A Simple Guide to Interior Design Part One

We have put together a four part home decor planning guide to help you create your ideal room and assist you to choose the perfect soft furnishing for the dream look. We hope you enjoy this and you find it helpful. 

Part 1 - Walls.

The Professional Look

This is an insight into the mind and thought process of an interior designer so you can create a professional look in your home. 

Here at Bela Casa Home we are experienced in all aspects of soft furnishings and home interiors, working professionally with them since 1988. We have constructed this easy step by step guide to help you make the most of your soft furnishings when planning the redecoration of your room or home. 

As you walk into a room or see a photograph it is easy to see a well thought out, planned interior versus an eclectic gathered decorated room. Your home should be a place of happiness, peace and tranquility, inspiration with practicality and comfort. All these need to be taken into account when planning your new decor.

 

Above: A well thought out beautifully designed bedroom in grey.

Research - The Key To Success

These days most of us have cameras in our phones or access to a handy sized camera so whilst your out walking, shopping or even on your way home from work, take pictures of the things you like when you see them, colours, themes, products and textures should all be on your list. 

We are constantly surrounded by architecture, nature and designer interiors so snap away and gather a stock of images of the things that inspire you, make some collections and do not be afraid to print them out and pin them on a board, mix and match your inspirational pictures and you will soon start to see themes and colour ways develop. Your local Bars, Hotels, cafes, shops and restaurants spend lots of money and hire some amazing interior designers to create inspirational places to be so use this source of knowledge and expertise to gain ideas and inspiration.

The colour of a piece of clothing, a building, flower or even a sign can always be recreated so be aware of your surroundings and allow yourself to be inspired. Take inspiration from your natural surroundings, once you start to look and allow yourself to be inspired you will be amazed what actually surrounds you.

Above: Inspirational cottage with orange flowers.

Above: An inspirational picture of the warming colours of Autumn Leaves 

Above: The rustic colours and textures of an old brick wall.

 Above: Contrasting colours found on a leaf among the weeds in a hedgerow.

The internet is full of design ideas, spend time researching online, photograph sharing sites like Pinterest and Instagram are great for inspiration. Do not just solely concentrate and look for interiors, remember you can pic up great colours and inspiration from all kinds of objects, maybe an old car like this 1968 Mk1 Ford Cortina 1600 E:

Or colours from an amazing tunnel of trees like this one in Pretoria, South Africa;

Inspiration can come from anywhere, maybe a ceiling of umbrellas in a local festival of street art, like the one with a thousand umbrellas hung in Southgate shopping centre in Bath:

or a picture of vintage vespa scooters will inspire a colour theme for your lounge:

So once you are inspired and have a theme and colours in mind where do you start with the planning of transforming a room? 

A good starting point are the walls

If you are starting a new interior design project or refurbishing a room give thought to the walls and the key part they will play in the overall aesthetics of the room. Walls are not something that are easily moved so these fixed items should be the backbone of your plans for the room.

Visually the backdrop to any rooms interior decoration are the walls. These should not be underestimated as an essential part of the overall look, feel and theme of any room or interior design project. Hopefully this article will give you an insight into how to utilise walls and inspire you to create your dream decor.

Textures and materials 

There are literally hundreds of different options for the texture or material of any wall, from smooth or rough painted plaster, wall paper, tiles, natural stone or bricks to reclaimed timber planks, fabric or polished concrete. Remember the old rustic bricks from the earlier photo that was captured on a walk, they would make a perfect backdrop for a whole host of decorative ideas.

Distressed rustic planks can be used for a remarkable effect:

The material of a wall will most certainly set the tone for the room and can often be mixed and matched even on the same wall to maximise the effect. If you are lucky enough you may have an existing wall that is a perfect feature to build your interior from, like this stone wall below:

Think of a wall in any material and it instantly triggers a theme or feel for a room, take an antique paneled oak wall in a Victorian Manor House or a rustic brick wall in an old cottage or a modern refurbished mill flat for examples. 

 Above: Traditional Oak panels set the scene for a grand classical theme.

Features

Using the existing form and surface or with a little forward planning you can incorporated many different features into the construction of walls, such as; shelves, featured stones, lighting, curves, built in shelves, panels and pelmets or even fish tanks.

 

Above: An existing feature can be utilised and be the perfect location for displaying accessories.

 

Above: Built in cabinets can be an effective use of space, both aesthetically and practically, if you require storage space this can be a good option and use of wall space.

A fish tank built into the wall can have a dramatic effect.

Colours

As the canvas for the room and key to the theme you would like to achieve, the colour of the walls will be key to the aesthetics of your room. How you treat them can vary, walls can be used as an invisible backdrop, main features or bold statement centerpieces. Dark colours can be used to create atmosphere. You can elongate a room by colouring the furthest wall in a darker colour, this will give the room the illusion  that it is longer than it really is.

Strong solid dark colours can be used for atmospheric themes like bohemian style rooms or a dark damask wall paper can used to create a classical modern look. These dark walls can then be perfect for highlighting coloured soft furnishings like curtains, sofas and cushions. Reds and terracotta's can be used to warm the room and give a cozy homely snug feel.

 

Dark wall colours can be used to create atmosphere like in a bohemian style room above.

Lighter bright colours can be used to bring colour and light into a dark rooms or make statements out of entire walls or wall hanging art. Think about the room layout, TV positions, settee and furniture then incorporate a coloured wall can give a dramatic effect. Chimney breasts are often ideal for contrasting colours or textures to create a focal point. 

 

Above: The use of bright coloured walls is illustrated perfectly by the Daily Mail with our Morocco Fushia Rocco Cushions in a recent feature.

Plain blank walls are an ideal canvas to backdrop the theme and colour of a room, if you use neutral colours like magnolia, cream and white you can then quickly change or freshen up the colour scheme of a room by adding a few new cushions, throws or curtains. 

Above is an excellent example of white walls used to good effect and an excellent photo for interior design inspiration.

Wallpaper

There are many different wall papers available in different materials, textures and a whole range of patterns from floral, damask, traditional designs like the infamous William Morris also stripes, spots or wall Murals.

Wall papers can be a longer term and expensive option so my advice is to purchase a sample and then post it on the wall for a few days so you get used to it and it can be viewed under different lights before you make your final decision.

Above: A Fabulous Duck Egg Metallic Damask Wallpaper

During the construction and undertaking of a physical overall of a room and after the ceiling, the walls are generally one of the first things to be completed, so once the walls are complete the room is prepared to accept the major soft furnishings like floor coverings, carpets and curtains.

Remember the key to all successful design projects is planning and attention to detail. It is important to be fluid with your design so that consistences flow between the different mediums to create the overall picture. Sometimes you will find a carpet, curtain or piece of furniture that will drive the entire theme but be aware not to build an entire room around a tiny object, you may find that the larger more expensive objects are the place to start! This is what we will talk about in the next part of our home decor essential guide and how the soft furnishings will influence the theme and feel of your new room.

There are many different interior themes, here are some interesting, different and inspirational room themes worth researching as you seek inspiration: Bohemian, Zen, Contemporary, Farmhouse, Beach House, Vintage, Urban, Post Modern, Old French, Country Cottage, Beach Cottage, Gypsy, Kitsch, Retro, Minimalist, Coastal.

I hope you have enjoyed the read so far.

We always love hearing from you, send in your pictures and we will share them with our amazing followers on social media!

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Please feel free to comment below, we love hearing your thoughts and ideas.

 

Comments

  • Posted by Peter Jackson on

    Wonderfully informative article and a very good read, I also enjoyed the pictures too. Very inspirational. Well done, I cannot wait for the next edition.
    Regards
    Peter.

  • Posted by Andrew Fordshaw on

    Great post. Like the Vespa pic.

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