Ground Rules for Good Design

If you are new to designing and decorating spaces we have broken down each basic element that includes design principles, several decorating styles and also discussed several decorating challenges related to everyday spaces in your home. Based in Caranzalem we have been a part of turn-key projects for nearly two decades. We are happy to visit the site and provide you with a free consultation for renovations, re-redesigns and upgrades across Goa. You can also visit our stores and check out our catalogue of work to choose from a variety of projects. In this article you will find concepts and work examples we have executed across Goa to help you better decide a scheme, design or concept in your next project. Our store is located in Caranzalem at 311/10 Agnelo Colony, Kerant, Caranzalem, Goa 403002, India

Design Ideas For A Large Hall

For a large hall we designed at B&F Villa Goesa faced a steep design challenge being an unusually large entrance which we used to show off the eclectic furniture design and decor objects in the room. Inorder to avoid the eye from detracting from the collection we infused a background color that was warm and natural concentrating on mild colors. Lines were kept crisp and uncluttered that are emphasized by the use of dark groves all over carpet with matching coloured cushions and plenty of small prints on similar colored mats. The marbled paper merges into the painted door. While the muted shades of walls and woodwork are very pleasing, the bright color of the table top is used here to add a splash of warmth. The walls are covered with marbled paper in cream, beige, and terracotta and the ceiling we painted with cream emulsion paint. We kept the floor simple with plain brown twist carpet. For the wood work we used coffee and cream semi-gloss paint. For the furniture we used a gilded turn-of-the-century chair along with brown cushions couple with a cloisonné-topped table. Most of the lighting in the room is covered with spotlights. For accessories we used a collection of small prints on the dark brown mats, added a fern to a copper container, with a single drape of curtain and a basket for letters and cards.

Similar Project with Large Hall and Staircase

In a similar project we undertook at Models Mystique in Caranzalem the client decided on a Spanish scheme that included a basic and uncluttered look that involved keeping the stairway to a basic pinewood which were left uncarpeted. The floor we covered with Mexican tiles in faded terracotta and the walls we left plain. A simple oak refectory table along with a seventeenth century oak chair are the only furniture in the room. For accessories we added a few terracotta pots on the wall which was the only decoration. For the walls we used white emulsion paint and for the ceiling we used pale terracotta emulsion paint. For the flooring we installed pine-wood stripes.

Redesigning the appearance of a  long dark corridor

Redesigning The Appearance of a Long Dark Corridor

We faced an uncommon design challenged for a town apartment that had a rather dark, meandering walls for a client at Devashri Devashris Sunn Sand in Bardez,Candolim.  This post quite a challenge as it had to be made both welcoming and utilitarian, in spite of the natural gloom. They are of course, obvious places for fitting in extra storage and the walls can be lined with units to take any excess household paraphernalia, china and glass especially when they lead between the dining room and the kitchen like this one that we redesigned.  For such an area to make the area seem less confining we painted the corridor and units the same shade in the adjacent room. We further enlarged the space by using glass for the unit doors. We also inserted downlights into the ceiling with strip lights inside the units to illuminate the china and the glassware.

old fashioned stairway refurbished

Old Fashioned Stairwell Renovated

For an old fashioned stairwell at Risara Luxury, we used contrasting bright colors to create a razor sharp, crisp look. To give definition to the dazzling background of white lacquered walls, colors in the stained glass window were picked for the border rim of the carpet. We used super white gloss plaint for the walls and white emulsion paint for the ceiling. For the woodwork we chose a white semi-gloss plaint. The flooring had red wool carpet to match the window. For the window we added stained multi-colored glass. For the lighting we added four inset down-lights in the ceiling. The sweeping staircases and high ceilings sometimes found in old town and country homes certainly creates a great feeling of space, although they are very difficult to decorate- as well as expensive. The best solution is to look for some natural asset which can dictate the scheme: the balustrade, a molding, the color of the wood or this case a window, which is usefully endowed with brilliantly colored stained glass. In this scheme the window is allowed to dominate but in quite different ways.

A Small Hall

For a client at Mathias Ocean Park at Dona Paula, this home a small entrance hall which is typical for small houses that has a staircase on one end and the living room on the other side.  The challenge was to make the area to be warm and welcoming and also interesting. The client preferred a warm, mellow scheme. To add light and warmth to the space we added a large Afgan rug that gave an overall effect of a welcoming nature. For the walls and ceilings we went with a golden brown emulsion paint. For the cornices, door frames and banisters we decided on dark polished wood. We used recessed wall washers for the lighting and added a 19th century pine table along with a pine framed mirror position exactly on the opposite wall of the entrance.  Wall hanging prints and plants were added for accessories.

small living room space design

small living room space design

A Dark Hall

Dark, meandering, windowless halls are unfortunately typical of several thousands of city apartments or city studio apartments and unless they to appear sombre and featureless these spaces need imaginative decoration. We had a design challenge for a similar homes for a client at  Excel Residency Caranzalem.  We decided to create a space stretching scheme.  To exaggerate the space, seemingly pushing out the walls, oriental trellis-patterned paper is used for the walls in conjunction with a plain colour for the slight alcoves. We decided to keep the ceiling, woodwork and floor plain. We added a tiered rosewood lacquer chest that helped in building up the chinoiserie effect. The color scheme for the walls were in red and white and for the ceiling we used white emulsion paint. The paint for the woodwork was a semi-gloss paint and for the floor we installed white vinyl tiles. For the lighting we used track lighting with wallwashers and downlight. To accessorise the space we used mirrors and a few potted plants.

Is there a difference between interior decorating and interior design?

The major difference between these two aspects is that interior designing is essentially a profession that does require specific learning through schooling, formal training in the industry, space planning, designing furniture and also architecture. On the other hand an interior decorator relies on the aesthetics and the overall appearance of the space. The key here being having an eye for design without having no formal training rather relying on experiences in the business. Many that are in the business of interior decorating are naturally gifted with a great eye for design and are successful without any formal training, others acquire the skills by learning and gaining formal training. If you have a knack for design, understanding a few basic techniques and learning how these are applied to make a room presentable and visually appealing will help give you the right perspective to interior design.

Deciding on decor elements

The first step to upgrading the interiors of your home is to first select a style. This is essential in creating unity and harmony which is a fundamental design principle. A uniform style will bring all the elements in a room together and create the right balance. There are multiple styles to choose from and it could be as easy as choosing casual decor elements, a formal, traditional or contemporary forms of decor. Styles can even be further magnified into specific forms such as French country, Tuscan, modern Victorian or even shabby chic.

Deciding on decor elements

The first step to upgrading the interiors of your home is to first select a style. This is essential in creating unity and harmony which is a fundamental design principle. A uniform style will bring all the elements in a room together and create the right balance. There are multiple styles to choose from and it could be as easy as choosing casual decor elements, a formal, traditional or contemporary forms of decor. Styles can even be further magnified into specific forms such as French country, Tuscan, modern Victorian or even shabby chic.

The choice of style is closely accompanied by the principle of balance that is primarily the even distribution of the visual weight created in the space that is designed. Traditional interiors schemes are  generally styled to follow a symmetrical design as compared to casual interiors that follow a asymmetrical balance with the decor elements. Creation of a focal point needed in every room. A piece of art or fireplace could be the focal point in a living room. Focal points are basically decor elements that sets itself apart either by its size, texture, colour or shape from the other elements in the room. To spike the visual interest in the room contrast and variety needs to be incorporated. This can be achieved by planning for a certain rhythm in mind placing repetitive elements similar in colour, pattern and textures.

Guidelines on different decorating styles for home interiors

 No matter the type of room that needs decorating these decorating styles will help you design the space that is focused on your likes and will help in bringing out your very unique taste into your home. There are endless number of products available on the market as suppliers are now able to source materials from across the globe, thus, there is an infinite array of products, decorative elements and finishes available at different price points and quality standards. This gives consumers the option to explore multiple decorating schemes that capture their own unique style and tastes.

Forms of casual style: Casual styled rooms are known for their simple details, fabrics filled with textured elements, plenty of accessories, accompanied by horizontal line without any symmetry in the design. Along with soft upholstery and lower surfaces most elements in the room are rectangular or without any sharp curves. The details are simple and the decorating is very casual aimed for a very relaxed lifestyle usually incorporated in guest rooms of the home. Casual designs can be a part of any room and still make the space comfortable. The furniture is highly casual upholstered in prints that are neutral such as tan, beige and off-white that add a peaceful field to the atmosphere in the room. For sharper colour tones options fabrics such as Navy, rust or olive green are recommended. Fabric material usually comprises of natural fibres such as cotton and linen.

Incorporating a formal style of decor: A formal style of decorating is influenced with elegance, examples of which are seen in public buildings such as the White House or at hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton. Although not as elaborate as these interiors, a formal style incorporates several distinguishing features such as symmetry of windows, furniture and flooring. One highlight of formal rooms is that most elements often arranged in exact pairs meeting a focal point that captures the eyes attention such as a large chandelier, a big piece of artwork or even a fireplace. In many instances interior designers also place exquisite pieces of furniture as focal points. A formal design style is best suited for homes with high ceilings, large windows that have architectural elements such as a fireplace, panelled walls etc. Features of a formal style living space include polished wood surfaces, use of mirrors, fabric that is luxurious in texture and lighting that includes crystal chandeliers.

Decorating with contemporary styling: Contemporary styling is centric around being minimalistic yet highly functional. It avoids elements being cluttered which makes it appropriate for lofts and homes. Clean lines and subtle sophistication are the highlights of contemporary styling as it focuses all the attention showcasing the space rather than things. Colours such as blacks, whites and neutrals are the primary colour tones used in this type of styling, black being the most popular of all of them. The walls are painted with neutral colours coupled with bold accessories. Lines stands out to be a distinctive element of a contemporary decor scheme with less being more. Furniture used in the space display smooth and clean geometric shapes that are usually upholstered in blacks or whites. The furniture used in a contemporary styled space is more to make a bold statement and stand out. There aren’t any excessive use of carved details or floral prints, the decor being very basic, bare and bold.

Decorating using traditional styling: Founded in most old Portuguese homes, traditional styled furnishing still exists in many Goan homes and is a preferred choice of decorating for a large number of homeowners. This style is highly toned down, calm and predictable avoiding any chaos in the elements of the room. The type of furniture used is consistent and matches with other items in the room. Most furniture is placed in pairs and centred in the area. This style is a familiar look seen in many magazines and furniture showrooms. Understated details, classic lines and restful looking features are the highlights of a traditional decor scheme. Plenty of floral patterns, geometry and gentle curves are seen across the room.

The rule of odd numbers: The rule of thirds is a similar concept used in photography, when it comes to interior designing interior designers follow rule of designing with odd numbers to create the right harmony and visual interest. The concept revolves around objects being arranged or grouped in order  to make it appear thr elements to be more visually appealing and memorable than even-numbered pairings. Mixing and grouping objects varying in heights, textures and shapes work well in odd numbers.

Defining the room’s focal point: A focal point is defined as the room’s most emphasised feature that naturally draws the eyes towards it. Focal points can be large windows with a view, a fireplace or even an artefact. If you are struggling to decorate a room, beginning with a focal point is a good way to start. For rooms that does not have a built-in focal point, additions such as painting hung on the wall with a different colours and accessorising it with artwork or shelves can help in creating a focal point. Often interior designers also use a large piece of furniture or a large mirror to create a focal point as well.

Keeping in mind basic measurement rules: Interior designing does require certain proportions and measurements to be kept in mind when arranging furniture or when placing items in a room. The coffee table needs to have at least 15-18 inches of distance between the sofa and the table itself. Wall art is typically hung at least 56 to 60 inches from the floor. Art hung over the sofa should not occupy more than two thirds of the width of the sofa set. There also needs to be at least 5 to 9 inch of space between the art and furniture. The overlap for hanging curtains typically needs to be at least 1 to 3 inches on either side of the window. The distance between the couch on the TV has to be a minimum of 5 ½ to 6 feet.

For the best outcomes when designing a space it is important to get the framework of the space right and thereafter explore the different elements needed to complete the space.   It is important to understand the limitations in the space that is available and then decide on the cosmetic, decorative or structural changes it needs. A skilled designed is always aware on how to scale and balance a space to make it comfortable and inviting. The use of lighting both natural or artificial, the use of color, textures and patterns are key ingredients to take into consideration.