While some interior design rules are made to be broken (if you have explored pattern or texture mixing, then you know this to be true), some fundamental guidelines will always be timeless. Follow these golden rules for furnishing your home to create a space that will never go out of style.
Image source: @southwestbysoutheast
Strike a balance
Have you ever walked into a room that felt unbalanced? Either the proportions of the furniture were off, or there was no symmetry amongst the layout, and it felt clunky to navigate. No matter what made it feel unbalanced, though, it’s safe to say it was probably uncomfortable.
A well-balanced room has a way of putting people at ease, so it’s crucial to keep symmetry and proportions in mind when furnishing your home. To start, you can follow a home’s natural symmetry as a reliable guide when arranging furniture or decorating. For instance, if there are large windows in the room, then align the rest of the furniture with them. Not only does this create the framework for your layout, but positioning your furniture to line up with the windows will ensure an optimal amount of natural light can get in.
When it comes to harmonious decor, consider following The Rule of Three. Groupings of three--or any odd number--feel less forced than an even number of items and are known to create a balanced feeling, especially when there are variations in height and size. Keep this in mind when decorating the mantle, an entryway, or even your nightstands.
Consider the layout and flow
As the saying goes, form follows function. Though we all want our homes to be beautiful in design, creating an optimal layout based on the way our space functions should be the first priority when furnishing a home.
First, consider how each room will function and determine what the traffic flow is like. If you’re just moving in, you can predict the flow by taking the house’s layout into account and how you will move from room to room. If you already live in the space, then think about how you naturally move about each room. Arrange the furniture in a way that creates a clear path from one point to the next; make sure nothing is blocking the natural path so people won’t run into furniture or each other. It’s also a good idea to space things out evenly. In the living room, for example, there should be about one to two feet in between the coffee table and sofa.
Image source: @lavender_julep
Don’t push furniture against the walls
Though it may seem contradictory, creating space between the walls and furniture can actually make a room feel more spacious. Even if you have a small space, pulling the furniture away from the wall by just a few inches will give the impression that the room is bigger than it is. Keeping furniture off the walls also ensures there are clear paths and ample walking room. The last thing you want is for your space to feel cramped--pulling the furniture away from the walls provides a little bit of breathing room all around.
The only room that is the exception to this rule is the bedroom. For the most part, it makes sense to have the head of the bed resting against the wall--just be sure there is a clear path on the other three sides of the bed, so there is plenty of space to get in and out.
Create a focal point
The focal point of a room is the area where the eyes are immediately drawn to. It could be something architectural like a fireplace, or it can be something you add to make a statement like a large piece of art. Whether natural or created, every room should have a focal point to create balance and be visually attractive.
In the bedroom, for example, the bed is the obvious focal point. But on the opposite wall, you can create a balanced vignette featuring a dresser and a round mirror.
Or take the living room--the focal point could be the area where the TV is displayed. To make this area the focus of the room, you’ll likely want a unique piece of furniture like a statement TV stand. Then you could frame the TV stand with plants or lighting, or create a gallery wall above it. Just don’t forget about The Rule of Threes!
Cane doors by Norse Interiors.
Opt for timeless furniture
Furniture is the foundation of any room, so to create a functional space that will stand the test of time, consider investing in timeless pieces. Simple, sustainable designs act as a great base to build the rest of the room around and will prove to be pieces you find yourself coming back to from home to home and year after year. Plus, you can always mix up the style or mood of the room by swapping the decor each season or rearranging the layout to freshen up the space.
However, if you are hesitant to commit to one piece of furniture for the long haul, consider opting for customizable furniture that can be switched up every now and again. At Norse Interiors, we create custom furniture using IKEA pieces. IKEA has always been a reliable source for timeless yet affordable furniture. But what if you want to change up the look of your bedroom and need your Malm dresser to fit the new style, we can bring new life to it by swapping out the original elements for unique doors, panels, and hardware.
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Author: Sam Lauron