Four Interior Design Ideas to Create a 'Living' Design That Lasts
April 30, 2015
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How do you create a "living" space without themes that quickly get old? When exploring various interior design ideas, merging the indoors with the outdoors is a great place to start. The use of plants, courtyards, vertical gardens and natural materials are all exciting concepts that add an airy feel to common residential and commercial spaces. With this in mind, here are four ways to create a living design that lasts:
Evaluate Your Space
When starting out, clearly evaluate the space you're working with. Is it south- or north-facing? What is the space being used for? Will you need to build in seating, dining or play areas? In spots where space is confined, "living walls" are a good approach to create space for plantings built into brickwork. Lighting is key here to get the best effect from your design by making it a focus for both day and night. Introducing water as a decorative feature can also entice the senses and bring life to an otherwise plain room.
After establishing the budget, another consideration when using foliage is the maintenance involved in the design, from the amount of time needed to clean to the ongoing investment when certain items need replacing. If it's a residential project and your client does not plan on spending much time tending the area or lacks experience with plants and shrubs, this should influence your choice of greenery, as well. For commercial projects, ascertain whether your clients are prepared to build replanting into their annual budget. If you don't have a budget for planting yourself, use bowls of sea shells or have fun collecting rocks and stones for use in a personal design.
Establish a Color Palette
The right textures and colors are fundamental when brainstorming natural interior design ideas. A green area in particular suggests a wide palette of different shades that can be cohesive both inside and out. If you're planning to use flowers outside, color-reference them with flowerpots of a similar color inside, too. If you decide to use yellow pots in a garden, imitate that hue from the outdoors in your upholstery for a similar sense of freshness and sunshine. Meanwhile, the use of cool blues can evoke water, the sky and the sea, all of which can have a calming effect; neutral tones such as beige, tan and white create a relaxing atmosphere.
Scents, Nature and Texture
Scents and glimpses of nature are always part of the approach to living design, so natural light and fresh air will be of great help. Using plants and letting their scents waft through open windows is a lovely way to embrace nature in the home. Natural materials and fabrics like rattan, wicker and hemp are perfect for furniture and accessories to emit this natural feeling, as is the use of eco-friendly materials where appropriate. Natural flooring such as wood, bamboo and cork will then complete the space.
Executing new interior design ideas can be a challenge, but using the outdoors as your guide can promise a constant stream of ideas. The changing seasons and landscapes ensure you're constantly considering different shapes, textures and, most of all, a wonderful color palette from which to draw inspiration.
Photo credit: morgueFile