Feng Shui

The practice of Feng Shui interior design is part of an ancient Chinese concept centered on natural elements. The main goal of Feng Shui is to create harmony between you and your surroundings with balance being the key to success.

Have you been searching for the secrets to achieving a harmonious atmosphere in your home interior scheme? Personal living space is a great place to utilize Feng Shui interior design concepts. Feng Shui provides specific direction on your own best furniture placement, ideal color choices and even the types of materials and shapes you should use to produce a harmonious result.

One of the first things to keep in mind is that Feng Shui is an extensive philosophy that can be applied to various areas of life and society. There is much to learn about it to fully realize its benefits. It definitely has many facets.

There are five main elements in Feng Shui – water, wood, fire, earth and metal.

  • Water = blue & black shades (represents positive energy)
  • Wood = green shades (represents new life & renewal)
  • Fire = red, pink & maroon shades (represents heat & light)
  • Earth = orange, yellow & brown shades (represent health & well-being)
  • Metal = white, silver, gray & gold shades (represents wealth & prosperity)

A personalized Bagua map is the ideal method for fine-tuning Feng Shui to your lifestyle and circumstances. It can provide a guide for where to incorporate specific elements in virtually any room you wish to decorate in accordance to the principles of harmonious design. Your personal Bagua map provides you with the relationship between colors and the materials they represent to help you achieve success not just in decorating but in your personal life as well.

In general terms, arranging your space to promote the flow of “chi” (energy) is a critical element for a successful Feng Shui interior design scheme. For example, it’s important to have adequate space between objects in a room to promote the proper flow of energy. Imagine energy flowing like a breeze – invisible, yet moving through the room and around objects. Encourage this energy flow by how your position your décor. Good energy flow leads to a more harmonious result.

As you might imagine clutter is not compatible with Feng Shui living, so it almost goes without saying that resolving any clutter issues you may have before moving on to things like furniture placement is critical.

When it comes to harmonious furniture placement, a recommended Feng Shui technique is to orient your conversation areas with a view to the entrance of the room. Otherwise, the sense of the unknown can hinder the subconscious level and promote a feeling of unease.

Avoid creating darkened room corners, too. They also do not promote the flow of good energy. Other than direct lighting, you might make use of reflective objects in these areas or position a decorative mirror to better direct the flow of light throughout the room.

Indoor 

Choosing a theme

  • Most people choose their decorating style for very personal reasons – for a lot of people it is simply a matter of taste – have you seen a style in a magazine, on TV or in someone’s home that you just liked? Then try it out in your own home…
  • Does a certain style remind you of a wonderful holiday or trip? A summer holiday to Tuscany? Backpacking in Asia? A trip to France? A relaxing week on a tropical beach?

These are really good interior design themes to choose then, as your room will always remind you of your wonderful memories … and make you feel happy and relaxed when you are in it.

  • Perhaps you have always longed to go to – Japan, India or Europe, and love everything about that country…

This is another good reason to choose that theme, and surround yourself with colors and styles that remind you of your interests and passions, while you look forward to that trip you keep promising yourself one day ….

  • Choosing interior design themes and styles for your home does make a very strong statement about yourself and your personality – and there are some very striking styles out there! So do make sure you choose interior design themes that you truly love, and will be able to live with for a while.
  • Decide if you want to go with a single theme for your entire house, or keep it just for one room. There is nothing wrong with mixing themes and styles in your home…
  • But I don’t think it is a good idea to have a different theme in every single room (it’s meant to be a home not a theme park, after all!) – leave some rooms quite simple and neutral – for a nice visual rest from all the interest.
  • You can go as far as you want with your chosen interior design themes, just a few inspired accessories dotted around, or the full-on complete look – the choice is yours!

I hope that you will have fun browsing these interesting and unusual interior design themes, and you will find something that suits you and your home.

 

 

 

Space Planning

Successful interior space planning will have a large impact on how functional and pleasing your living space will ultimately be.

Carefully consider some basic questions:

  • How will your room be used?
  • How do you want your room to look and feel?

Having a firm idea of what your goal is for the space will help you set the stage for orchestrating the individual parts that will make your vision reality.

Interior Space Planning Elements

There are some basic elements of good interior space design you should consider. All play a critical role in how a space is perceived and used.

Color – this element has enormous influence on your room’s look and feel. Restful, exciting, cozy, or airy? Use this powerful tool to help you reach your interior space design goals.

Lighting – effective use of this factor can make your room function better and look better at the same time. Learn how incorporating the three layers of lighting can do the trick.

Furniture Arrangement – another important interior planning consideration is the placement of furniture. A key here is to create focused social groupings that allow for movement.

Interior Space Challenges

Sometimes even after your idea of how a room should look, feel and function has been established, challenges arise from the size or shape of the room. Often these problem rooms tend to be odd shaped or particularly large or small.

I have developed a list of top tips that I believe can help in these challenging, interior space planning situations.

Tips for small spaces – when your room is small there are things you can do to make it work better. Check out these tips and tricks…

Tips for large spaces – feeling lost in your attempts to tackle a large space? These techniques can help you make the situation an asset…

“Small space tips with big

visual impact!”

Working with limited space can be a challenge, but implementing some key small space tips can make a big difference in how your room is perceived. You don’t have to settle for design mediocrity. A small space can have a lot of style!

When I purchased my current home I knew there would be some work involved to update it. At roughly 800 square feet of living space, it was a small home by most standards.

The ceilings on the first floor were slightly lower than normal height. The front door opened into a narrow, gloomy hallway that led to the small combination kitchen-dining area. The kitchen area was so small I wondered where a table and chairs would even fit.

After a month of remodeling, updating and rethinking the layout of the space, my vision of what the little house could be was becoming reality.

With some thought and imagination you can do some exciting, functional things with small spaces. As you develop the interior design plan for your small house, apartment or loft, consider the following small space tips to maximize the perception of space:

Expand the View

With professional guidance, reduce unnecessary walls to create more open, flowing space. Consider creating partial walls or pass-through areas as a way to create more openness in the floor plan.

Ideally, you should be able to step into your house, see through the immediate space and partially into the next one. The sense of intrigue draws your eye toward the far room and invites you in to explore the larger, attached space.

This small space tip may not be relevant in the case of many apartment interior design or loft interior design situations, particularly if you live in a leased property scenario where structural changes are not allowed. For home owners, though, it could be an option.

A word of caution, however. Always consult a construction professional before removing any walls or structural elements. Load-bearing walls and support architecture are critical to the structural integrity of your home. Removing even one load bearing element can have serious consequences. Let a construction professional be your guide.

Unify the Flooring

Use one style of flooring through all adjoining rooms on the same floor of the house. This creates a greater sense of continuity and connectedness, especially if your floor plan is small and generally open in nature.

I found this was a perfect solution for my small home because the living room and kitchen areas merged into each other.

When I purchased the house, I found the previous owner had divided the space with carpet in the living room zone and vinyl sheet flooring in the kitchen zone. It left a very obvious line in the middle of the open space which was unsightly to say the least. It just had to go!

I had the existing carpet and vinyl removed and laminate wood flooring installed throughout the entire connected area (shown above). I love the results! The spaces now visually flow together and create a greater sense of expanse. I think this was one of the best remodeling decisions I made and worthy of my list of small space tips.

Work the Color Scheme

Paint the areas of the house that seamlessly flow into each other a common color scheme. Visually connected rooms will feel larger if they have a common color scheme tying them together.

Define individual spaces using area rugs, furniture, art work and/or perhaps an accent wall color if the architecture provides a distinct wall space to accommodate it.

A common paint scheme is of great value when it comes to small spaces. It costs relatively little compared to the results you can achieve with it.

Install Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting creates a greater sense of height in areas with lower than usual ceilings. These fixtures don’t physically intrude on the space. The pools of light they create will add warmth and sophistication to your design scheme.

Set all your lights on dimmer switches to create just the right amount of light for the mood of the occasion.

Leverage Multifunctional Furniture

Versatile furniture pieces can be used as extra seating and much needed extra storage at the same time. A storage ottoman is a great example of this particular small space tip. It could do triple duty as a coffee table, storage and extra seating.

And don’t forget the small, pull-out sofa that can be converted into a guest bed when needed.

Adjust Furniture Scale

Consider a love seat instead of a standard, full length sofa in addition to smaller scale chairs when purchasing furniture. Large, overstuffed furniture can overwhelm a small space.

Minimize doesn’t mean doll house size furniture, though. It’s important to get the scale right for the specific room you are working with.

 

Get Creative

Look for unique or oddly shaped areas that might be good locations for built-in cabinets or display areas. Recessed wall areas such as lighted niches, for example, provide decorative and storage space without intruding into the main living area

Is there an alcove that might be well suited for a built-in window seat with storage drawers or shelves underneath? Storage is always at a premium in a small house. Look for any opportunity to create multi-functional areas of interest.

Consider a “Murphy bed”. This is a type of bed that folds up against the wall when not in use, masquerading as built in cabinetry, or another similar feature. This could allow your bedroom to double as a home office.

If you have some carpentry skills, you could save some money by making a Murphy bed yourself. There are some nice plans available on the web.

Use Mirrors and Glass

Mirrors and transparent decorative items help to create a sense of space. A mirror’s reflection tricks the eye into believing there is a window to an adjoining space. Don’t overlook the importance of this tool in the palette of small space tips.

Transparent items create a sense of greater openness. Consider glass topped tables, clear acrylic chairs, and glass fronted cabinetry while minimizing the use of heavy, dark, wooden objects.

My previous residence, an apartment, had a galley kitchen with absolutely no windows. By placing a window shaped mirror (complete with little wooden, fold back shutters) above the sink, I was able to achieve the sense of looking into adjoining space while I did the dishes. The view in the “window” (mirror) was actually the dining area.

Employing this small space tip helped me maintain a social connection with my guests in addition to enhancing the perception of space. It was amazing how much difference it made in opening up the small room!

Nix the Curtains

If you have nice windows with attractive moldings why not show them off by avoiding curtains and opting for some natural bamboo blinds or soft roman shades for privacy and texture instead?

The absence of curtains will result in less intrusion into the space. A nice window treatment that sits within the window frame could be the perfect solution.

If curtains are important for the look you want to achieve, fabric that is similar to the color of the walls will feel less intrusive on the space. The greater the different between the color of the wall and the curtains, the more the curtains will visually intrude upon the space.

To increase the perceived size of a window, consider mounting the curtain rods higher above the window frame (close to the ceiling) and further out from the sides of the window frame. The visual effect will be a taller, wider window than actually exists. I’ve found in my experience that this technique works very well. It’s one of my favorites

Large space tips for a more intimate, social environment…”

Looking for some large space tips for the room you’re working with right now? I’ve discovered there are things you can do to make the most of a large room situation while creating islands of coziness for social interaction.

Working with a large space can seem almost as challenging as dealing with a small space sometimes. Have you ever been in a big living room that just didn’t feel very functional? The furniture was too far apart perhaps. There wasn’t a sense of intimacy in the space…it just felt big and overwhelming?

Being able to communicate properly in a social setting requires proper placement of furniture and an environment to enhance interaction.

If you have a large room with a high ceiling, here are my top large space tips for making the room feel less cavernous and more intimate:

Create Social Islands

Multiple seating areas are more practical than having to virtually shout across a large room. Create several conversation groupings within the space. Area rugs could be used to further anchor these social areas and enhance the perception of smaller, more intimate spaces within the larger design.

Add Visual Weight

Try larger scaled furniture and artwork. This will carry more visual weight in a big room. It won’t have as much tendency to disappear within the scene. Using items of larger scale should not be confused with over-stuffing the room with furniture and accessories, however. The right balance is important.

Warm the Walls

Hues on the warm side of the color wheel seem to move forward and visually envelope a space to create a greater sense of intimacy. Take advantage of this by making the walls a warm hue.

Bring the Ceiling Down

Well…not literally. But you can create the perception of a lower ceiling by simply painting it a darker tone than the walls.

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