Secrets that interior designer won’t tell you when designing your dream home

Secrets that interior designer won’t tell you when designing your dream home




The moment we become a house owner, we get all excited and ready to spruce up the house into the home that we have been dreaming. Yet, we are afraid our ideas and designs may turn out different, instead of dream house, it became the house of horror. Regardless if you are residing in Bedok’s HDB or Clementi’s private condominium, you will still need to move in furniture and may it according to your dream house. However, fret not, we are about to share some of the interior design trade’s best-kept secret.


Minding the gap
One of the most common design mistakes that non-designers make is cramming too many furniture into a space without leaving enough room for people to walk around comfortably. The most frequently used thoroughfares in your home should be at least 90cm wide, that’s enough for two people to walk on it. For instance, it is ideal to leave about 45cm between sofas, chairs and coffee tables around your living room. It will give you plentiful space for sitting and moving around without having to stretch too far for your cup of coffee or shoot across the room to have some conversations. 

Let’s say you have a huge living room, you can bring in sofas and armchairs from the walls that will create a cosy and stylish sitting area within the room. This works well in open-plan spaces. But, if you have a small room for a central sofa, keep it against the wall, make sure the other seating is within easy chatting distance. 

How about the dining room? Dining tables often get squeezed in as afterthought but it is worth thinking carefully about how much space you need to avoid bumping elbows while you eat or having squash into your seat. The ideal dining table height is 74cm, with 45cm of leg room and 75cm space between the table and the wall so you can get up and sit down comfortably. Each place setting should be about 65cm wide.


Colour guide
Interior design’s essential is the colour wheel. It’s purpose is to help you to plan your colour pairings or guide you out of a design rut when you are struggling for inspiration. Use that wheel to guide you to come up with complementary schemes (utilizing colours from opposite side of the wheel). Then, there is analogue schemes (using colours next to each other on the wheel) or bolder schemes such as split complementary or triadic which is using all three colours. 

You might be wondering what is the safe way to proportion a three-colour scheme? Best is to stick to 60% for your dominant colour, 30% for your secondary colour and 10% for your accent colour. It is hard to go wrong and to add the fourth colour into the mix, split the secondary colour or the dominant colour but never the accent. 

For instance, you can paint window mullions charcoal black. The key is to paint just the one or two inches thick trim that touches the glass, not the entire window casting. Don’t be nervous about that dark paint, thinking that it will feel dark or heavy. Apparently, it turns the window into a picture frame, drawing your eyes through each room to the view way beyond. 


Different textures
The key is to contrast the patterns - a geometric with a floral or a small scale with a large scale. If you feel this is unapproachable, then the easiest, lowest stakes way to start is through pairing pillows. You can play around with the use of pattern on the pillows on your sofa or bed before moving to more involved surface such as wallpaper and drapery where this also works perfectly. Wallpaper can be used in other unexpected places like lining cupboards, drawers and shelving. It’s a subtler way to introduce a statement pattern into the scheme than papering a whole wall. 

You could also repeat shapes throughout a scheme in a subtle way to help the human brain read a space as a harmonious whole. A selection of rectangles - in the pictures, sofa and scatter cushions that echo one another, as do the pair of round mirrors, round coffee table and vase. The central ampersand purposefully disrupts the repetition so the scheme does not become too predictable. 
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