Top 10 Interior Design Tips Every Designer Should Know

 |  Vanja Maganjić

Interior Design Tips You Need to Know

Creating a timeless design is not so prevalent in other industries, like fashion, where trends change by the minute. However, when it comes to interior design, trends take the back seat in favor of function and sustainability. In this article, we’ll share our favorite 10 tips for interior design that will lead you to design evergreen and timeless homes, offices, and other interiors. We hope this list inspires you to think outside the box. 

1. Mix high-end items with cheaper ones

This is the interior design tip that comes first on our list. Just like in fashion - you can mix expensive and cheap items, but you need to know which things to splurge on and which you can buy at lower prices. Luckily for you, we know exactly which pieces you need to spend more on since it will be cheaper in the long run. Your focus should always be on the functionality and your clients’ needs. 

The rule of this interior design tip is to splurge on everything that has a function and save on things that are here just to look nice. So make sure your kitchen cabinets, tables, chairs, beds, and bathroom installments are high-end. You can always invest in a statement piece. However, if you’re working with a small space, spending a lot of money on huge art installations doesn’t make sense. Make sure to look into used furniture, vintage pieces, and second-hand art because you never know what you might find. 

2. Always ask for samples

This is another essential interior-design tip that all designers need to know. You may think this goes without saying, but don’t be afraid to ask for samples of everything. Sample your paint, wallpaper, fabrics, and more. The only way to visualize how everything will look once it’s done is to touch different textures and compare them to one another. 

Make sure all your samples work great together and don’t create too much visual clutter. Paint swatches hold a lot of weight in interior design since they tend to last for a long time. Not only should your colors work well together, but you should also think about how they affect your mood. Some colors create positive emotions and others can create anxiety or agitation. Once you understand the deeper symbolism of colors and choose the one you want to sample, give yourself time. 

Sample the colors directly on the walls and observe them in natural light, artificial light, and at different times of the day. That is the only way to figure out which colors truly work well together. 

3. Create a floor plan and stick to it

The interiors you design will have a lot of purposes that can change over the years. With that in mind, it’s important to leave enough space for moving around and adding more furniture. Your clients should be able to move in between the pieces without any trouble. 

Picture of a Floor Plan

Interior design of a house. Image source: Pexels

Think about the space in the context of the number of people that will use it. Make sure that they can all find a place to sit, relax and not disturb each other. Once the tenants fill the space up with their things, everything will look different, so create visuals with vases, books, cushions, and more to convey your vision. Implement this interior design tip and you will be able to impress your clients.

4. Balance your color palate

Balancing color is another crucial interior design tip you need to implement. A lot of designers stick to a 60-30-10 rule when it comes to colors. That means you pick a statement color and use it for 60% of the design, pick a secondary color and use it for 30% and lastly, pick an accent color and use it for 10%. It’s not just important to pick the right colors but also to select the right shades. That’s why you need to choose a color palette before you decide on the right shades. Too many colors can ruin your design, so you have to plan them out and ensure that they all gel together. 

You can be safe and opt for more neutral colors with a pop of bright color now and then, or go with bold colors that mix perfectly, but always keep in mind how it will all look in the end. 

5. Utilize natural light sources

Sunlight makes all interiors look better and homier, which is why it’s essential to make the most of it. It is the best light for our eyes and brings us physical and mental benefits. That’s why it’s imperative to design the space around it. Firstly, map out the light distribution and figure out where the light will travel during the day and which tasks take place at those specific points. The kitchen should have working surfaces during the lunch preparations, offices during most of the days, bedrooms in the morning and so on.  

Make sure to put working surfaces next to the window and use light colors for any rooms that may not get a lot of light. Natural light makes the space look bigger and improves people’s mood making it a huge selling point of any real estate. 

6. Customize things to clients’ needs

Although esthetics are important, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to make sure that the place is functional and fulfills your client’s needs and wants. If they have a growing family, make sure there is enough room for all family members and that the design is safe for everyone. 

Customized interior design
Customized interior design of a house. Image source: Pexels

Make sure you understand your client before starting any work. You need to know where they’ll be spending most of their time and what kind of lifestyle they lead. This should be discussed before you start designing. The customer experience is the overall impression a person has after interacting with your business. It can be defined as how they feel about you, the values added, and if that interaction met expectations or surpassed them in some way.

That’s why it’s essential to start your work with clients with a great interior design proposal that will cover all their goals and your process of achieving them. Create possibilities for them to adapt to the space in the future as their needs change. Pet owners will have different demands than bachelors and understanding that difference will help you in designing. 

7. Make sure everything is easy to clean

Cleaning is something that should be considered from the start. Easy to clean surfaces, fabrics and spaces are highly desirable, and we don’t think this trend will change any time soon. Certain materials that are hard to clean will create more problems for your clients than they will benefit them. Metal and glass are some of the easiest materials to clean, which is why they’ve experienced such a rise in popularity. Another area where you have to think about easy clean-up is the paint you use for walls. You want to make sure that the paint is stain-free. 

Rugs and carpets are infamous for being hard to clean, which is why we see less and less of them in modern spaces. This doesn’t mean that they need to be avoided, just used smarter. 

8. Measure everything twice

As the saying goes - measure twice and cut once. Before you buy anything, you need to know exactly where you’re going to put it and how much space it will take up. Plan everything in advance and choose the pieces by their size instead of by their color or style. Start with the big pieces of furniture and carpets and then move to the smaller pieces. Not only are we talking about the width of pieces, but you should also think about the height of your furniture. The coffee table should be no lower than 1-2 inches from the seat of the couch. The height of the TV depends on the size of the TV, so you’ll have to calculate it for optimal placement. 

9. Choose one statement piece

Homes are places where people want to feel comfortable and at ease, so having a lot of statement pieces might make the space look crowded. The functionality of the area should be at the forefront. That’s why you should only choose one statement piece per room. It could be a lighting structure, a piece of furniture, an art installation, or even structures prepared using a 3D printer if you own one. Also, you can use laser engraving and cutting to prepare customized statement pieces to place in the interior of the house. You can check out samples of laser engraving and cutting projects to get ideas of something to prepare. As you decide on the type of statement to use, make sure that you choose the statement piece wisely since it will grab a lot of attention. Also, make sure it’s a piece that can be used for a long time and doesn’t depend on a passing trend. 

Link to post>
Statement engraving on wood using Endurance lasers. Image source: Marki Mark on Facebook

10. Shop locally and globally

There should always be a sense of the environment in the interiors you design. A lot of the decisions you’ll make depend on the climate, which goes without saying. However, there are more ways than one to show the cultural influences in your design. Discover local boutiques and vintage stores to find great pieces that will last a lifetime. There are a lot of furniture pieces you can buy second-hand. However, beds and kitchen cabinets should be purchased brand new. 

The technology, materials, and sustainability factors have changed a lot and the design has improved tremendously over time. 

Conclusion

Our ten tips will help you meet your clients’ needs and design creative and homey spaces that will last longer than any passing trends. We’ve covered everything from price points, colors, samples, floor plans, light sources, statement pieces, and more. Also, all the decisions you make should be in regards to your client’s needs and wants, so make sure you’re on the same page before you make any big decisions. 

About the Author

Vanja Maganjić is an experienced writer with a unique passion for creating content that helps brands connect with their customers. She believes in brands that stand up to the man and thinks that storytelling is essential to what makes us human. Her long-term goal is to become the cool auntie that gives out family-sized Kit Kats on Halloween.


Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

Need to learn 3D modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.

Was this blog post interesting or helpful?

SelfCAD is an online CAD and 3D design software

It uses the latest JavaScript features. Please pick a newer browser. Examples are listen below.