Four Interior Design Tips

This potted plant adds a lot of ambience to the space and makes a living room come alive.

Recently I’ve started looking into interior design to help spruce my apartment life.  Regardless of if you’re a student or a working professional, interior design can make a huge difference in your mood and your home experience.  Especially for AU students learning from home or working from home, a large portion of the day is spent behind your own walls.  As a thrifty apartment dweller, I have a few tips that can add atmosphere to your home without breaking the bank.  When I first started my home decorating journey, I realized how easy it was to overspend.  Furniture pieces and other decorative items add up quickly.  Even scouring Ikea, the bill added up quickly.  Prioritizing what you want most in a home is just as important as the tips I will provide you with today.  For myself, I created a budget and followed it.  If I could not find something for the price I was looking for, I often looked to Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji to help me locate the item I needed.

Embrace green

Having lived in a house for more than four years without any plants, I can say that my first plant made a huge difference in improving the atmosphere of my home.  Not only are house plants aesthetically pleasing, they also reduce stress levels and comfort levels for those living in the home (Qin, 2014).  Choose plants that are easy to care for such as succulents or rubber plants that are hardy and low-maintenance.  Smaller plants are suitable for smaller spaces and also are easy on the wallet.

I switched the bulbs from a glass bowl light to these LED lights from Costco and they give the space a more modern look.

Layer lighting

One simple way to instantly lift the look of your home is to layer lighting.  This means using a variety of lights that give a different mood and brightness to your home.  For example, even if you have overhead lights, having a floor lamp can create mood and complexity.  Something as simple as replacing the bowl lights (I used to call them boob lights) with an LED light from any hardware store will add some more interest to your home.  These are small fixes but go a long way.

These chairs are not fully pushed against the wall giving the illusion of space

“Float” your furniture

One way I’ve styled my home for the last 10 years is to push furniture against the walls.  I have always thought that this opens up the space in the living room when my couches are against the walls.  But this has in turn made the space look cheap and aesthetically non-pleasing.  In interior design furniture are known to “float” or “breathe” meaning that there’s space behind the couch allowing for a more sophisticated look.

This bedroom has the theme of black and white with some chrome accents making it a fresh, complete look

Tone down the colors

Colors draw our attention like no other.  Having many colors in your home can be distracting.  Moreover, having multiple bright colors could clash with one another and make your home look cheap and unsophisticated.  Try for a color scheme that works.  For example, our eyes are automatically drawn to show homes where colors are muted or follow a distinct theme such as gold, black and white.  The same principles apply for your own home.  When purchasing furniture, stick with neutral colors that are within the three to four color schemes in your home.

Qin, Jun, et al.  “The effect of indoor plants on human comfort.” Indoor and Built Environment 23.5 (2014): 709-723.