Every good interior designer has their own set of go to design practices and personal
pet peeves preferences. This list is not that. These are the go to rules that EVERY designer (hopefully) follows. Want to design your living room but have zero idea how to give it a designer’s touch? This post is for you!
Use the Rule of Three
Groupings of anything, may it be patterns or decorative objects, look better in groups of three, five, or seven. It balances the visual arrangement while not appearing too symmetrical or forced. When you use an even amount of objects, the mind automatically looks for the third object in the sequence. “Why isn’t it there? That’s so weird that Megan only has two decorative balls in that bowl. CLEARLY she needs to get with the program here.”
It’s okay Megan. We’re here for you and your two balls.
While too much symmetry can make the room design feel forced, the right amount can create a cohesive, well designed space. For example, place one end table on either side of your sofa with a set of matching lamps. This gives the eye somewhere to rest and creates a finished look.
Visually Enlarge Your Space
Hang your curtains at ceiling height. While this may not seem very important, you would be very surprised at how big of an impact this simple change can make on a space. Ceiling level curtains lead the eye upward and enlarge the room. As a general rule of thumb, leave no more than a one inch break between the panel and the floor. Window dressings hung too short are comparable to a pair of tacky high water pants. No one looks good in them.
While some themed items in a room can look great, remember, your living room isn’t a six year old’s birthday party i.e everything doesn’t need to “coordinate” or remain in the same theme. A strategically placed sand dollar and some driftwood would be totally fine in a living space, but it’s really unnecessary to bust out the fish netting, anchors, AND thrift shop find fishing rods.
Mind Your Proportions
Minding the proportions and scale of objects in a room will dramatically improve its general aesthetic. In the photo above, the tall mirror is balanced by placing a larger scale lamp in front of it. Had the designer chosen a shorter lamp, the proportion of mirror to lamp would have been too great. A medium sized frame is placed behind the lamp, and then finally a shorter stack of boxes. Gradually reducing the size of objects looks much better than a dramatic gap between two sizes. Try to find a “middle sister” to include when styling a vignette such as the one above.
Balance Your Space
If you look around your living room and notice that all of the furniture tends to be on the leggier side, balance it out by putting a skirt on your sofa or by throwing some heftier weighted pieces into the space. Pay attention to the way the components in a room compliment one another.