fill. There are some golden rules for hanging chandeliers over a table:

  • Hang the fixtures 60” or above from the floor, which usually means 30” from the table top
  • The size of the fixture should cover the horizontal space above to at least 6” from the narrowest edge of the table

3) Anything on the Vertical Plane is Most Important – Our eyes notice when the vertical space of a room is not done well. The wrong color on the walls can ruin the whole design. Take the time to choose your paint colors or other wall coverings carefully. Draperies and window coverings, hanging light fixtures, and art are also part of your vertical space.

4) Never Dry Clean Window Coverings – Even if your draperies are well constructed, they are not meant to be taken down for cleaning. Quality window coverings are made to last 15 years. When they begin to look dirty or worn, it is time for new ones.

5) Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone – When creating your interior design plan, do not focus on your personal tastes. Going with what you already know limits your growth and appreciation for beauty. Explore magazines, websites and design showrooms to discover ideas outside of your comfort zone.

6) Choose Your Furniture Wisely – Another mistake we see many homeowners make is placing furniture that is too big or too small for a room. Scale is very important in interior design schemes. The furniture you bought for the large living room in your last house will most likely not be the correct size for your new, smaller living room. Give yourself permission to release pieces that no longer work in your home. Purchasing furniture that fits your space will create a room that makes sense.

7) Set Your Canvas Carefully – The color of your walls sets the tone for your space, so take the time to choose appropriately. Purchase test amounts of the colors you are considering and paint them on 2’ x 2’ pieces of drywall. Place your test pieces in your room, moving it around to test the light at different angles and times of day. Pay attention to the undertones of the colors, which many times can ultimately decide which hue works for the space.

8) Lamps Do More Than Provide Light – Lamps offer style, structure, and visual interest as well as provide illumination. We find that many homeowners view them as an afterthought, purchasing low-quality pieces that tend to be too small. Unfortunately, these items stand out in a otherwise well-designed room, particularly once they are illuminated. To help you choose well, think of lamps as one of the most important accessories in a room.

We hope these tips of the trade will help make your design journey a little easier. Do you have any guidelines that drive your design projects?

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