How to Develop an Interior Design Concept

Interior design is a wonderful profession that many will love to be a part of. It is not only glamorous in ways, it is also exciting, and satisfying, going by how an interior designer can turn an empty nondescript interior into a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing indoor space.

But how does an interior designer work? To achieve an interior that is pleasing to a client, a designer must start with a concept, an idea that should be a design solution to any interior space, commercial or residential.

Interior Design Model 
Source: By Akinpelu Adeyinka [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (

5 Basic Principles to Follow

To develop a simple interior concept is not so hard if you follow the most basic principles. These principles can be used in most situations, be it the design of a small apartment or an interior design project of a 5 star hotel suite.

These 5 principles are closely inter-related with each other, yet each is important in its own right. They however need to ‘work together’ to allow a designer create a unified feel to any space. They are listed in no particular order.

1. Colour – This is the most basic concept of all and is the fundamental concept that will tie a design all together. There is usually one main (primary colour), a secondary colour, and a minimum of two other supplementary and complimentary colours for the interior space.

There must be a mix . . . solid, patterns, smooth, textures . . . combined in such a way that the interior designer believes will bring beauty and enrichment to the room.

2. Scale – This is the next important aspect that ensures a concept works out beautifully. Scale is important and depending on the size and volume of an interior space, all objects placed within must be well related scale-wise.

A few designers seem to forget about the importance of scale. When the scale of anything is at odds with everything, it makes the interior quite unattractive. For instance, if large or over-sized pieces are used in small rooms, there will be a feeling of being cramped and stifled.  So if an interior concept has the greatest choice of colour mix, it will look terrible if the scale of furniture and interior accessories is off.

3. Style – Each and every designer probably has his/her own unique style, but the simplest style of all, one that seems quite popular today is a form of eclectic style. This style is generally informal and can be eclectic/modern or eclectic/traditional. It is also one of the simpler interior design concepts any designer can put together.Style also includes the choice of lighting and its illumination plan.

It is important that whatever style is chosen, everything must work in harmony with each other to create a stylish yet simple interior.

4. Space Plan – There must be a conscious plan of space as any interior designer is aware of. No matter if everything is the right scale, or the style is to-die-for, and even if the choice of colour scheme is ideal, the concept will fail if items and objects are not positioned to the best advantage while still retaining an aesthetic look.  

Deciding on a focal point in the room is easy and once that has been determined, it will be much easier to site primary elements . . . sofa, divan, wall art . . . and when those are in position, placing enhancing accessories should be a ‘breeze’.

5. Functionality – It is good to note that function precedes style. There is no point having or developing the most luxurious interior concept if it’s not functional enough to meet the needs of its occupants. It must be well designed to be an efficient space that suits its occupants’ lifestyle.

Related: 7 Ways Interior Designers Charge for Interior Design Services

All these basic design concepts are something every professional interior designer must consider for any project, whether it's a low budget design project, or a high budget project. Each must be given due recognition so that the final design will result in the creation of an interior that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but one that is attractive and inviting as well.

7 Ways to Change your Living Room from Drab to Refreshing

If you are tired of your dreary living room and you are beginning to hate its drab, stuffy look, then the room is in dire need of a simple makeover. 

I say “simple makeover” because I assume it’s not a thing you’ve budgeted for. Perhaps you were sitting comfortably on your sofa watching TV, and it suddenly hits you. You really dislike the blah looks of this space; it’s just so lacklustre and so . . . dated!


It was probably great décor a couple of decades ago, but today it just seems so out of style. It’s no more a space to be proud of. If you feel this way about your living room then it certainly needs livening up, a refreshing look that will bring your space back to life again. 

Because we all spend a great deal of time in our living room and entertain our guests there, it is important that we make it an inviting space to be proud of. However, if you are on a tight budget and don’t plan to expend much cash, there are a few simple things you can do to give the room a makeover that’ll not only be attractive and pleasing, but also uplifting. 

To achieve this may involve adding some new but simple features into the room, reviving some old furniture piece, changing the colour of the main/central wall, or simply removing those things that add no aesthetic value to the room.

7 Budget Friendly Makeovers for Living Rooms 


Here are seven ways you can transform your living room from dull to attractive. Adding (or doing) any of the following will certainly make a striking difference in your living room and upgrade it from ‘drab to refreshing. 
1. Indoor water features 
You can introduce an indoor water feature – a lovely size-able table-top waterfall fountain piece that you can place on a surface . . . your coffee table, mantelpiece, or on a simple display stand. 

Two dolphins in the sea - Indoor table-top water fountain with lights
You can also consider using a standalone (floor) waterfall feature if you don’t have a surface to place a table-top one on. A floor waterfall can be placed in a vantage position that makes it serve as a focal point for the living room. (Suggested budget = $100)
Distressed pots waterfalls - Indoor floor water fountain
2. Colourful pillows 
Spice up your dull sofa with brightly coloured pillows or cushions. This is an opportunity to introduce perky catchy colours into your sitting room. Use cheerful colours . . . fuchsias, turquoises, oranges, mustards, sunny yellows, lime, etc… 

 You can use a mix of any of these colours as long as they complement the sofa’s existing colour. You can always purchase inexpensive fabrics, and sew your own covers. This should save you some money whilst giving you the opportunity to check out hundreds of fabrics. There is always something that'll work for your living room.

If your sofa’s upholstery fabric is a solid block colour, use a mix of small, medium and large patterned pillows. On the other hand, if your sofa already comes with a patterned fabric, use pillows with solid bright colours. Ensure you add some pillows made with a couple of different textures. Bold bright colours and patterns in accent pillows is a great way to brighten up a space with strong colour shades without having to add expensive décor items to the room. (Suggested budget = $60)

3. Brighten up your bookcases 
Do you have a bookcase in your living room? If you do, you can add pizzazz to it by lining its insides and/or back with wallpaper (or even a decal). Why not try the hand-painted wallpaper to add some “oomph” to the bookcase and make it more contemporary, or a chequered pattern with a bold colour for a classic look.

Leave a shelf or two without books and decoratively place glassware, huge sea shells, driftwood piece, ceramic ware, vintage doll collections, or other such decorations and souvenirs. (Suggested budget = $40)

4. Wall decals and stickers 
You can totally transform your living room décor theme from modern to classic or from traditional to contemporary using wall decal stickers. They are just the right thing to turn your ‘insipid’ living room into an exciting space simply because the available themes are endless, well almost!

Wall decals can transform your interior
With wall decals, you can change the atmosphere of an enclosed space to a cheerful, mood inspiring, and aesthetically pleasing interior. Turn your sitting room into something elegant by creating an illusion of a penthouse with “a sky-scape theme”. 

How about a picturesque view of an exotic beach, or a mountain-top cabin surrounded with pine trees?  You can only get such transformations with wall murals and decals. Imagine the ‘wow factor’ . . . Your guests will be amazed at your new-look living room. (Suggested budget = $50)

5. Make the old new again
Do you have a furniture piece that you are about to throw out or give away? Have you been to some garden sale and found an old antique table, a cabinet, or an odd end table that you think may look good in a particular spot in your living room? That’s great if you can apply some creativity in turning the ‘old to new’.

Spray paint your find with a nice complementary colour, or with furniture lacquer. Make it look crisp and new again. It should make a nice display stand for a unique lamp, an ornament, or an earthenware table-top water feature. (Suggested budget = $60)

6. Window Decals 
You can use window art to transform your living room and make it appear as though you are looking out to some great scenic view. It can be a view of a beautiful garden, a patio pool, or a wonderful landscape.  

Window and sliding door decals
Window decals are best to use if you don’t have a nice view looking out through your window. To transform your living room is easy and inexpensive when you choose to use these stickers that possess realistic images and scenes that will dramatically alter the atmosphere of the room’s interior from boring to exciting.

With a pleasant window view, pretty pillows, and a throw rug, all complementing each other colour-wise, you’ve just given your living room a ‘simple makeover'. (Suggested budget = $40)

 7. 'Global' design 
An inexpensive look that is quite popular today is one that’s referred to as “Global Design”. What it is? It’s a trending look that features a collection of all your mementos, collectibles, and art & pottery pieces collected over the years. Your collective display may include things you’ve collected from travels, tours, or they may be items acquired through inheritance.

They can all be arranged on centre table tops, book shelves, walls, or on purpose-built display stands.  Your book collections, vintage magazines, framed photographs, earthenware, art pieces, and even ‘throw rugs’ can be aesthetically displayed in ways that tells guests your family history. (Suggested budget = $0)

Living Room Makeover for $350 or Less

We daily view wonderful pictures of dream homes and gardens and may long to have such beautiful homes, but we also need to be realistic. Many homeowners don’t necessarily have thousands of dollars or pounds to have such makeovers, but they still desire some nice change, just as you do.

So don’t be swayed and don’t be discouraged either. Many of them look too good to live in anyway, not to talk of relaxing in, or plonking your feet on the expensive divan!  

For a nice pleasant change in your living room’s appearance, implement at least a couple or a mix of most of the above interior upgrade ideas. With as little as $350, you can liven-up your living area; give it a simple makeover that’ll change it from dreary to cheery.