5 Insider Secrets of Design
Thinking “outside the box”.
That’s what comes to mind when people think about interior design. And while all of these certainly play a role, the truth is: design is a science. It’s technical. It requires research and precision and the application of tried-and-true methodologies.
Which is why at Micky Klein Interiors, we’ve got our bag of go-to design strategies that we’ll always use, no matter what the project.
Of course, every design is tailored to the client, their vision — and their space and needs. That’s the first step of every project: probing the client for style preferences and wishlist. But once we know what they’re looking for, these 5 strategies are a part of nearly every design we render.
- Playing with light.
Light is crucial for making every other element of design stand out. It impacts how a space feels — cozy and homey, bright and spacious. Because of this, we’ll use whatever tricks we can to enhance the lighting of the room in order to capture the vibe the client is looking for.
The first thing to go, without a doubt, is fluorescent lighting. Many commercial spaces opt for replacing with LED lighting, because of energy savings and federal and local rebates and incentives. (Check out www.usaveled.com for more information.)
For the brightest possible space, natural light is best — but opening up the wall or ceiling for windows and skylights isn’t always feasible. So we’ll turn to artificial lighting to accomplish the same purpose: strategically placed recessed cans, chandeliers, sconces, spotlights, lamps and more.
- Layering textures.
When everything is just one layer — simple paint on the walls, flat flooring, basic linens — the room feels cold and uninviting. The more textures you add to a space, the more finished it feels, and the more welcoming it becomes.
Depending on the room and the atmosphere we’re aiming for, we’ll accomplish layering with all sorts of materials. Walls benefit from textured wallpaper, paneling, wainscoting, moldings and chair rails. On the floor, wood, carpet and tile each offer their own unique textures, but you can even create texture with the layout or pattern of the flooring. We’ll also mix and match a variety of fabrics and materials in the space — on furniture, pillows, lamp shades, even on the walls.
- Dressing the windows.
Window treatments should never be an afterthought! Without them, the window remains bare, allowing light (and prying eyes) to enter the room when it shouldn’t. Window treatments are also an opportunity to add more textures to a room, further deepening the effect of the design.
Planning the right window treatments for a space is always part of the design package. For example, to build drama, we might opt for long, floor-length curtains hung above the windows. Classic blinds or simple roller shades are a more minimalist, functional approach to cover the windows that still dresses up the room.
- Balancing with symmetry.
Symmetry — when things are uniform and evenly spaced — makes anything look pleasing to the eye, especially in interior design. It makes a space flow better and look neater and more collected — giving you that “ahhh!” feeling. Think pairs of identical armchairs, matching end tables, or two similar vases surrounding a lamp.
But symmetry is NOT just about lining up two exactly alike things. That results in a tired, uninspired look. Instead, we apply symmetry with principles of balance — for instance, a heavier or distinctly-shaped item needs to be paired with a lighter, more traditional one, or pairing two of the same item in two contrasting colors. When all the elements play off each other to produce a visually interesting look, the overall room feels more complete.
- Stretching the budget.
Not everything in your space has to be top dollar. You CAN get a luxurious finish while including lower-end options in your design too.
Our strategy: spend the highest dollars where they’ll achieve the most in terms of wow factor and design cohesion. When we design any space, we’ll emphasize affordable options for the larger-scale purchases (e.g., durable yet attractive flooring), mixing in more limited, high-end options that make the space truly stand out.