They say rules are meant to be broken, but when you’re staring at the blank walls and open spaces of your new apartment or home, you may wish you had a little more guidance when it comes to interior design. That’s where texture, scale, color, and verticality come in—the holy quaternity of design rules to guide you when you want to create a home that feels balanced, harmonious and structured. No matter your level of interior design prowess, these rules can help you envision your perfect space and have the knowledge to execute it.
Use texture as a tool.
Furniture, decor, fabric and even paint can all play a role in adding texture to a room. Take the space pictured above, for example—the sherpa chair, limewash walls and stone accessories all work to provide more depth and dimension. Choose materials that not only fit into your design preferences but are comfortable for you and your guests as well, like linen, velvet and faux fur. Blending multiple textural elements can help make a room feel cozier, warmer and more visually appealing.
Keep scale in mind.
When incorporating this design element into your space, it may be helpful to think about pairing opposites together. In this space, the large canvas works well because it’s paired with smaller decorative elements. However, keep in mind that it’s important to think about balance when incorporating pieces of different sizes. Be careful not to overscale one element or place too much emphasis on a bulky piece of furniture to avoid overpowering a space.
Be smart about your color palette.
If you’re not sure where to start with colors, stick with the basics. A neutral color palette with only a few colors can provide the perfect foundation for creating a cohesive space. In this room, similar shades of cream, sage green and baby blue lead throughout and are emphasized with darker accents—the pillows, ottoman and rug—all tied together with artwork that incorporates all three. The soft colors work to create a dainty, feminine feel that looks reminiscent of a garden tea party.
Think verticality and draw the eye up.
Verticality is key when decorating a space—especially a smaller one—because it draws your eyes upward and creates visual interest as your eyes move from object to object. Adding furniture and accessories of various heights can help you achieve this element. Items like lamps, floor-length mirrors, artwork and even smaller objects like candlesticks can all do the trick, as pictured here. And when combining this element with the other three, you can spend less time designing your home and more time enjoying it.
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by Erika Hardison | March 13, 2023
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