Decorate your home using these basic design principles

Some people are just great at decorating their homes, others have to learn it with practice over many attempts. If you’re one of the latter, you’ll be glad to know that a few simple techniques go a long way when it comes to decorating your home. You know the feeling you get when you walk into a well-decorated room? It feels like everything in the room blends together so beautifully. You can have that for your home if you just follow these basic principles of interior designing.

Rule of three

Grouping things in odd numbers of three or five are visually appealing and much more memorable than groups of even numbers. Use similar objects but make sure that they have different qualities like different heights, textures, and shapes. The goal is to avoid looking boring or too thrown together with little thought.

Room’s focal point

The focal point of your room is the area your eyes are naturally drawn to when you enter. Everything around that focal point should compliment the space. Here are a few ways you can create a focal point for your interior design project:

  • You can paint one wall a different color and decorate it with artwork.
  • Something as simple as a huge piece of furniture can also be a focal point.
  • A big mirror can also be a central point in the room.

Use the colors from the focal point to decorate the rest of the room. Helping visitors focus on your central point gives the room more balance. Most people plan their interior with a focus point in the center of the room. The focus does not necessarily have to be in the middle of the room. It can be anywhere, just make sure it is the first thing that catches people’s eyes.

Basic measurement rules

When arranging furniture or hanging curtains, we just plan it as we see it. But there are certain measurements that look better, so here’s some you can keep in mind.

  • Have 15” – 18” distance between the coffee table and the sofa.
  • When hanging artwork, keep it at eye level. If there are multiple artworks, keep the central point at eye level and arrange other work around it.
  • If you are hanging art above your sofa, it should only be 2/3rd the width of your sofa.
  • When hanging curtains, you can give 1” – 3” on the sides to add more width and mount the curtain rods at 4” from the top of the window.
  • To determine the viewing distance from your TV to your seating area, multiply the diagonal size of your TV by 2 and that’s your distance.
  • When it comes to rugs, you should either keep all your furniture on it or if the rug is too small, keep all the furniture just outside the rug. Some designers like to keep just the front legs of furniture on the rug.

Negative space

Negative space is the area that does not have anything on or around it, like the white area on the wall. You may be tempted to fill that area with something, but remember that sometimes negative space speaks for itself. It’s not just about removing things, it’s about looking for spaces that look great even when they are empty.

If decorating with negative space gets tricky, there are a few ways you can make it work.

  • The best way to make most of the negative space is probably to avoid clutter.
  • Be intentional about your negative space. Use it to highlight a decorated space nearby or to create an interesting design.
  • Contrasting shapes can create an odd or interesting negative space.


I can ramble on about great lighting pages upon pages, but for the amateur, there are three basic types of lighting.

  • Ambient or general lighting is the overhead lighting meant to evenly light up a room.
  • Task lighting is meant to light up a specific area. For example, a lamp might be used to light a reading area or under cabinet lighting for the kitchen countertop.
  • Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular object, for example, a painting on the wall.

Adding different types of lighting can give your room dimension. Start by planning your ambient lighting in each room of your house, then consider how you can use task and accent lighting.

With the help of these basics, you can adjust your decorating to suit your tastes and preferences. You can use these rules to get started but don’t be afraid to break them and go with your instincts if something feels right to you. You can always reach out to Insign Interiors at

Picture courtesy - Internet