If you’re looking to enjoy the living space in your home, you must create the right ambiance.
From pendant lights to cosy furnishings at the dining table, adding the softer touches to your interior
design can help to create a room with character, atmosphere and a mood.
Deciding on texture
You can be extremely playful when it comes to texture. In fact, if you’re looking to achieve an
informal, cosy setting then steer clear of a regimented list of restricted textures and you’ll find
textures that marry well irrespective of their feel or material. Mirrors and glass objects are a good
accent to any texture. To create a broody feel, consider rich, dark veneers. For a softer touch,
incorporate silk upholstery, velvet floor length curtains and hints of aged brass and copper.
Deciding on colour
Feelings can be associated with colour, ever heard of the phrase ‘feeling blue’?
When you want to switch up the colour of your room, you must consider the size. If your kitchen is small, you’ll want the space to be bright and airy so you might opt for predominately lighter shades
for the walls or cabinetry. That way cooking need not be a dark and isolating experience.
A restricted pale palette also makes for a sleek aesthetic that can be personalised with splashes of colour and
will have you staying on trend for 2018. Ideal Home has aptly named this the ‘Unicorn-inspired’
trend featuring pale blues and pinks, personalised with glinting bronze and metal.
If you have an open plan room, such as a kitchen, you’ll be able to get away with darker colours.
Dark blue cabinets, as House Beautiful have predicted, are set to be the most popular colour choice
this year for modern kitchens. The second thing you’ll need to consider is the lighting in each room,
so, consider where and how natural light may shine. The personal palette will vary from client to client and it is important for kitchen designers and interior designers alike to use their expertise to
help their clients make informed choices about colour schemes. The option of hand painted
cabinetry allows you to experiment with changing trends, but also gives you an authentic texture on
the wood that you simply can’t achieve with spray paint finish.
If you need to put all of your interior design ideas in one place, have you considered making a
Pinterest account? When pulling together ideas, keep a few questions in mind such as How do I want
to use this space? What impact will lighting have on these colours? Or What is the psychology of this
colour? The kitchen or living room (usually whichever is the biggest room in the home) is the best
place to start as these are likely to be your most centrally located rooms and all other palettes
branch off from here. Paint this larger room in a bold colour, and work around the home either
complimenting the first shade, contrasting it or matching with a soft, neutral hue.
Here are some colours and their associated feelings:
Pink: connotations of love and peace – suited to a restful space in the home, such as the bedroom
Red: connotations of passion and danger – suited to a warm, sociable environment such as the dining room.
Orange: connotations of stability – suited to a lively space in the home such as the living or
Yellow: a warm and positive colour – suited to a bright and lively space such as the kitchen
or dining room.
Green: a calming colour resembling nature – suited to a restful space such as the bedroom or living room.
Blue: a calm, soothing colour – suited to a cool and relaxing space such as the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.
White: a bright colour opening up a space – suited to a light and airy environment such as kitchen bedroom or bathroom.
Deciding on lighting
Lighting can have a powerful impact on your room too. Different rooms around the home require different styles of lighting due to the nature of tasks and activities that go on in each space.
Even within a room, it is vital that you use more than one type of lighting if you are to achieve any sort of ambiance.
The living room is just one room that can be benefited from the right lighting. An area will be dedicated to watching TV and will need ceiling lights, possibly on a dimmer, so that the right light
can be achieved throughout the day and when the curtains are drawn. One corner may serve as a dedicated reading spot; if so, then a floor lamp that provides a softer light closer overhead will make
a world of difference.
Lighting is essential for kitchen design. To create the right ambiance in the kitchen, invest in pendant
lights – perhaps in varying heights – and with a warm temperature to the bulb. Plinth lighting is also
a clever way to add warmth as well as a focal point to the design; this has a particularly striking
effect on an island, giving the illusion of ‘floating cabinets’.
However, this is extremely subjective and comes down to personal preference. Other ways to
improve the ambiance in your home include transforming a space with scent and layering different
aromas. Changing colours, textures, smells and lighting are all simple, inexpensive ways of changing
how a room feels.