The ABC’s of Design | Q-T

Thus far, you have learned many crucial tips and tricks in the design industry, but you are not done yet. Knowing all the components is one thing but being able to apply them is critical in being a well-rounded interior designer. As you progress through The ABC’s of Design series, make sure to keep in mind how you can apply these ideas throughout in your own personal space. It can be helpful to pause and take a look at your space as you read each technique.

As a continuation of the blog series, we are going to discuss The ABC’s of Design: Q-T. Let’s take a look!

Q | Question
Think about everything that goes into your home’s design. Even an eclectic design theme has boundaries. Before starting a project, ask yourself, what colors do I want? What is my focal point and purpose for the room? Modern design or maybe past trends? What is my design theme? Never start a project without having a general idea of where it is going. Research and pin ideas that you would like to replicate in your home and mimic your favorite designs. However, do not let your design be a free-for-all. You will want to ask specific questions and set guidelines before diving into your design.

R | Repetition
The power of repetition is a timeless gesture that has been used throughout literature, health, science, art, and even design. Nothing brings unity and a point across like repetition in a home. Matching patterned curtains with identical or complimentary patterned throw pillows can add a sense of unity to the room. Using repetition in your home is an ideal way to make a statement and enhance the visual aesthetics of your space.

S | Sixty-Thirty-Ten Rule
This rule of thumb is a great one to have in your back pocket for designing. The sixty-thirty-ten rule is referencing to the percentages of colors to implicate into a room. Choosing three colors is an ideal place to start. Find the three colors you want to have in your space and you will divide it into a primary color (60%), your secondary color (30%), and your accent color (10%). This will help make stronger contrast and a more direct feel of color purpose in your home.

T | Theme
There are hundreds upon hundreds of design themes to use today. You can go contemporary, rustic, modern, antique, eclectic, or industrial. With endless amounts of ideas to choose from and even more subcategories, you have your work cut out to find one. Look around and decide what themes you would like to incorporate into your home. Be cognitive if you change themes room by room that they do not feel obtrusive to one another. Themes are a great way to design your house, and they can set you on a direct path with guidelines when decorating your home.

Some of these powerful tools are great to always have on hand when designing a space. Premeditated theming and colors are some of the most essential tools to have in your collection of tricks. Check out our last post of The ABC’s of Design series to know all the tricks to master design.

The ABC’s of Design | M-P

While taking all of the previous components into consideration, we are only halfway with our ABC’s of Design. Design contains a vast ray of different elements, components, décor pieces, theories, pseudosciences, and colors, which can all change how a room is interpreted visually. Here are four more features you should recognize in the world of design:

M | Mirrors
When it comes to illusions, mirrors are unrivaled in their reign of benefits that they can add to a home.  Mirrors will create the illusion that a room is bigger than it really is.  They have the power to take a poorly lit room and blanket the whole area in light just by reflection. Mirrors are crucial to use throughout your home to help your design scheme.  Never underestimate the value a simple mirror can have on a bland room.

N | Neutrals
Understanding the basics of neutral tones is essential.  Colors like beige, tan, and even gold can add color to a space without influencing it in a warm or cool toned direction.  Black and white are also strong neutral tones that are used to make a compelling contrast in your home.  Lighter neutrals are usually airy, fresh tones that can help open up the environment whereas neutral earthy tones can create an environmental-feel that is inspired more by nature and is well-grounded.

O | Outdoors
When designing your home, never neglect the outdoors.  Curb appeal is your homes first impression to an outsider.  More people will have the privilege of seeing the outside of your house than the inside, so consider your exterior design.  Windows, siding, roofing, and doors can all be indicators on your home’s upkeep and overall value.  Lawn maintenance and shrub care also play very significant roles.  Never let the beauty of the inside of your home start with a bad impression from the outside of your home.

P | Practicality
In residential and commercial design, functionality and practicality are the forerunners of design.  Just because a table looks grand and gorgeous does not mean it should go in your home if it does not fit.  Consider the space you need to maneuver around your house.  Also, think about the personal space for your guest.  Do not have a coffee table too far to sit a drink or chairs so close that people are sitting on top of one another.  Your room’s practicality should always be your first thought when designing a room.

You can see the importance of how design is not just limited to you but also to your guest, family, and friends. Having a design, not only indoors but outdoors as well, that accommodates for practicality as well as appeases to the masses is vital. Also, always try to make even the smallest space feel larger with the power of mirrors. Make sure to check out the rest of The ABC’s of Design series to have a full understanding of every vital element in design.

The ABC’s of Design | I-L

Noting and following the prior elements that we mentioned to use in your design will help set you up for success. To continue the trend and add to the list of must-have ideas, here are some more ABC rules and guidelines when tackling a design project.

I | Innovation

Design is ever changing; throughout the decades, trends have come and gone.  While some designs have proven to be timeless additions to homes, whereas the more “trendy” pieces have cycled through the years and become remastered.  Being innovative in your designing is essential.  Never limit yourself but allow the unexpected.  New, innovations always catch people’s attention.  Designing your space with unique, artsy, and innovated styles can really be a game changer in your design.  Staying up on industry trends, fashions, and contemporary designs can allow you to stay ahead of the curb in the design world, but remember, design is always changing! Adaption can be helpful.

J | Journey

Never rush the process.  So many times, people will choose the quicker or less expensive option of flooring, furniture, or other home improvement items.  Making the right decision can sometimes mean making an investment.  Designing your home can be a journey.  Do not find yourself buying quantity over quality. You will find yourself continually rebuying goods that cannot hold up to everyday wear and tear.   Decide what investments are worth and the longevity of every product you bring into your home.

K | Knowledge

Interior design is not only an art but a science.  Educating yourself is key to becoming better at interior designing.  When you first go to an art gallery, the first picture may be breathtaking, but as you progress your journey throughout the gallery, you may quickly find a new favorite.  The more you research and learn about different styles, genres, and themes in interior design, the more you can tailor your home to the best style suited for you.  Maybe you love one method, but as you deep dive more you discover subcategories which steal your heart even more.  Never neglect to add to your overall knowledge when interior designing.

L | Lighting

Lighting is essential to making your home.  Windows add light to rooms and allow rooms to feel more significant; therefore, light colors are great to add in smaller spaces to let light flow more freely throughout the space.  Light can strongly enhance the overall feel, appearance, and size of your room.  There are at least three categories of lighting you should be incorporating into your home.  Your ambient lighting should be used to give overall coverage to your room.  This is you light which allows you to navigate throughout your home and can be a chandelier, overhead light fixture, or a light rail.  Your second type of lighting is your accent lighting.  This lighting is typically used to evoke someone’s eyes towards a focal point of another point of interest in the room.  Accent lighting can be spotlighted on artwork or even be lighting behind an entertainment center to give it a 3D pop.  Lastly, you want to embrace task lighting.   Task lighting is the light you use for performing different endeavors in your home.  This could be a nightlight to read or lights under your kitchen cabinets to help brighten up as you cut your food.

As you can see the more you know, the stronger your design game becomes. Do not rush the process but learn and grow through your journey of designing. An element as simple as lighting has so much to offer to a space. Never limit your knowledge but allow yourself to have the strongest understanding of design when you start customizing your home.

For more design inspiration, be sure to read The ABC’s of Design | M-P.

The ABC’s of Design | E-H



Learning different tricks and tips to use in your design theme is essential. Check out these different ABC methods to try using in your home for a more personal experience with your design. Let’s take a look!
E | Engagement
Your design should go beyond the visual appearance.  Your atmosphere’s level of engagement can quickly influence how you or your guests feel in a home.  Think of all your senses.  Your home should have textures to help engage with your sense of touch. Candles and scents are strong attributes to add to your home which can also help with the level of engagement for your company.  You can even think of how one engages with sound.  How noisy an atmosphere is can put a negative connotation on the room’s vibe.  Muting unwanted sounds and adding your own sounds like music, fountains, or even television is an engagement tool that makes your design more interactive and appealing.
F | Focal Point
Adding a focal point is a great tool to use to keep your room’s theme guided.  If you make a bold wall, fireplace mantel, or a painting your focal point, you always have a reference point to look towards when adding more decor to the room.  Focal points give a spotlight on something specific in your room.  Try to pick a focal point that makes sense with the functionality of the room and allows decor to be complimentary.
G | Geometry
Sometimes, you are limited by the blueprint and layout of your home.  Understanding the geometrical layout of your space can give you a leading step on design.  Different design themes work best with hard, sleek angles, whereas other styles may work better with rounded, soft edges.  Your room’s layout, doorways, and windows can give you a leading step towards which path may be best for your design route.
H | Hygge
This Danish word is how your atmosphere sets a mood for comfort.  Your home’s coziness and comfort can reflect into your own well-being.  Mastering hygge in your home is an effective way to help focus on the simple things in life.  Not thriving for elegance, but allowing the simple things like a cozy fire, quality-time with your loved ones, and a warm blanket is a key part to mastering this technique in your home.
These elements of design can help you achieve more harmony with your home. Giving your home the power to set a mood is optimal for design. Do not limit your design to just sight but allow your other senses to enjoy the experience as well.
Be sure to check back next week for The ABC’s of Design: I-L.

The ABC’s of Design | A-D



There are a variety of things to learn about interior design and the many skills that come with making a home just right.  We made a simple ABC formula of rules and guidelines to help assist you on your journey of creating your perfect home. Let’s take a look!

A | Aesthetics

Your primary purpose in a designing your space should be creating an aesthetically pleasing environment.  Your room’s aesthetics is how you and others visually perceive your space’s look.  There are underlining philosophical characteristics which concern how people interpret a room’s beauty, artistic styles, and even as far as the mood the room sets.  Some of these rules below are some strong characteristics which help encapsulate your room’s overall aesthetic appeal. 

B | Balance

There are three main types of balances incorporated into interior design.  The first is a formal or symmetrical style of balance.  Rooms that are a “mirror image of each side of the room” use this design principle.  Informal or asymmetrical balance is rooms utilizing the freedom of not corresponding furniture or design.  This allows a room to use different contemporary furnishings, diagonal floor patterns, and noncorresponding decor.  The thirds style is radial, which is usually the least common in residential design.  This is where the room’s focal point is centered in the room and the room mirrors around this midpoint.  This can be used in a room with a round table in the dining rooms or a classic circular fire pit installed in your backyard.

C | Cool Tones

Colors can influence how a room feels.  Cooler tones like blues, greens, and purples can give a room a more laid-back, relaxing feel, whereas reds, oranges, and yellows are known to provide a cozy, warm look. Using colors in your design will help govern the way a room portrays itself.  

D | Decor

Using decor is a powerful tool to use to help strengthen your room’s theme.  Finding pictures, ornamentations, and themed furnishing can quickly give your room a sense of unity.  Decor is a way to make sure that no part of your room lags your theme.  With endless options of decor to add to your home, this is one of the most powerful tools you can use to add customization and personality to your home.

These simple but influential tactics can help you with your next design project.  Do not be intimidated by expressing yourself through design.  The more you know, the more you can use to influence the style of your home. Check out part two to find out more ways to incorporate design tactics in your home.

Spatial Design Awareness

Today, we are going to discuss spatial design, which refers to an object’s relation to space. If your memory suits, you may be able to remember the way an existing room is laid out and how much space is taken up by design elements. Successful interior designers and architects have this quality down pat and use this technique every day! We understand that you may not be a designer or architect by trade, but the use of the word “spatial” will come up time and time again while designing, and your understanding of it helps with your grasp of interior design.

Spatial awareness is to understand the dimensions of a room, inside or outside. The size of the room will determine the size of the furniture used and where it is placed. A large room, 17 x 20, is defined by its function and the function of a large room is what you put in it. In essence, you will want to buy furnishings according to the scale of the room. You can play with patterns and a lot of texture in a large room. Smaller rooms will require much more thought and consideration. Below we have listed some tips and tricks for maximizing rooms that are smaller in size: 

  • Use a single, preferred color and use the variations and shades from this color throughout the space. A lot of colors throughout a space can weigh down the overall design. Building off of one color in a variety of shades can help create definition without being too demanding. 
  • Keep in mind; you will want to add more texture than patterns in a smaller room. Multiple patterns can feel overwhelming to the eyes, whereas texture still creates depth and definition without being overbearing. 
  • Invest in wall sconce light fixtures that fit close to the ceiling. In smaller rooms, you do not necessarily want to hang lights from the ceiling. This concept will interfere with the spatial flow of your design. 
  • Make sure that you use more than one floor lamp and direct the light towards the ceiling for a greater sense of height. Visually, this will help open up your space. 
  • Use a lighter paint color on the ceiling with a darker shade for the walls. This is another visual trick for creating more “space” in a small room. 
  • If you are using draperies, hang them from the ceiling and let them go all the way to the floor. If you want to maximize the space, you can hang blinds.
  • For seating arrangements, use only one medium-sized sofa with a couple of side accent chairs. This will help create a conversational flow without creating bulky barriers.
  • Always hang mirrors to reflect artificial and natural light from outside. 
  • For artwork, use vertical and horizontal pictures that are on the slim side. This will help to make the wall look longer than it actually is on paper.

Which spatial design tip was your favorite? Do you lend yourself more towards one concept or idea? In the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back weekly at From The Floors Up for more expert tips and tricks. 

Informal Balance

Consider all the components that go into a well-designed room.  It may start with a solid and functional architectural base, followed by a theme or design to give the room purpose.  You then can amp the room’s feel with your desired flooring, paints, and lighting options.  Decor can also go a long way.  A room should flow properly and feel unified; however, symmetry is not always an absolute in design.  A critical component to creating your space is allowing the power of asymmetrical landscapes and design help build an essential part of your home’s character. Here are some of the top key reasons why asymmetry is crucial to ironically giving a room a finished and balanced feel. Let’s take a look!
  • Apples to Apples
Balance has three types: symmetrical which focuses on replication and exact mirror imaging of the room, asymmetrical balance allows for the room to feel free-flowing and unique, and lastly, a radial balance which works from a focal point outwards on the design theme always referencing to the middle being the balance point.  You do not need to always balance a room, comparing apples to apples.  Most rooms do not have an exact mirror image of themselves when you cut them in half.  Windows, walls, and doorways can quickly make symmetrical design challenging and hard to keep functional.  When you embrace informal balance, also known as asymmetrical balance, you will notice that the room will have more visual interest.  You stray from monotony and patterns and allow for a more engaging experience.
  • Never Forced
Too often people force symmetry in a room that is begging for more freedom and difference.  Straying from the typical optical balance of a room allows you to focus more on functionality.  When you do not have to mirror image the other side of your space, you can also allow for more expression in furnishings.  Consider a symmetrical living room.  Perfect symmetry will have two of the same couches facing inwards, identical night stands, and a lot of identical decor.  When you allow informal balance to be part of your design, you give the freedom of adding more diverse pieces of furniture to help enhance your theme!
  • Cut Your Room How You Want
Informal balance can allow you to think outside the box.  Whereas, in more formally balanced design, you are stuck focusing on the blueprint of where windows, doors, and mantles are located, you now have the freedom to cut your room how you desire.  Do not focus of making your always facing a focal point; work angles, add character, be creative!  With the freedom of asymmetrical design, you are always welcome to recreate and redesign your room’s flow.  Contemporary paint designs without borders, herringboned floors, expressive light fixtures, all can be used to help amp up your space.
Informal Balance is a principle of interior design that many beginners overlook.  Unity does not equal balance; less can be more and functionality outweighs fashion.  Interior design has so many guidelines and principles which can seem overwhelming at first, but they truly can transform you home.  Learning these tips and tricks can help you develop your dream home tastefully and in style! 

Borrowing from The Best

You have probably heard the terms interior designer and interior decorator interchanged, but what really separates the two genres of careers?  Interior designers must have a vast understanding of all fields including architecture, design, and psychological knowledge of different cultures and styles.  Interior decorators are based on the aesthetics of the atmosphere and how it makes the space feel, whereas interior designers need to worry more about functionality and flow of the space.  Understanding the differences between both fields and how to borrow their styles and incorporate it in your own home is a powerful tool.  Here are three easy techniques to use from each career field to help you design your own home. Let’s take a look! 
  • Design Themes and Colors
Designers have a vast understanding of diverse design styles, themes, and colors.  They can take the influence of an urban neighborhood to amplify the design of an industrial-themed space or likewise make a country home rustic-themed.  Different styles and techniques are applied to make a room feel well-rounded, balanced, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.  For example, the rule of 60-30-10 is a guideline many designers use in determining a room’s color scheme.  This rule suggests that the most balanced color is with sixty percent being a primary color to the room, thirty percent is a secondary color, and the remaining ten percent being an accent color.
  • Decorating 
Decorating is a blend of fashion, aesthetics, and colors that can help influence how a room portrays itself.  Different decor pieces can be used to enhance a look you are going for in the space.  Decorators use a trick called the “Rule of Threes” when decorating a home.  This principle implies that decor looks better in odd-number groupings, preferably three and insinuating the outline of a triangle.  Using tricks like this throughout your space is a perfect home remedy for decorating display shelves and cabinets.
  • Functionality
Both designers and decorators know the importance of functionality.  While architects make the blueprint and layouts of the home, it is essential to keep the room functional.  If a room is circular, roundtables may be the route to go to prevent unwanted loss-of-space.  A room should always be easy to navigate and never confusing; think of pathways and accessibility when decorating and designing. 
Using these general but helpful tools in your own space is the perfect way to imitate a designer and decorator.  While both designers and decorators have a whole arsenal of tricks to use, these are some good general guidelines to help you with your own home. For more great tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up. As always, thanks for reading! 


When it comes to design tones, there are warm, cool, and neutrals tones. These tones originally were used to indicate skin tones.  Warm hues to the skin like red indicate a warmth in the body, whereas a blue tint to the skin could depict a colder body temperature.  Today in design, these tones can set the mood of a room.  Reds, oranges, and yellows are considered warm tones, and they are incorporated in rooms to enhance the energy.   Cool tones like blues, greens, and purples are used to set a more tranquil, relaxed atmosphere.  Neutrals are perfect because they do not favor towards either warm or cool tones and can be used with either or by themselves; however, a neat look that is making a comeback in the design world are pastel-colored accents. Here are three reasons pastel colors are perfect to add to your home:
  • Neutral Accents
Pastel colors can act as a neutral accent.  If you want to add reds, greens, blues, and oranges to a Scandinavian or modern design room, it can quickly look disheveled and thoughtless.  Pastel tones allow colors to be used to liven the room yet can stay subtle enough not to influence a warm or cool tone atmosphere. Adding pastel throw pillows, rugs, and curtains can make a room feel more lively and energetic without changing the room’s intended feel.
  • Soothing Approach
Pastel colors are also great for being a subtler approach to strong, harsh bold colors. A bright red wall can quickly become a rooms focal point, but change that wall to a pastel pink, and it transforms into an accent, complimentary wall to your space.  A fun splash of pastel colors in any room can help brighten up the space without seeming overwhelming.
  • Hard Contrast
Pastel colors can also strengthen bolder colors in the room. A pastel robin’s egg blue wall with a bold sapphire stripe will pop very dramatically.  Pastel colors can also allow true whites and blacks to appear as harder contrast. White shelving or a black bookshelf against a pastel wall can make a strong statement in a room.
Adding pastel to your rooms color palette is a great way to enhance your design style.  Consider the benefits of applying pastel colors to your home and decide it is right for you. For more tips, visit us at From The Floors Up

Why Blue?

Interior designers are always looking for ways to change how a room feels and flows. With so many outlets for themes and styles, there are endless possibilities for designing your space. Colors are one of the most powerful influencers when it comes to setting the tone and mood for a room. One primary color that designers love to incorporate is blue. This tranquil color can really give a room a relaxed, passive vibe throughout it. Here are our top three reasons why you should consider using blue in your next room design:
  • Relaxed Atmosphere
Blue is the perfect color to use to set the mood for a peaceful environment. This color has a calm nature which can help the room feel more opened and tranquil. With so many shades available, such as sapphire, royal blue, navy, robin’s egg, Prussian blue, azure, and more, this color has a broad spectrum of tones and hues to choose from for your room. 
  • Cool Tone
This calming tone is perfect for transforming a room into a cooler toned atmosphere. Using blue with other cool tones or neutral colors can help obtain a more secure feeling atmosphere as well. This color can go great in a boy’s room, living room, or any room that you are looking to make a relaxing environment. Blue does not have to be used in only boy’s rooms though because it has an equal appeal to both genders. Using blue in a girl’s room as well can add character to the overall atmosphere.
  • Trustworthy
Blue is used in many commercial and residential designs today. This trustworthy color has passed the test of time and proved itself loyal in enhancing homes. Blue is known as the color of loyalty, belonging, generosity, and passivity. Using this color is a robust way to help make a powerful statement in your space and create the vibe you want. 
Adding blue to your space would make a significant home improvement. Blue is one of the primary colors that always stands out and transforms the design of a room. If you feel like life is too fast-paced, and you need a place to relax, add blue to help you reconnect with your home and unwind. For more great tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up