Interior Decorating | Foolproof decoration and design success

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by

created on

A foolproof way to ensure interior decorating success

There is an abundance of interior decorating items available to us today. We’re spoiled for choice, for some people it can just be too hard to choose the perfect item. It can become a headache and expensive mistakes can be made. The simple 6-step method disclosed in this article can help you out of the muddle toward interior decorating success.

Interior design and interior decoration have reached new levels in contemporary homes. New homeowners are more sophisticated than those from past generations and are always seeking new home interior design ideas. The pressure on many young people today to have it all straight away is enormous. The result of this can be, besides personal debt, a tendency for contemporary homes to all look the same - sometimes at the price of individuality and uniqueness.

In many ways, interior decorating has become easier. However, the sheer volume of products available can still make it difficult for casual interior decoration aficionados. A few years ago, I worked out an easy, foolproof way to stay on track when decorating. The participants of the workshop to whom I disclosed my simple method found the idea most helpful.

What you need for interior design
  • magazines
  • books (optional)
  • time
  • paint charts
  • a note book
  • folders (optional)
  • an envelope for color and fabric samples (optional)

It is vital to work out what you like

When interior decorating,the first thing to do is work out what you like. Look through magazines, books and display homes for ideas for interior design rooms. Cut out images from magazines that you like and dislike. Quickly make your decision. At this stage, it works best when you go with your first reaction. Do I like this? If yes, put it aside with other images you like. If you really dislike something put it in another pile. It can be helpful to know what you dislike.

When you have a number of images, go through them slowly. Again, ask yourself questions. What in this image do I like? Is it the colors, style, textures or patterns? Or what do I dislike so much in this image?

It can be a great surprise to discover what themes keep coming up again and again. Many years ago, when my husband and I did this exercise when buying our first home, we discovered all the images we liked had pot plants and pale or white backgrounds. It pays to take your time and really think things through. Sometimes we do not allow ourselves the luxury of taking time. Also, look around your current home. What items do you love? What items do you dislike? You may have a treasured piece, a fabric, a painting or any item. This could be your starting point. Or you may need to find a new starting point by finding a fabric or painting to use as a beginning of your interior decoration scheme.

Select a fabric or art work as a starting point

This is the easiest way that I have found to help others with their interior decorating projects. Select a fabric or artwork that you really like. The style, colors and textures will be influenced by what you discovered in this first step. The fabric could be a liberty print, abstract in design or with oriental patterns. This method works best if the fabric or art work has at least three colors. You can use an item with fewer colors and use different tones and tints of the same color to create your interior design scheme.

Choose a style

The item selected will usually indicate a style: traditional, ethnic or modern. If you’re starting from scratch, you can select your furniture in the style you like. If you have to work with what you have, you could use the information that you’ve gathered about your likes to select accessories in the style in which you would like to redecorate.

Create a color scheme

When you have worked out the interior decorating style, you can work out a color scheme. You can do this by using the lightest or background (if not too dark) color in the fabric or artwork for the broadest areas of color: the walls.
Then select another color (mid range) from the fabric as the color for upholstery or bench tops and cabinet doors. You could also do a feature wall in this color.
The lightest, brightest color in the fabric or artwork can be used for some accessories to add impact to the room. When you follow this method of creating an interior design scheme for your home, you know it will work. The textiles designers who created the fabric and the artist who created the art work understand the principles of color and design. If the design is successful on a small scale, you know that it can work in large scale home interior decoration.

Double check your selections

The challenge for you is to match the colors carefully with the original item. Use as many paint color samples as you can to help you discover a matching color. Check the colors out in all lights. Also you could have your friends or family check the colors out. A word of caution; make sure that you’ve spent time making the selections and take care not to be too influenced by other people's opinions. It works best when you offer only two or three interior decorating samples and ask the person which one they think works best.

Start shopping only when you have a clear idea of the interior decorating styles you want

You could also check with the interior art and decoration retailers who sell paint and other items to check your color selections. But the same caution applies. When you go shopping for items, take samples of the colors in a note book or envelope. Check every selection against the colors you have chosen.

Use our interior design digital moodboard web editor, read the creative buzz blog for added tools and tips to help you to create an interior design moodboard a cut above the rest, or view our creative community of independent designers and creative individuals for inspiration for your next interior decorating project.

There you have it, six simple steps to foolproof interior decorating color schemes. Happy interior decorating!

Author: Rosena MacFadzean for