Help! My Home Is a Blank Canvas!

Moving into a brand-new home often means a space with bare white walls and spaces that are less than ideal. Knowing where to start when creating a homely atmosphere can be daunting. Guest writer, Kathleen Cameron from Muval, gives some tips to get started.

Whether you are moving into a new home or an old home, there are a few things that you can do immediately to improve the visual flow of any space. Before you even think about decorating, as soon as your removalists are out the door, have a long hard look at each room before you start to unpack. While there is time, make a visual assessment of all the wall space, natural light sources, storage, feature spaces etc. You may already have an idea of what you want the space to be functionally, but how can you maximise your style to heighten the function and energy flow of each area?

Here are five ideas to give you a head start to styling your dream space!

1. Wholeness and Unity

Just as your home is connected with walkways and doorways, so should your decorating be connected visually in some way. It doesn’t mean that every room needs to look the same, but having a “common thread” that subtly flows through the story of each room can create an easy transition as you move through the space. Sometimes that may come from the original fittings or architectural features, or you may find a common colour that can coordinate with the original schemes in each room. Adding some well-placed lighting will enhance the overall effect.

2. Natural Balance

You can think of this concept as the visual distribution of “weight” in a room. Generally, there are three main principles of balance that interior designers rely on when considering placement, colour, decoration and other items that fill the space in a room.

Symmetrical – often found in traditionally designed interiors, it is characterised by a repetition of object or pattern in the opposite sides of a vertical axis.

Asymmetrical – this is achieved when objects are balanced according to how they can attract the eye, or have equal visual density. Generally a less formal approach and suits modern design layouts, but can be harder to achieve.

Radial – although more common in larger spaces, this effect is achieved by revolving objects around a central point out to the perimeter of a space. It can be very commanding and inspiring if implemented well. An example could be designing the focus of a room around a central fireplace, or a feature pool or spa.

3. Rhythm and Repetition

In interior design this refers to visual pattern repetition. It is a continuity, transition, organised visual movement, and/or recurrence of imagery, patterns, colour, contrast, shape or form. It is intended to be designed to lead the eye around a space, from one element to another.

Repetition is using the same pattern, colour, texture, eye-line or another feature. Other ways of creating this effect can be by using progression to build appeal and draw the eye by building up a group of features or elements in intensity, one example is using different sized objects or gradients of colour.

Transition is a way of gently and naturally leading the eye to an object or feature by drawing on a “line”, like using exposed beams, curved doorways, hallways or paths to lead the eye to an intended feature. Using opposing objects, shapes and colours to contrast their form is another way of drawing the viewer to a feature or object. Using these elements in harmony together creates an overall rhythm for the decorating scheme.

4. Focal Points

A focal point is intended to create interest and to draw the viewer into the feel of the room and draw attention to an area that is special, unique or celebrated. This will often be different for each room and can also be reliant on the functionality of the space. Having a focal point is important to the success of each room.

5. Colour

Our emotions are linked intrinsically to colour. Colour is a powerful purveyor of mood and personality and is the first visual element you will consider as you look to build the atmosphere of a room. If it is not done right, there can be disastrous consequences that aren’t easy to fix down the track. It will be the underlying glue that ties the entire scheme together and can make or break the success of your design adventure.

Consulting with a colour professional or an interior designer is extremely beneficial as there are many different ways of spinning the colour wheel, and they are experts at picking out the right complementary scheme for your home to naturally enhance the features of the structure.

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