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.