Interior Design Basics: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Space | Lauren Cox | Skillshare

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Interior Design Basics: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Space

teacher avatar Lauren Cox, Design Program Manager at Havenly

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Power of Interior Design


    • 3.

      Principle 1: Color


    • 4.

      Principle 2: Balance


    • 5.

      Principle 3: Scale & Proportion


    • 6.

      Principle 4: Rhythm & Repetition


    • 7.

      Finding Your Design Style


    • 8.

      Styling Project: Modern Farmhouse


    • 9.

      Styling Project: Preppy Coastal


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


    • 11.

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About This Class

We all deserve a space that feels like home—and you have the power to create it for yourself!

Discover a fun, simple approach to interior design that proves how easy it can be to transform your home, no matter your style or budget. With interior designer Lauren Cox and Havenly, you’ll discover the four principles used by interior designers to create beautiful spaces every day—then try your hand at using what you’ve learned to style a bookshelf that’s Instagram-ready.

Easy-to-follow lessons include how to:

  • Identify your personal design style
  • Curate a color palette unique to you
  • Create a sense of rhythm and balance
  • Choose pieces you’ll love for a lifetime

Every lesson is packed with actionable tips, printable reference guides, and endless inspiration you can return to again and again. By the end, you’ll have the tools you need to identify your personal style, unleash your creativity, and transform your space into a home you never want to leave.


Havenly offers online interior design to real people. Start with our style quiz to get matched with an interior designer who will make decorating and shopping for your home fun, convenient, and affordable.

Meet Your Teacher

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Lauren Cox

Design Program Manager at Havenly


Lauren Cox is an interior designer based in Denver. She currently serves as the Design Program Manager for Havenly, a personal and affordable online interior design service.

Image Courtesy Havenly

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: When I walk into a wall design space, I am immediately just overwhelmed with the sense of peace and calm, and you can really start to get a sense of who lives there. We spend a lot of time in our home, so it's really important that they feel really beautiful and representative of who we are as an individual. Interior design is a lot like good food, good art, good music. We all have this innate ability to identify when something like that is really pleasing to us. But a lot of us don't have that knowledge base to talk about our homes in the same way. This class is going to empower you with the knowledge and the vocabulary to start talking about that, and to start implementing really followed interior design into your own home. In today's class, we're going to start by covering the four basic principles of interior design; color, balance, rhythm and repetition, and scale and proportion. From there, we're going to go through establishing your personal design style, and then at the end of the class we'll cover a project where you can implement your learning, by styling a book shop. You do not need to be a designer in order to create a really lovely space. Oftentimes you have a lot of the resources already in your home, it's a matter of just learning how to place them and add to them in a way that creates a really cozy set and lovely space. Hi, I'm Lauren Cox. I'm an interior designer and design program manager at Havenly in Denver, Colorado. Because I worked on hundreds if not thousands of projects, I've really seen it all, and I'm really excited to share my knowledge with you to help you face some of your own personal design challenges head-on. I love using interior design as a creative outlet because it is a direct reflection of who you are, so you can really play with color and get creative and take risks. I am so excited that you all have embarked on this journey with me. Let's dive in. 2. The Power of Interior Design: As people, whether we know it or not, we walk into a space and we feed off of the energy of a room. So if it's well-designed, we almost don't notice but if you walk into a space that feels really chaotic or imbalanced, it can actually transcend and affect your mood, and affects the way that you interact with the space, and interact with the people around you. Interior design is this idea of creating a really lovely home, and creating a space that feels really aesthetically pleasing to you, and anyone who enters your space. On top of that, interior design is also this idea of creating a really unified harmonious and cohesive space that feels really balanced, and very peaceful because of the elements that are brought in to it. I think now more than ever, it's so much easier for people to understand what a well-designed home looks like, whether it's through social media, Pinterest, Instagram or just browsing through really lovely designed homes or restaurants. It is just such an approachable field these days and it's really easy for clients to be able to see spaces that they like or dislike, which gets us one step closer to having a home that they feel really represents who they are as an individual. I think historically, interior design has had this perception that it's expensive and costly, and it really requires you to start with a blank slate, and start from square one, and that's just not true. I think with interior design, you really can make changes on any budget and it doesn't mean that you have to start from square one. We can work with the pieces that you already have to create a space that feels really lovely and representative of who you are. Personalizing your space is more than just looking at the colors and the elements, and patterns that you really like within interior design. It's also about understanding how you use this space, whether it's just a space for you, whether you're having friends and family over, and then also looking at the broader picture of your lifestyle. Looking at how you dress, how you cook, how you approach your hobbies, and understanding a little bit more about who you are as a person can really transcend into how you design your space, and how you can work to personalize that to make it a space that's really unique for yourself. One of the key things to understand about interior design is that it's not just about your personal style. You could be mid-century, you can have an eclectic touch, you could be a really transitional or traditional style, and no matter what your style is it all comes back to these key principles of interior design. The core principles that we're focusing on in this class, don't encompass all of the principles of interior design, but I think before that we cover here are really the biggest ones that cover the broadest range of why a well-designed space feels, like it truly is well-designed. So there is four principles we're going to cover are color, balance, rhythm and repetition, and scale and proportion. When it comes to interior design, there are a lot of rules, but in my opinion these rules aren't meant to be broken. They're more like guidelines. Understanding these key principles of interior design is going to give you that foundation and that knowledge to understand when and how to break these interior design rules. We are filming today in a home in Denver, Colorado that was designed by a heavenly designer, and we worked with this client room by room to really identify her personal style, her needs, and design a space that really suited her, and her family's lifestyle. Throughout this class, we'll be popping into different rooms within this home to show you how we incorporated the elements and principles in different spaces, and we'll also be showing you a few different examples of other rooms that we've designed across the US for clients with different budgets, different styles, and different design challenges. We're going to be talking about color and pattern, and repetition. So I think there's a lot of element of creativity and self-expression that we'll be able to cover in this course too. Let's get started. We're going to start this class by talking about color which to me is the most fun, and most expressive element of interior design. 3. Principle 1: Color: We are starting this class with color because it's something that whether we know it or not, we all have personal color biases. We all have our favorite color, we all have colors that we don't like. Whether or not, we understand why we like or dislike them is another story, but it's something that we all have personal opinions on and it's a really great place to start this class. Color is an interesting thing because it can mean a lot of like rainbow, all of the different colors, you can have lots of blues and pop, so really saturated color or this principle of color can also be monochromatic or a black and white color scheme, which we may not immediately think of when we're talking about color, but this whole principle can encompass a really neutral palette and the absence of color. Color theory is this idea that each color or color combination evokes a certain emotion. If we look big picture of warm colors, these can feel really energizing. So these are yellows, reds, oranges, colors that feel really stimulating and exciting. So if you see a space with those colors, you're immediately going to feel really excited and a bit perked up. On the other end of that spectrum, we look at the cool colors, your blues, greens, purples, those can feel a lot more serene and like a spot. So you walk into a space that has those colors incorporated throughout it, you're going to feel very restful, and it's going to feel a little more like a sanctuary. So now, I'm going to show you guys a few examples of how we incorporate color and what emotions and feelings these color palettes really create, and how we got there for each of these clients. So within this living room here, you can easily identify that there's a lot of warm colors going on, whether it's that pop of the yellow chair or those orange accents, this room feels really lively and energetic, feels very youthful, and feels like a space that you can really create this communal area where you can have conversations with friends and family. It's not a space that you're necessarily going to come home to and take a nap in, but to balance this out, we've actually pulled in a little bit of blue which is a complimentary color. There's a foolproof way to create a really great color palette because based on color theory, complimentary colors are almost always going to work really well together. With this color palette, we approached it a little bit differently. Rather than doing really saturated born tones, we did a more muted color palette of those cooler tones, incorporating more of the grays rather than those really bright pops of color. We did this intentionally to create just a more calming serene effects. So to talk a little more about complimentary color palettes, we're going to look at this example here where the base color palette is a pretty cool palette. There's lots of blues and lots of really crisp whites that create this really calming effect, but it's a compliment than to give this room a little bit more interest, we actually pulled in some oranges and reds for this client to help balance the blue. When it comes to complimentary color palettes, it's really important to focus on one color being your dominant color. So in this case, we focus on this cool blue and then pulling in little pops of the complimentary color. So just a few elements of the orange, that way it doesn't become this fighting battle between these two colors. You have your dominant color and then this supporting actor role coming in from that orange. Color is not always this dominance of color, sometimes it's the absence of color. So a monochromatic palette like you see here in this room is actually still a color palette. So we've looked and incorporated different shades of blacks, whites, grays, and browns, which is still considered a neutral InDesign, and incorporating different shades of bees to create a really diverse color palette. Monochromatic I think for most people can typically mean then all white or a black and white palette, but this can mean just focusing on one color. So you could if you're really into the color blue, for example, have a room that has different shades of blue balanced with some of these neutrals. So you'll want to incorporate whites, blacks, browns, but you can incorporate just one color and do different intensities in different shades of that to create a really successful monochromatic palette. The number of shades that you incorporate into a monochromatic palette or really any color palette, there's not really a maximum but I would say there's a minimum. It's good to have at least three colors. This is going to give you a really good sense of balance and you're not going to have this problem of running into just two colors and finding that perfect match of how do I incorporate just these two. Incorporating three or more shades is going to give you a lot of variety and a lot of diversity and it's going to make the room feel really balanced and harmonious. When it comes to identifying your color palette, I think this is something that you can identify alongside your personal design style. Knowing that your style can influence your color, we're going to show you a few examples of how these color palettes can really lend themselves to a certain style and vice versa, how your style can really help steer you towards your color palette that you're going to incorporate into your home. So this palette shown here is what I would call a preppy coastal pallet. So this is pretty on trend right now especially if you gravitate towards traditional design, coastal design, farm house design. A color palette in this preppy coastal arena is going to incorporate a lot of really dusty blues, mint greens, really light neutrals, and then potentially some pops of samines or pinks that you might find along a coast line. With this color palettes shown here, I would call this a jewel tone color palette. This is not for the faint of heart, definitely requires a little more risk taking but I think it's worth the payoff. You'll see in this space that we have these really bright blue chairs complemented with orange as we talked about earlier with our complimentary color palettes, to create that sense of balance, and then they've also incorporated this third color of this really rich fuchsia. Even though this is the third curveball color, it works really well in this space because it's in this family of a really rich saturated jewel tone. So in this palette, we're looking back at the same one that we looked at for the cool colors scheme. We identify this color palette as more of the Bohemian palette. So it really starts with a really warm neutral brown as the base of this color palette, and then we pop it with a really saturated teal, and then there's smoky pinks, purples, etc. Even though this teal is really deep and the paint is a little bit lighter, they work well because neither of them is too vibrant and too saturated. They have this level of a gray smoky tone to them that makes them work really well together. Within each of these notions of color theory, complementary colors, warm colors, and cool colors, there are plenty of tips and tricks that designers use to really take advantage of these color palettes and create something that feels really unique and personalized for each client. The first one that we'll talk about is this notion of using pops of color and bringing in an accent to really reflect your personality and create this pop and element of interests within your space. So this is where that color we all really comes in handy. It's really important when you're picking pops of color to not go crazy and to stick to these basic color principles. So you'll want to pick colors that are either next to each other on the color wheel or opposite each other on the color wheel. There are so many other options but those two key components are the easiest way to identify what accent colors are going to work for you and not create a space that feels too disjointed or too out of sorts. So when I'm approaching a pop of color, I like to have a really neutral base and then pick 1-2 colors that I want to pop and incorporate throughout the room. This isn't necessarily a hardened set rule, it's something that you just feel but I would say leaning towards a less is more approach is going to be a little more successful and something that you're not going to get tired of as quickly. A really easy way to incorporate a pop of color is through artwork. This is a really great way to make a big statement, whether it's above a fireplace or on a big accent wall, outside of art. Other places that you can incorporate this pop of color is through accessories on your tables. So this can be vases, figurines, or even in throw pillows, throw blankets, and other just lose tactile items that are easy to switch in and out to incorporate that pop of color. Another way to incorporate color rather than just a pop of color is through these statement pieces. This is a little bit more of a bold risk-taking move, because to me a statement piece is a piece of furniture, a chair, a sofa, something that's a little more bold and something that's more of a commitment. So you could have a bright blue chair or a purple sofa, something that feels a little more bold and statement making. You'll see this a lot in modern design where or minimalist design even, where there's not going to be a ton of accessories, so in order for them to get the most bang for their buck, they bring in this pop of color through a bigger statement piece. Another great way to incorporate this statement color, this accent color is through an accent wall. This is something that isn't going to be as easy to change out, but it is something that makes a huge impact and it's something that you can do to really easily incorporate another color into your color palette. Color trends are a really great tool for designers because it's something that allows us to get a really great PulsePoint on what's happening now, and what's going to be trendy when it comes to these pieces like artwork, statement furniture, and gives us a really great base to see what's really working right now. That being said, when you're incorporating trends into your own home, it's really important to understand whether or not you'll like the trend or if you're just doing it because you feel like you have to. A really easy way to do this is through these pieces that are easy to swap out. So it's smaller pieces like your accessories, your throw pillows, potentially your artwork depending on how much of an investment you want to make or how often you want to shake that up. It's a little bit tougher to do when it comes to larger pieces like rugs, furniture, or even painting a wall. So keeping that in mind as you start to incorporate these trends, is going to be really important. You'll see as we move through this client's home that the overall color palette is really neutral. We stick to a lot of white screens and even some blacks and grays, but for the most part, it's pretty monochromatic. Now, that we've moved into the guest bedroom, we start to play with color and you'll see a little bit more of an accent at a pop through the statement pieces in this room. Behind me, we have a great statement piece of furniture with this emerald green bed. This color is carried throughout the room, through some of the accessories on each of the night stamps, as well as in the artwork on the main wall. Now, for this client, this is pushing the boundaries a little bit for her and it's just enough to get her out of her comfort zone. If you wanted to take this a little bit further, we could play around by pulling in some other cool colors like blues and purples through accent pillows even in the bedding or if you really want to make a bold statement, pulling a complimentary color like some reds and oranges to really make the screen pop. So now, that you know a little bit about these different color palettes and some really basic elements of color theory, it's time for you to put this to work. So one way that you can really easily identify this is starting by looking at your wardrobe. Typically, the colors that you wear are the colors that you are drawn to and colors that you are going to feel comfortable having in your own home. So start to look at your core pieces. Do you wear a lot of denim? Do you wear a lot of black jeans? Then, looking from there are your accent pieces. Maybe it's jewelry, ties, and seeing what color, you start to see those patterns come out, those trends and seeing what colors are repeated throughout your wardrobe. Another thing to consider as you're building your color palette is how much you want this to vary from space to space. Typically, we'll see that there's a pretty cohesive color base throughout the home, but you might start to incorporate different accent colors in each individual room. So just looking to see how much you want to push that envelope or how much you want to keep a pretty cohesive color palette throughout your home, is also going to be a key consideration here. I think again, looking at your wardrobe and seeing, do I have a lot of color? Do I have a lot of pattern? Or am I seeing that I have a lot of neutrals and I just add little statement pieces here and there, is really going to help you identify what you're comfortable with in your home. If you are someone who does like a lot of color in your wardrobe, the sky is the limit, let's have some fun with the color in your home. But if you are someone who has a more neutral palette and maybe incorporates just a statement piece once in awhile, that's really going to dictate that your home should probably be a little bit safer, a little more subdued, and will really strategically wants to incorporate some color into your home. So when you establish your color palette, it's really important to look at how often you need to have this creative outlet where you want to shake up your home. I personally change up my color palette probably once a year. So I change it up a lot and I'm constantly thinking of new ways to shake up the design of my home. Not everyone is like that. So if you know that you want to just design your home once and have it out of sight, out of mind, having something that's a little bit more timeless, focuses more on those neutrals and a lighter color palette is going to be the way to go. Along with all of these elements that we've talked about with color, we've created some really great worksheets for you all which you can find in the resource section. Coming up next, we're going to start talking about our second principle which is the idea of balance within your space. 4. Principle 2: Balance: Balance is this idea that when you walk into a room, everything feels like it has a place. It's almost like a scale where nothing feels like it's too off balance. We achieve this by looking mainly at symmetry and asymmetry. Symmetry is the idea of having a mirror image. So this won't necessarily be seen in a whole room, but you can't see it in certain elements where you're able to quickly and easily identify pairs of things. Oftentimes, we'll be able to really easily identify symmetry within a room through the architectural elements. In a lot of spaces you'll see that for example, a fireplace or a large bay window is centered within a wall, so this lends itself really well to create a mirror image by using this architectural element itself, and then mirroring and design elements on either side whether that's furniture, artwork, or other decor and accessories. Symmetry can really be found in any room type, but it lends itself really well to a bedroom. Bedrooms often start off as a symmetrical base because you always have a bed with one night stand on either side, so this is a really natural way to focus in and harness that symmetry within a room. Asymmetry is a little bit trickier to harness, but I think it's something that really sets apart, just a design room with a really well-designed room. Asymmetry is this idea of creating balance with different elements. So it's not going to be a mirror image, but you're going to find two pieces or more that have this element of similarity but they're not the same. A good example of this is if you have maybe a sofa with two table lamps, but the table lamps are slightly different. When you are considering this, they're going to have similar components of them, maybe it's the same color, maybe it's a similar height, but the lamps themselves are going to be totally different, which gives you that element of asymmetry. So this example that we have on the screen here has a really dominant symmetrical feel to it. You get that feel because it does have these two bookcases flanking either side of the wall, and within each book case there's some very similarly styles, accessories, and colors that gives you this really strong sense of a mirror image. That being said as I mentioned earlier, you do want to balance this idea of symmetry and asymmetry. So if we zoom out a little bit, you can see within the rest of the room, we have this sense of asymmetry because on one side we have the sofa, and then opposite that we have this pair of ottomans to make this space so feel like it has seating on both sides, but it's not a mirror image of each other. How do we put another of the exact same sofa where these ottomans currently are? This room would have become really predictable and felt a little flat. So by shaking this up and including a different seating element, we actually create a space that shows that you know what you're doing and you really understand this notion of balance within interior design. This example that's shown on the screen here is a really great example of asymmetry. You'll see that almost nowhere in this room do we have a mirror image except for those two chairs that are side-by-side. But the rest of the room, you'll see that we've played around with this idea of asymmetrical balance. So let's look at above the fireplace. We have those two pieces of artwork that aren't the same, one of them has a lot more negative space, a lot more light, and white bright colors, and then the other one is a little bit more bold, a little bit smaller that packs more of a visual impact. But when you combine these together, you still get the sense of balance. Within this room as well, we as we talked about before, have this really bright blue jewel tone, and that's balanced with this asymmetrical two white chairs on the other side. So we've talked a little bit about how to incorporate symmetry and asymmetry within a room layout and furniture layout, but I think another area where we really start to see this shine through is through gallery walls, and this is a really great and organic way to incorporate that sense of asymmetry which can be a little bit tougher to achieve in otherwise. We've shown a couple of different examples of an asymmetrical gallery wall. The reason that these are still feeling really balanced is because we're finding art pieces that are similar in color palettes, similar in style, but they vary in size and their frame color which gives you that sense of asymmetry but still creates this really cohesive gallery wall. Gallery walls are also a really great way to incorporate symmetry depending on the space and what your style is. I think a natural way to incorporate a symmetrical gallery wall is above a bed, but in this case we've shown it above a living room here. We've just shown two pieces side-by-side, but this creates this immediate sense of balance rather than having just one big piece of art, we create a little bit of symmetry, little more dynamic look with these two pieces of artwork side-by-side. So just like color, balance shows itself in different ways depending on the style that you're drawn to. For example, if you are more of a traditional style, you really like classic, you like farmhouse, you're going to see a lot more symmetry in your spaces, just because of the way that those designs tend to come together. On the other side of that spectrum, if you identify more with an eclectic or a bohemian, a global vibe, you're going to incorporate a lot more asymmetry that just lends itself a little bit better to that design style overall. So then there are a few other design styles that lend themselves to both symmetry and asymmetry, and you get to just pick your personal preference of which way you want to lean. One example of that is mid-century modern, and in this example here, you'll see that it's a pretty stripped-down minimal design but we've balanced the sofa and the coffee table with this element of asymmetry by putting a floor lamp on one side, and balancing that with the kitchen and those bar flows on the other side. We didn't want to make this too much of a mirror, and because it opens itself into another space, we wanted to balance it with the other side by adding a little more bulky furniture with that floor lamp and the artwork leaning towards that side. Another design style that lends itself to both symmetry and asymmetry is this notion of a farmhouse, maybe a modern farmhouse design. Dining rooms lend themselves really well to symmetrical design because you're almost always going to have your rectangular or circular table with a balanced number of chairs around it. You're going to be able to cut that right in half and see that mirror image, and the way to incorporate asymmetry is by focusing on the area just behind the dining table. So here, we see we have a really tall plants in one corner, balance that out with a bar chart and the other, rather than putting everything on one side or mirroring it. This gives you just a really natural sense of balance by putting something different on either side of the wall there. One of the big things that we look for when we're achieving balance within a space is making sure that we don't go too far on either end of this symmetrical or asymmetrical spectrum. So as a designer, we really start by looking at the floor plan and what elements in this room we cannot change. So we're going to look at those structural elements. If there's a really symmetrical fireplace, asymmetrical bay window, that's going to be our grounding principle. From there, we're going to incorporate elements of asymmetry, counteract the symmetry, and ultimately we're always looking for this way to balance this idea of balance by creating an even amount of symmetry and an even amount of asymmetry. Within a space, if it feels like it's imbalanced, take a step back and start to identify wherever you're starting to see symmetry. Look for those moments where you do see a lot of mirror images within a space, and if it's starting to feel like you have too many, remove something, that's really easy way to create this feeling of asymmetry and to give you that balance right back without making it feel like it's too predictable and too much of a mirror image. On the other side of the spectrum, if you're space is starting to feel a little too chaotic, maybe you're not noticing any pairs, start to identify where you see one-offs, if there's just one color, one chair, one pattern, and figure out how you can incorporate a pair for that to give it a little bit more of that sense of balance and giving it a friend within the room to pair with. Often, when it comes to balance, we're not trying to make a really strong statement. Either way, we're not trying to have this really strong symmetry moment or this really strong asymmetrical design, we want it to feel really harmonious. This is a little different from color because with color, we do oftentimes want to make a really strong statement or have a bold accent or pop of color. Balance is the opposite of that. You almost don't want to notice when balance is happening. It should feel very natural and you should be able to just feel very at peace and like nothing is out of sorts within a space. Now that we've covered balance, we've moved into the client's formal living room to show you how to apply this in real life. Within this room, you can see that we have a great foundation for symmetry with the centered fireplace on the wall. To balance this, we've pulled in a little bit of an asymmetrical lock with a formal so far on one side, and two pattern chairs to counteract and create this really nice sense of balance. Also, on either side of the fireplace, you can see we have this really great fiddle leaf fig tree on one side, and into the other, we actually lead into another much more dark room. Even though that's not part of this space, it is something we want to consider has a lot of visual weight because it is so dark, so we need to make sure that we balance that on the other side of the fireplace with something that is a little more grand and searcher, which is by pulling it in this totally fig tree works out so well in this space. To start implementing this idea of balance into your own space, it's important to actually look at other people's interiors as well. So to start looking at inspiration images and identifying where you see symmetry, where you see asymmetry, and how you can mimic that in your own space. Once you've looked at a few inspiration images and been able to identify where the balance is coming from, then you can go back and look at your own space, start to look at the structural elements, what can't you change? What's already symmetrical? What's already asymmetrical? How you can work that to your advantage? Then taking stock of the pieces that you already own and starting to identify patterns and areas where you have duplicates or maybe areas where you just have these really unique one-off pieces, how you can use those to create this sense of balance and really harness symmetry and asymmetry with the pieces that you already have. We've created a really great worksheet for you all to capture the key elements of symmetry and asymmetry, which you can find in the resource section of this class. Next step, we're going to dive into scale and proportion. 5. Principle 3: Scale & Proportion: Now, we're going to cover scale and proportion, which is the idea of how pieces fit together within your space, as well as how they fit into the space as a whole. This is often a really overlooked area of design and something that can be a little difficult to grasp, but we're going to set you up with some tools and tricks, to help you understand scale and proportion as it fits into your space. So how I like to look at scale and proportion. Proportion is the idea of how pieces fit together with each other. So not necessarily as a stand alone piece, but when you look at the big picture. How does this so far relates to this chair, to this table lamp, to this side table, and just how these pieces tie together, and how the sizing relates to each other. The idea of scale is how this furniture fits into the overall size of the room. So it's a little bit bigger picture and considers each individual piece on the scale of the room. So when it comes to proportion, it's going to be a lot more dependent on the other pieces that you're bringing in, whereas with scale you're really focusing on the size of your room as a whole. Of these four elements and principles that we're going to be covering, scale and proportion really is the most mathematical and the area that has the most rules and the most guidelines around that. Really, what you want to do is consider the size of your space, and then how these pieces of furniture, your decor, and accessories are all going to fit within this space as well as how they're going to fit together. So there are a few more certain stone rules or guidelines that you'll want to stick to to make sure that your space feels really cohesive, and like nothing is too big or too small for your space. Since there are so many rules and considerations to look at when you're designing a space, whether it's from something like a rug that really grounds the space or smaller pieces like lighting and artwork, there are so many rules and guidelines that we put together a really comprehensive guide for you to print out and download, and that you can find in our resource center. When it comes to scale, a great place to start with is determining the size of your rug. It's really easy for you or even myself to buy a rug that's too big or too small for the space. So understanding the size of your room, the overall floor plan and the foot-plan of your space, and then finding a rug that's going to be the right size for your space. Within this room, this is a great example of showing two different size rugs within the space but how they really anchor the space and work really well scale-wise within the room. So in the living room, we have a slightly larger rug. The reason that this rug is larger is because it's a bigger space, and we're trying to ground more furniture. So a good rule of thumb when you're looking at rugs is that you want at least the front two legs of all of your key pieces of furniture to be able to sit on the rug. So if you have a really big space and your including like in this example, a sofa, a couple of side chairs, you're going to want to go pretty big on your rug in order to really fill that space. Conversely, in the dining room this area is a little bit smaller, and you can see they just have a four top table, so they're going to need a slightly smaller rug that still encompasses all of the furniture and allows all of the chairs to still be within the rug without overwhelming the space. In this example here, you can see that this room is much larger, it's a lot more open and airy, and to balance that we wanted a little bit darker and more dramatic larger rug. In my opinion, this rug is definitely on the larger side for what could be used in this space, but it really fills the space. You can see that all the furniture fits really comfortably on it, and it helps to really define this space as it transitions into the other adjoining rooms. Another thing to consider as you're pulling a room together is looking at the proportion of your accessories. You don't want anything that's going to be too large for your shelves, too small for your coffee table, and kind of considering what that's going to look like. A general rule of thumb here is to keep things no larger or no wider than one third of the length or the height of the piece that you are putting something on. So for example, if you're looking at a console table and going to put a vase on top of it, you want that to be about one third of the height of the console table at max. So on a smaller scale if we're looking at let's say a bookshelf, for example, you can't just fill it with a ton of large pieces or pieces that do follow this one thirds rule, that's just kind of your maximum. You want to vary the height, the size, the width of these other pieces, and make sure that they all work well together. With design, the natural grouping of things is to group things in odd numbers. Typically, in groups of three or in five, and with those, it's really important to vary the height and the size in a tiered pattern to create a really nice sense of balance and rhythm within your bookcase. Artwork is another area where this idea of scale and proportion really comes into play. There are some guidelines by as you can see in these next two examples, it can vary from space to space. So in this first example here, you'll see that we have a slightly smaller set of artwork above the bed. The reason we've gone with a slightly smaller pairing is because of area the wall space that we have. There's not a ton of space above the bed, but we still wanted to include something in between those two windows. So we opted for a pair of smaller artwork pieces that really suit the size of this room, and the overall style of the bed, and everything else that's going on within the space. In this other example, you'll see that there's a much larger bedroom wall area, and the ceilings are a little bit taller, we have a bigger space to fill. So it's okay for us here to go slightly larger in the artwork and do something a little more dramatic. When it comes to art work over a piece of furniture, whether it's a bed or a sofa, the general rule of thumb here is to keep your artwork about one-half to two-thirds the width of the piece that it's going above. In this other artwork example here, you can see that we've done something a little bit different. It's not just two pieces. We've gone back to this idea of an asymmetrical gallery wall. The reason that this still works in terms of scale and proportion, is that it's still within that rule of having it no more than two thirds the width of the dresser, and really fills the space and gives a really good sense of balance with the varied sizes of the artwork, nothing's too big, nothing's too small, they all relate to each other and have this really nice tiered effect. With a gallery wall what's really important to consider is not necessarily each individual piece, but how it's going to come together as a whole. Once you build and compile your entire gallery wall, it's really easy for that to get out of hand and get really big really quickly. So making sure that you're still keeping it manageable and scalable within the size of your space, that's really important to consider. I think one of the biggest issues or one of the biggest challenges that I see when it comes to scale in a space, is picking furniture that's too big or too small. I see this most often with big pieces of furniture like a sofa or a sectional. We often see clients who come in and they want to maximize their seating. They want this sectional that's going to sit their entire family for thanksgiving as if thanksgiving was happening every single day. That's just not logical, it doesn't always work. So you really want to keep in mind the size of your space, and consider what so far or what sectional is really going to make the most sense for you within that space, and that will actually end up in turn maximizing your seating even if it's not actually maximizing the number of people who can be there, but it's really going to just make the space feel really open and cohesive, and it feel like it's really intentional. Small spaces are one of the trickiest places to incorporate scale and make sure that you get it just right. That doesn't mean that you have to have small furniture. It just means that you need to find furniture that's size for your space. Luckily, I think a lot of vendors these days are including apartment size furniture within their assortment, so you can still have a normal size sofa. It might just be like a foot smaller than what might work in a larger home, but it's still going to look like a normal sofa. It's going to fit really well in your space and not look like it's a dwarfed tiny piece of furniture. You guys might have noticed that there's a lot of rules of thirds or I keep suggesting that you pair things in threes, and this is because a lot of creative fields just find this very aesthetically pleasing. This rule of thirds also applies itself really well to this idea of scale and proportion because it creates this really great flow of all of the pieces coming together. You have your big piece below grounding the space, and then your piece above that's either one-third or two-thirds the size of it, that creates just this really natural rhythm and flow. To demonstrate scale and proportion, we've now moved into the client's formal dining room. Dining rooms are a great example and a great place to play around with scale and proportion because there are some set guidelines when it comes to selecting a dining table size, but there's a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to pieces like dining chairs and dining chandeliers. As we know from our client's lifestyle, she tends to house a lot of parties, and needs a lot of great seating. So she wanted a table to sit at least eight people. As outlined in our resource guide as well, you'll see some handy tools and tips to help you pick the right sized dining table for your space. In this instance, we've chosen a really large dining table to really fill her needs. For the chairs around the table, we had a little bit of fun of proportion. We could have done eight or 10 of the same small side chairs to keep this feeling really balanced, and have this sense of harmony, but we shook things up a little bit. Pulling back to some of our lessons about asymmetry as well, we added in these really great captain's chairs which are a much bigger scale, a lot more grand, and really fill the space and create this really dramatic affected her dining room. With the chandelier in this dining room, we've chosen something that's about one-third the width of the dining table, which is a great rule of thumb to follow when it comes to chandeliers in a dining space. Here, we've also chosen something that's a little bit taller, and really fills her dramatically tall ceilings in this really big open area. But to start with determining what is going to fit into your space in terms of scale and proportion, it's really important to just start with the measurements. So figure out how much square footage you have, measure all of your walls and determine exactly how much space you're going to have for the furniture in your room. In addition to your square footage, you'll also want to look at your wall space. Do you have a ton of blank walls? Do you have a lot of windows? A fireplace? Start to just look and see what we are going to do with the vertical space as well as just the square footage within your room. If you're lucky enough to have a room that does have a ton of great windows and lots of natural light, this does give you a little bit of freedom and flexibility to go a little more bold and dramatic with the size of your furniture. You can't go super bag but it does give you a little bit of space to play with that vertical element, and kind of expand and go a little bit bigger than you might be able to if you don't have a ton of windows, and have a lot more wall space. When you're figuring out what furniture you're actually going to include in the room, not only is it important to look at your square footage, but this is again where it's going to come back to your lifestyle. You need to think about how you use the space. If it's a living room and it's just you in there watching Netflix, you probably don't need a ton of furniture, but if it is something where you have a lot of friends and family over, we want to maximize that seating. So you'll consider that as you're pulling together your furniture plan. As a reminder because scale and proportion is much more mathematical, has a few more rules and guidelines, we pulled together some great visuals, and some great resources for you to download and print out within the resources here on our class. Next up, we're going to cover rhythm and repetition. 6. Principle 4: Rhythm & Repetition: Rhythm and repetition, is this idea of creating a sense of movement and harmony throughout a space by repeating patterns, colors, and different elements in creating the sense of allowing your eye to move through the space really seamlessly. It's really easy to identify a space that has really great strong rhythm and repetition, because your eye knows exactly where to go. The human mind and the human eye can't really understand something that isn't cohesive and doesn't have this natural flow to it, so it's really easy for us to see when a space has rhythm and when it doesn't. So rhythm and repetition are really tied together, but they are two completely separate ideas that just work together to create this overarching principle. So repetition is, just as it sounds; repeating an element throughout a space that way there's some cohesion. Rhythm is the way that your eye moves through a space and rhythm, it really relies on repetition because the eye is going to look for similar elements to draw it through a space, whether it's up and down, around a space, and that's achieved through repeating different elements. So repetition is a really easy concept to grasp because it is just that repeating of an element. The way that you get rhythm is by spreading out that repetition. So not just having your whole pattern all on one wall, but incorporating an element of, let's say, a polka dot and an accent pillow. Then also bringing that polka dot into a piece of artwork on the other side of the room and creating that sense of harmony by pulling that pattern in that repetition throughout the space. So we've talked about this example in the past, when it comes to color and having a really cohesive color palette. That actually lends itself really well to the repetition in this space too. You see a lot of orange, a lot of blue, and a lot of yellow pulled in through different patterns in different applications. So that's one way that we see the repetition. Another way that we create the sense of repetition and ultimately the sense of rhythm is by repeating different geometric patterns. Even though we don't see the exact same repeated pattern, we do see some of these zigzags and Chevron's repeated within the rug and some of the pillows. As you've seen, as we've been talking through this image, your eye is constantly moving around. It's trying to identify some of these similar pallets or similar elements to draw your eye throughout the space. So as we alluded to before, there's lots of elements of blue here that are drawing your eye from the ottomans, to that center cocktail table, to the pillows and again kind of throughout the space there. Another element that is repeating itself in creating this great sense of rhythm, is this warm and natural element from the wood beams on the ceiling and the natural leather on the chairs. Even though these are totally different aspects of the room, because they're both this really rich warm natural material that creates this sense of repetition, and again draws your eye from top to bottom of this room. In this next one, we achieve a really strong sense of rhythm by repeating again the same colors, but what I think is the strongest here, is the repetition of some of these patterns. There's this really great Ikat print on the pillows. That is slightly different on each pillow. But because it's a very similar pattern, your eye just naturally moves across the sofa. Again, sees that same pattern within the ottoman and then makes a loop back around, it looks for it in the artwork. It's a great way to use pattern to create that sense of rhythm and repetition. In this final example here, we see rhythm and repetition harkening back to our lesson on balance and symmetry through the repetition of the exact same mirror on either side of the fireplace. This allows both the light to bounce throughout the room and your eyes to bounce from either side of the fireplace. We also see it repeated again with the color. There's a lot of jewel tones incorporated throughout the space, you see little pops of blue here and there, little pops of fuchsia here and there. When you have a really bold color like that, your eye is constantly looking for the next spot where you're going to see that bold color. One thing that professionals and those who really understand the principles of design to use to their advantage when it comes to rhythm and repetition, is this idea of slightly varying your pattern or your color. So in some of these examples that you've seen, when we talk about the color and the pattern that is repeated, its not the exact same thing over and over again. It's maybe a slightly different shade of blue, or a slightly larger or smaller scale of that same pattern to also keep things feeling a little bit interesting and not like all the same print and pattern, but still giving you that element of similarity and cohesiveness. Another thing that professionals use to their advantage, is this idea of mixing patterns. This can be really daunting, because patterns are a little bit overwhelming to begin with. But there are some really easy guidelines to follow when it comes to mixing a pattern. You'll always want to vary the size of your pattern, you can't have all of the same small polka dot. That's just going to be a little bit of a tripy situation for your eye. Your eye is not going to know where to focus, and it's going to have a lot of stimulation. So you have to balance that out. So typically, what designers will do, is they'll have one solid element, a really neutral piece. That's just a really solid piece of fabric, a solid pillow, a solid piece of art, and then combining that with a slightly larger pattern, maybe something that's a large floral or just a large prints, and then finally topping that off with a much smaller scale. So this could be a pinstripe, a small dot, something that's just a little bit tinier to create that sense of balance and movement of small to large or large to small. In this example here, how we've mixed and combined patterns is again by following this rule of having some larger patterns, some smaller, and a few solids. If we had done a lot of different variation within the pillows, that could have been slightly overwhelming. So we tried to keep that a little more neutralized and keep it all a little more consistent to allow the eye to flow a little bit easier throughout the space. In contrast in this design, we've actually treated the pillows as their own design element. So we start with that really solid pillow in the back which is the grounding anchor, compared that and contrasted that with a slightly smaller scaled, almost polka dot pattern. Then popped it with a really bold, bigger print, contrasting complementary colored pillow as well to create this little design vignette within the bigger room. This works really well in this space because there's just not as much going on in the rest of the room. There's not as much color, it's a little bit more subdued, a little more balanced, and this was a great way to introduce that idea of asymmetry because the rest of the room was fairly symmetrical. When it comes to mixing pattern, this rule of three is going to be your best friend again. Doing just two patterns is not going to give you enough variety, and it's going to just look like two mixed match patterns. But if you introduce that third element, it's really going to create this sense of harmony. So I would stick to that rule of three when it comes to mixing patterns. To show you all how to implement rhythm and repetition in a real space, we've moved into this client's study, which you can tell compared to the other rooms, is a little more dramatic and a little bit more moody, and deeper colors than some of the other spaces. The reason that rhythm and repetition works so well in here, is because there is a lot of color, a lot of pops a pattern, and a lot of elements of gold metallics that really draw your eye throughout this space. You'll see throughout the room, that there are a couple of key pieces of artwork, and within each of these pieces of art, there's a really strong dominant blue color. This allows your eye to move across all four walls and really navigate throughout the space. You'll also notice that there is some really key gold elements that also allow your eye to move really smoothly throughout this whole study. There's gold within the lamps, within the accessories, you'll even notice gold on the desk and on the chair. Another element that really draws your eye through the room and creates this really lovely sense of rhythm, are the different patterns. There's elements of polka dots on some of the accent pillows, accent ottoman, and even in the artwork. You'll also see a repeated stripe element within the rug, and within some of the pillows, which again creates this really great sense of cohesiveness and rhythm throughout the whole space. As a next step for you, I would challenge you to identify a pattern that you really resonate with, one that you really like and build your own pillow collection. So start by finding something that is in your comfort zone, has that pattern that you really love and build a little pillow vignette for your sofa with a couple other patterns that would work well with the pattern you've already identified. One of my favorite combinations is combining a floral with a more geometric print, like a stripe or a polka dot. I think those lend themselves really well to each other because they are totally different. A floral print is going to be very organic, very fluid, and then contrasting that with something that is a little more structured and geometric actually works really well, goes back to that idea of opposites attracting to each other. When it comes to pattern mixing and rhythm and repetition, there aren't a lot of rules when it comes to color. But you do still want to keep those core elements of color in mind. So keeping your colors within in the same color family or within a complimentary color family, even when you're mixing patterns is going to be key. But when it comes to pillows and artwork and some of these smaller elements where you can start to play and have a little fun, this is a great place to inject a new color too. If you don't want to be too bold, then incorporate it within the rest of the space. You can test it in a smaller scale with some of these smaller patterns. One of the biggest mistakes that I see when it comes to incorporating rhythm in a space, is doing too much of the same thing. So let's say you have a very monochromatic room and you just have the same repeated blue element. That's actually not going to give you the rhythm that you want. It's going to look a little bit one dimensional and actually look like you don't really know what you're doing. A general fallback for this, is again this rule of three, mixing it up, having like three different elements that have some similar principle, is going to be a really easy way to create that sense of rhythm in your space. As a next step for you, as you start to incorporate rhythm and repetition in your home and think about how you're going to grow and expand on this, a really easy way for you to identify where you already have some rhythm and repetition is to take stock of what you already have. If it's small pieces, what I like to do is gather everything. Whether its accessories, artwork and pillows in one space and start to identify patterns. If I start to see that I have a lot of the same color or a lot of the same texture, that's a really easy way to identify where I have the sense of rhythm and repetition, and then I can go back to my room and disperse those, that it's evenly spaced throughout the room. Compiling everything in one space allows you to also see where you have some gaps in your design. So if you have one piece that stands alone, try to find a friend for it. Find something that is similar that you can incorporate and draw even more rhythm into your home. We will also compile all of these great tips along with a few other resources and guidelines in your resource section of this class. Now that we've covered the basics of these four principles of design, we're ready to jump in to figuring out what your personal style is, and showing you how you can implement this into your space. 7. Finding Your Design Style: Now that we've covered all of the principles, we just need to be able to apply them and execute them. In order to do that, you have to know what your personal style is and how these principles fit into it. In this lesson, we're really going to focus on defining your personal style, how you can combine it with other styles, and how you can continue to grow and evolve your personal design style. So we at Haven we have actually defined our own styles and created these for our families, these four groupings of styles, where all of these different sub-styles can fit into these parent styles. We've identified these four styles as classic, contemporary, modern, and eclectic. So we'll dive a little bit deeper into each one of these. We're going to start by covering classic design which encompasses styles like farmhouse, traditional, and other more formal design styles, where you're going to see a lot of symmetry, a lot of muted colors, and a lot of really sophisticated materials. This bedroom image that you see here on the screen is a great example of classic design, because it encompasses a really neutral soft soothing color pallet. You'll see a lot of classic elements like the tufted headboard, and a lot of symmetry with the artwork above the bed, the mirror at night stands on either side of the bed, and other repeated colors and patterns throughout the space. When you're looking at classic design and how these principles play into it, you'll notice that a lot of it is going to come from the element of balance. You're going see a lot of symmetry when it comes to classic design. The colors are actually going to be a little bit all over the map. You can see some color palettes that are going to be really neutral and subdued like we see here. But you can also see a little more over the top or neat color palettes that have a lot of gold, a lot of bold-rich colors that really hearken back to a truly classic design period. When it comes to rhythm and repetition, this is going to be shown through a lot of materials that are repeated throughout. So you might see a lot of natural woven materials, you might see a lot of more ornate, linens, and silks. You'll also see some really intricate patterns that are repeated throughout the spaces, since that's the key identifier when it comes to classic design styles. Modern design is really easy to identify because it really focuses on having function over form. In a lot of modern designs, you'll see only what's required. All the furniture is going to have a really obvious purpose. There's not going to be a ton of knickknacks or a ton of overly detailed designs. It's going to be somewhat stripped down, pretty minimal, and pretty focused on the function of the space. Within modern, you'll often see a lot of Scandinavian, or industrial designs, and minimalist designs as well. In this modern dining room here, you'll see that it's been stripped down to the base X. We have a really lovely simple table with some chairs around it, a buffet, a really lovely sleek lighting fixture, and there's not much else going on. You'll see when it comes to color that there's often a really simple color palette with one big pop of color. In this case, you see a little bit of gold and you see a little bit of blue, and those really set the tone and make a statement within the space. When it comes to balance, you'll see a lot of asymmetry. This space actually breaks that mold and it's pretty symmetrical because it's a dining room. But I think in a lot of cases when it comes to modern design, you'll see a little bit of asymmetry that's where they get that dynamic pop and that element of interest. With modern design when it comes to rhythm and repetition, it's really important to be very intentional effects, because there's not a lot of additional accessories and artwork and color, you have to be really mindful of how you're going to get that sense of rhythm and repetition. So that's often seen by repeating the same key element of furniture, the same color, or the same material throughout the space. Eclectic design is one of the easiest to identify, but often one of the hardest designs to successfully implement. Eclectic design is really easy to identify because it has a really great variety of colors and patterns, and it feels very collected and curated overtime. That being said, it's very easy to get into this level of chaos. So this is where we really have to go back to our principles to make sure that we're executing on it correctly. Within eclectic design, you're going to find a lot of global designs, bohemian designs, anything that feels like it's been well traveled and curated from a variety of places, variety of travel stories. It's just going to feel very well curated. Within eclectic design, you're going to find a wide variety of colors and pallets, and the sky is really the limit. When it comes to balance, you're actually going to see a pretty good variety again with symmetry and asymmetry, but it'll be a little more asymmetrical again to give you that feeling of collection and curation over time. Rhythm and repetition is actually going to be, I think the key and the defining principle of this style. Because eclectic design is so curated and you're going to have such a variety of colors and patterns, it's really important to be methodical and make sure that you don't go overboard. So whenever you're looking at a collective design, you really want to take stock of what you have, what you're bringing in, and making sure that there's nothing that's really competing with each other, and that everyone has a friend or a partner within that design. This example is a great representation of eclectic design because it has such a variety of colors, patterns, materials, you can really feel like you know the person who lives in this space, and you can get a sense of what they do for hobbies, what they do for travel, who lives here. Contemporary captures a lot of that in between. It's going to capture some of the transitional design and styles that are within or just outside of our other design families to something that's not quite mid-century, not quite bohemian, something that's right there in the middle, is usually going to fall within this contemporary umbrella. In this example, you really see contemporary design come to life with the really simple sofas, the really simple sleep coffee table. But where it starts to have a little more fun and embody a little bit more of the client's personality is through the decor and accessories. You can see the bookcase here has a lot of styling, it starts to really tell a story, they're not afraid of incorporating a little bold pattern with the pillows, and there's some great artwork above the fireplace as well that starts to showcase some more of that design personality. When it comes to the principles of design and incorporating those into a contemporary design, you're often going to find that with the color pallets, they're pretty neutral. There's not going to be a ton of bold colors, you might see some complimentary color palettes, but they're going to be stripped down and a little bit more subdued and neutral. Because of the sleek lines and the nature these really simplified silhouettes, it really lends itself well to a symmetrical design with mirrored elements, you're going to see a lot of symmetry and contemporary design. When it comes to rhythm and repetition, you'll often see bold patterns incorporated throughout the space on a bigger scale, and contemporary designs often are not afraid of incorporating that bold punch of a really unexpected pattern or unexpected color to create that sense of rhythm. No matter what style you identify with or what combination of styles you identify with, scale and proportion are going to be outside of that scope. They're going to really rely on the size of the room, and the rules of scale and proportion are going to transcend style. Those rules really are set in stone and they're going to be the same regardless of how you identify with your design style. When it comes to combining style, you'll find that most people including yourself are going to fall within some realm of a combination of these styles. It's really rare that one person will identify with just one style. An easy way to start identifying which styles you are going to combine is figuring out which of these parents styles you really identify with most, whether it's classic, modern, eclectic, or contemporary. That's going to make it really easy for you to identify the sub-styles that will create a really cohesive and lovely design. When it comes to combining styles, it's really simple and a really great way to start by combining different sub styles that are within this same parent design style. One thing that designers and pros will do is go just outside of that and pull in something that's a little bit unexpected. This is how you can tell when a room has been designed by someone who knows what they're doing versus someone who is just getting familiar with the base X. So as you start to get more and more comfortable with these principles in your own design style, push the envelope a little bit, find something that's just outside of your comfort zone, figure out why it works and what is similar, and don't be afraid to pull that in. This example here really showcases a combination of subtitles that fall within this modern parents style. You can see the Scandinavian elements through the rug. But rather than keeping that strip down with a lot of neutrals are really like airy colors, we've actually paired it with a little more bold modern chair that has this really nice metal detail, and then combine that with an even more bold, almost rustic feeling dark accent wall. For the most part within this design, all of the design elements do come from that modern umbrella. There is this element of rustifness with some of the more natural materials, whether it's the leather on the chairs or the more natural sheepskin rug, and that is a little bit outside of the normal rules. The reason it works to bring in a little bit of a rustic element to this modern design is because we've kept those principles in mind. So we've incorporated similar colors, similar tons without going too far outside of the style spectrum. In this classic design example, we've actually combined a few unexpected design styles. So you'll see a lot of elements of traditional and transitional design, but we've also thrown in a little bit of a curve ball. There's this preppy element that's in here. The reason this works so well is because the rest of the room is pretty simple, pretty neutral, and it allows us to really play and experiment with some of the color that you might not normally see in classic design, but you do see in a little bit of those preppy, more updated modern designs. As we've alluded to, a collective design really lends itself well to different styles coming together because there is this element as incorporating a bunch of different colors and patterns and materials. What works really well here is that we've simplified that and incorporated a lot of bohemian elements, and then we've contrasted that with a more rustic element when it comes to this dresser to unexpected pairing. But it works really well because you get this really great sense of balance between the light and the dark. They both have this really great natural element to them. So they worked really harmoniously together. You also get this really great sense of eclecticism through the pattern pillows, and they're really great to peace shall chandelier, again another unexpected element that is really easily to identify when it comes to eclectic design. So as we talked about before, contemporary design has a lot of similarities with modern design. But contemporary allows for a little bit more freedom and fun when it comes to color and pattern. This room is no stranger to color and pattern. You'll also see a lot of really great glam and preppy elements with a lot of gold tons, a lot of really rich colors and patterns which for anyone who loves glam design, you're always going to see a ton of gold and bold colors, really great patterns within any glam space. The easiest way to start identifying your style is just to go out there and start identifying your styles. So what you should do as a first step is start figuring out what inspires you. You can do this by looking at Pinterest, Instagram, even while you're out at restaurants just figuring out what pieces make you feel at home and make you feel really peacefull. Then start jotting those down. Figure out what you like, what you dislike as a next step once you've honed in and gathered a group of inspiration images. Take a really hard look at each of those individual pictures to figure out what it is about each space that you really love. Is that the architecture? Is it a color? Is it a pattern? Is it a specific piece of furniture? Just figuring out exactly what it is that resonates with you. Start making a list of that and figuring out what's attainable, why we might need to fake a little bit. I know for me personally when I'm browsing through Instagram or Pinterest, I'm really inspired by spaces that have these grand lofty windows. I don't have that in my own space. So I have to figure out how I can embody that, and what other elements of those inspiration images I really resonate with. As you're starting the search and build up your inspiration image library, it's really important to not be too focused when you start your search. So even if you think that you identify as bohemian or mid-century, don't just look at bohemian or mid-century rooms. Just look at living rooms as a whole. You might surprise yourself and you might find some new style facets that you're really drawn to, and this could really open your eyes to embracing a new design style. I've noticed personally when I'm working with clients that a lot of them either think they know their style and they surprise themselves they're not the style they thought they were, or they come to me and they just don't know what their style is. So it's a really fun journey to help them figure out, what their style is, give them these key words to empower themselves as they're searching on their own or as we're working on their room together to really establish their own unique style. I think another challenge when it comes to identifying your style is not just embracing a trend because it's trendy, embracing a trend because you love it or being okay with stepping away from a trend and finding a style that really resonates with you. Trends come and go, and they always circle back around. So if it's something that you love, own it. If it's something that you don't love, it's going to go away, and we'll find a style and a trend that works best for you. Now that we've covered the basic principles of design and we've started to give you the tools to identify your own personal design style, we're going to jump into our next project, which is focusing on styling a bookcase. For this next activity, we are going to use all of the principles we've already covered, and it's important for you to identify at least one key style that you really resonate with. When it comes to styling a bookcase, this is going to be very fluid, very easily changeable. So don't feel like you're stuck with this style that you've identified right now. It can always be changed, we can always adapt it later on. But this is going to be a great foundation. So pick the one to two styles that you really resonate with most, and we'll get ready for our next project. 8. Styling Project: Modern Farmhouse: Now that we've wrapped up our lessons on the four key principles of interior design: color, balance, scale and proportion, and rhythm and repetition. We're ready to put this to work in a project. We're going to start by styling a bookcase, and I'll show you a few different ways that we can implement these principles into this project. We're going to use styling a bookcase as a great kicking off project to implement these principles because it's something that almost everyone has. Even if you don't have a bookshelf, you have some sort of flat surface that we can apply these same principles to. Other services include other shelving units, whether that's a fireplace mantle or other stand-alone shelves, a coffee table, and even a night stamp. Bookcases are a great way to take these risks and implement new patterns and new colors that you might not want to incorporate in the whole room because it's a small way to implement a big change without making a big commitment. The great thing about styling a bookcase as well is that it's not committed to anyone's style. You can really combine a multitude of styles and it'll work with any design style regardless of where you're starting from or where you want to end up. With this bookcase behind me, we're going to talk through the four key principles and how they are represented here and how they encompass their homeowner's style. From there, we're going to change it up a little bit. I'll show you how to keep this same style, but we'll play with different principles to create an entirely new look with this bookcase still within the same style. After that, we'll pick a completely different style while still keeping some of the same elements from this bookcase to show you how you can change up your own style without totally starting from scratch and using some of the pieces that you already own. With this bookcase, we're going to start by talking about color. This was the first principle that we covered, and it's a really great way to start foundation for your bookcase. Like the rest of this client's home, the bookcase behind me is pretty monochromatic. You're going to see a lot of whites, grays, creams, with little pops of green and this really carries out throughout the rest of the home, makes it feel very harmonious, and also creates a really great moment with this bookcase. Everything feels very in sync. You'll see that really the only color we have behind us here is the greenery through the plants. There's little pops of blue in some of the books. But for the most part, everything is fairly neutral. If we move into it and look at rhythm and repetition, you're going to see a lot of the same repeated materials in addition to the repeated color. One thing to call out is that there's a lot of ceramic. Some of these vases are even the same collection, some of the same colors, materials. But they're not placed right next to each other. When it comes to balance, looking at symmetry and asymmetry within a bookcase, in most cases, you're going to lean a little bit asymmetrical. You don't want everything to feel like a mirror image within a bookcase, even if you have a lot of books, it's something that you want to play around with really vary the sizes and shapes of the pieces that you're putting in the bookcase, and also give yourself a lot of breathing room. As you can see behind me on this bookcase, we have a lot of areas where there's actually some negative space. The whole bookcase isn't filled with books or accessories. We allow these little vignettes to be able to breathe. Another thing that these empty spaces do is that it embodies this minimal style that the homeowner has throughout her home. You can see as we've walked through the other spaces, there aren't a lot of accessories. She does have some artwork and some knickknacks, but it's not overdone and we wanted to embody that in her bookcase as well. So incorporating these empty areas is a really great way to mimic that minimal style throughout the rest of the home too. The idea of scale and proportion is also represented really well in this bookcase behind me. You can see it that there's not much that's too big or too small, and everything works really well together. In this vignette here, this is a great example. Your eye starts by looking at the largest piece in the back, then moves to something slightly smaller, but still has a great pattern that really catches your eye. Then we move to this smaller piece and backup again. So it creates this really great sense of rhythm, while also keeping in mind the idea of proportion of these items in relation to each other. When it comes to filling a bookshelf, you'll actually want to leave about an inch to maybe two inches from the bottom of the shelf to the tallest item on your shelf. That way, it doesn't feel like it's too crowded or you have anything that's too big for this space or too big for this shelf. Now that we've discussed the bookcase as it's currently styled for this client and her current style, we're going to shake things up and show you how you can use some of these same principles, keeping a very similar style, but creating a totally different look within the same bookcase. This client's bookcase has a lot of empty space. In this next style, I really want to fill that up a little bit. So I'm going to start with a big piece of art. Adding art is a great way to fill the negative space in a bookshelf and to also add that vertical height that we talked about in the initial styling of this bookcase. So I'm going to slide this in just back here. Adding this artwork immediately fills this negative space and gives us a lot less negative space to fill, really fills up this vertical space and gives us a little bit more of a pop and a high impact area. When it comes to adding tall pieces like artwork or even tall vases, it makes sense to tuck these towards the back of the bookshelf because this is a really easy way to add layers in front of it. You can always add smaller pieces in front of a tall piece, and it's hard to do it the other way around. So anything that's really tall, push those towards the back of your bookshelf, and then layer in front of it. So to play off of this client's existing style but to add a little bit more of this maximalist idea, getting away from the minimalism but adding in a few more elements to create this really full look. I'm actually going to take away some of her starting pieces and fill in with some of these other pieces that are still within her style, but create this more full and more bulky effect to her bookcase. So instead of having this standalone plant, I'm instead going to layer in a few different pieces. So we'll start with our tall vase in the back here. I've pulled in this really nice dried floral arrangement, which is in the same color palette, but slightly different textures may still work really well together. I'm going to keep this little vignette here. I love having a personalized family photo, that's a great way to add your own personality into your bookshelf. One other thing that I want to do now that we've removed the greenery from here is I want to add it back in this area, that way we still have this sense of harmony by having plants and live greenery throughout the bookshelf. So I'm going to pull this in, swap out one of my other small objects for another small plant. This immediately adds that greenery right back into our vignette, creates that sense of harmony throughout the rest of the bookcase, and gives us a little pop of color too. As a finishing touch, what I also want to do is add in a little bit of that texture. In this vignette, because we've added this really nice sleek glass frame, it actually got a little bit cold in my opinion. So what we can do is add in something a little bit warmer. I love a natural wood for this. We also have wood throughout the rest of the bookcase, so this is a really natural tie-in. These are just some styling beads. What I love about styling beads is that there's no right or wrong way to do them. You can literally just plot them on your bookcase. Voila, you're done. You can also put them on top of a stack of books, you can drape them over artwork, ton of options and it's just a really versatile objects to use if you're new to design or new to styling and want something to fill this empty space on your bookshelf. So to finish out the styling for this shelf with this more full complete look, I'm going to finish this vignette over here. We have a lot of greenery again on this shelf. So I'm actually going to remove one more plant and fill it in with something a little bit taller. To balance the height over here, I want something that's not quite as tall, but something that's still brings a little bit of height. So I'm picking this tall glass candelabra, and then I want to do one more smaller piece layered in front of it to create this nice effect of this waterfall ripple effect to allow your eye to flow through this vignette. So something that has this great wood element, something that's a little bit smaller, and something that's a slightly different texture just to completes that vignette here. So this vignette is actually a little close, it's feeling a little crowded. So you can easily start to shift things over until you get it just right. To get ready for this new style in this new transition that we're going to take this bookcase in, I'm actually going to start removing this, creating a completely blank sleek for myself and starting from scratch with a new style. 9. Styling Project: Preppy Coastal: Now that we have a totally blank slate behind us, this allows us to really explore a completely different style than the current homeowner's style. As we talked about her style was a little more minimalist, had this farmhouse transitional vibe. That's not personally my style. So I'm excited to show you how I would interpret this bookcase in my own style. We're going to look at a more preppy coastal with a touch of bohemian style bookcase in this case, and I'm excited to show you how I would style this. To start, as we would with the other space, we're going to start with our large items first. So I'm going to start with a really great piece of artwork. This is going to give us some really great height. As you can see, it really embodies this coastal vibe. So I'm going to start just by placing some of my larger items artwork first, a few larger vases. As we go through the bookcase styling, you're going to find that I will nudge things around. I'll start moving things. This is exactly what you should do too. Wherever you set something initially, it doesn't have to be its final resting place. You can start moving things around as the bookcase starts to come together. But I'm going to start layering in some of my taller pieces. Keeping in mind that I don't want all of my tall pieces to be on the same shelf or within the same group A. We're next going to start layering in some books and some smaller accessories. So you want to give yourself a little bit of wiggle room and not group all of your big pieces together. So I'm going to start pulling in some of these other colored vases. I'm mixing in some good glass pieces, some ceramic. I'll pull in some wood elements as well. You guys might recognize some of these pieces from our last bookcase. I'm actually going to pull in these exact same cutting boards from the farmhouse style. I like that these still work with the preppy coastal because they give it this vibe of driftwood, little bit of that natural element that you would find in a coastal vibe or a coastal environment. We're going to pull those in here as well. This is the last of my tall pieces here. Next, I'm going to start gathering some of my books and I'll show you how to style those as well. What I really like about books is that no matter what the title is, the color is, they're pretty styling agnostic. A lot of us have books whether it's just a few or hundreds, we need a place to put them and they're going to work with any style no matter what you're trying to do with your bookcase or what direction you're trying to go in. Because we're looking at a preppy coastal bookcase, I've actually pulled in a lot of books that mimic those same colors. So we can start layering these in. You'll want to do a good mix of horizontal books as well as some books stacked vertically. We'll just start filling in some of these empty spaces. Over here, I started with a stack of more vibrant colored books and I'm going to balance that and counteract it with a slightly more neutral stack of books over here. If everything were really colorful, it might start to feel a little overwhelming and a little chaotic, so it's good to keep that balance in mind. So now that we've started placing some of our larger books, the next step is to fill in with some smaller accessories. So this can be knick-knacks that you have around the house, small vases, and even items that you wouldn't necessarily expect to find in a bookcase. This can be a really cute picture, a sugar dish, any other household object that you can start to fill in these spaces. So I'm going to gather those and show you how to place those as well. I actually have some traditional bookends. These are little pineapples which is very coastal and a great way to continue on with that theme. So I'm going to place them not next to each other, but again, balance them a little bit throughout the bookshelf. So one is going to be placed here, next to my colorful grouping of books. The other, I'm going to place next to our neutral vignette here. So now we can start layering in some of these other pieces that we have here to fill out the rest of our vignettes. I'm going to focus on this one here because it's still feeling a little bit empty. We have one tall vase on our little stack of books. I want to round this out. Keeping in line with our grouping of three, and this is a really great spot to include one more small vase. To create this little element here that has this really nice grounding effect allows our eye, again, to go from high to low and back again. This does still feel a little bit empty and we have some room to fill in to get that vertical height that we've been looking for. I'm going to pull in some greenery as a great little finishing touch for this little vignette here. That to me is looking pretty good, so we can move on. Come back to this vignette here to really round this out. We don't have a ton of depth. So what I want to do is add something in front here, that's really going to make this feel a little more complete, fill in some of that negative space. Something like, let's use this little bird. This is actually from that modern farmhouse vignette that we looked at earlier. What I like about including this piece in the old style and this new style bookcase, is that it has a really neutral base. It's playful, it's fun, and it's something that will work with a lot of different styles. So this is starting to feel a little more complete to me. We got to focus on some of these vignettes behind me. In this vignette here, we have a lot of height, whether it's from the glass vase or these tall cutting boards and we need something to draw our eye back down and bring us back full circle. So I'm going to add something a little bit lower right here. Something like this little bowl is a great playful way to pull in the glass color. This really great sea green and then tie it into this vignette to create this really nice rounded out effect. What I'm really lacking so far is tying in this plan. He needs a friend. We need a little bit more greenery to, again, balance out the space and give us something to land on over here. That's a little bit similar to what we already have on the opposite side of the bookcase. I'm going to use this great aloe plant. This is feeling a little empty with books. So if you're someone who does have a lot of books, use your bookcase to your advantage. You can start pulling in as many or as few books as you'd like. What I like to do when I'm styling my own bookcases is group my books by color. Grouping your books by color might seem pretty basic, but it's a really great way to create a sense of harmony and it really allows the eye to flow without jumping from color to color. You can have this really nice element of cohesiveness. When you're styling your own bookcases, you don't always have to do these small groups of books. You can actually do something a little bit more dramatic and put a large grouping of books all together in one place. It's looking better, but not quite what I want. So I'm going to move some things around again. Let's do a good mix of some books that are vertical, some books that are horizontal. This gives us a nice natural spot for us to put our plant, gives us some vertical height really balances it out, ties into the other plant that we have over here and gives us a more complete vignette. So I know I had this vase in here originally. I'm not loving where it's placed, so I'm actually going to remove it. We'll play around and add something else in to really fill out this space. One of the reasons that I'm pulling this out is that it's just too similar in height to this one. It feels like we don't have enough of a difference. I'm going to gather a few other things and we'll pull this entire vignette. You'll start to notice, as you're filling in your bookcase that as you get towards the end, this is where you're going to start to rearrange things. They're not going to be exactly where you want them to and that's perfectly okay. This is where you can start to apply your knowledge that you have about color and all the other principles that we've covered to really create a cohesive look. So right now, I'm struggling because I have this empty space and I need to fill it with something that's not too colorful, because we have a lot of color going on here. Also something that's not too tall and fits really well proportion-wise with the other pieces around it. So I'm going to pull in this really sculptural white piece here. Obviously, it's not very colorful, but adds a really great element of interest. So I'm going to start with that and layer in a couple other smaller pieces. Another thing that this vignette to me is lacking is this element of golds. We don't have a ton of that scene throughout the bookcase, so this is something that we can easily pull in to create a more cohesive look. So I'm going to pull it in this little Mr, then we can take a step back look at your bookcase and again start to identify where those gaps are. I'm seeing that there's a little bit of a white space here, so I want to fill that in. I am going to add in this vase that I said I didn't like earlier over here, it actually is going to work really nicely up here. Looking back at this bookcase again it's almost exactly where I want it to be. As I've been pulling these elements together, I've really kept in mind our four key principles color, balance, scale and proportion and rhythm repetition. Now, I'll walk you guys through each of these core principles and show you how I incorporated them into this bookcase to create a really cohesive look. As we look at this property coastal bookcase in its final stages, we can really start to notice the color palette. It's very different from where we started with the client's original bookcase, but we've kept it to a pretty cohesive color palette of cool colors. The main colors I've focused on here are these blues, purples, little bits of green, and a few pops up a warmer Pinker statement. To get myself this sense of balance, I've made sure not to group too many colors together and I've really spread out my blues, my purples, my greens all of that to create this really nice sense of balance. So within each vignette like this one here, I have the blue vase, little bit of blue here with the vase and the bolts, a blue in the ocean artwork, little bit of this cool green, not quite blue, but still gives us that color there, and in this little vignette, some blue in the books, and even though in this top vignette there's not a true blue, we get a lot of those cool grays that give you that same feeling and still creates that sense of blue harmony throughout the rest of the bookcase. With this color palette, we've also kept are really soft subdued more muted color palette in mind. So none of these colors are supersaturated, they all have a little bit of this smokey gray hayes to them. For instance, this purple vase is not a bright purple, it's more of a really soft lilac. You'll see that mimics here with a more subdued blue, this really soft seafoam green, and then again with some of these more muted colors over in this neutral vignette. So within each of these vignettes, I've kept in mind that I wanted to have a little bit of asymmetry, nothing that's too much taller or too much smaller, but something that creates this sense of balance. Let's look at this vignette, for example. We have this taller more ceramic base, that has this light ethereal presence. To balance that, we added in a taller stack of books and a more heavy substantial plant, even though these aren't the same object, it gives us this really great sense of balance through asymmetry. As we highlighted in the other two style bookcases, scale and proportion really start to shine through in each of the individual vignettes where you can start to see a really clear hierarchy from high to low. An example of this is in this vignette here. We have a couple pieces that are a little bit taller that draw your eye down naturally. As opposed to some of the other vignettes in this bookcase, our tallest piece is actually our group of books. So that's where your eye naturally starts, and we layer it in with a couple of smaller pieces. So your eye naturally draws to this medium height vase, back down to this small little bud vase, down to the pineapple, and then back up again, which creates this really nice sense of proportion and scale within that vignette. To round out this preppy coastal bookcase, we're going to focus on rhythm and repetition, and the idea of having these repeated elements throughout our style buck. As we've talked about, color is a really great way to pull this in. We've already highlighted the blue, but one other thing to look at is that I've also pulled in this curveball color of this pink salmon color. I'm not going to pull that in everywhere because it's not a huge part of this preppy coastal look, but because I have it in one place, I need to repeat it somewhere else. So I have it up here in this top shelf, and then I've also pulled a little bit of it in on the opposite side. This immediately is going to give you this sense of repetition because it's in the opposite sides of the bookcase allows your eye to go from side to side and back. So it creates this really nice sense of drawing the eye throughout the bookcase. Now, that you've seen me styled as bookshelf in a couple of different ways. It's time for you to take the principles that you know along with your design style that you've identified and apply this into a bookshelf or other surface within your home. As a first step, after you've identified your personal design style, you're going to start gathering objects throughout your home. Obviously, this will include books since we're going to start with a bookshelf, but it can't include so much more than that. Starts to gather a picture frames, thesis, other accessories that maybe don't have a home or that you think might fit into your bookcase. Pulled these all into one spot whether it's on a kitchen table, on your floor, and just start to gather them together. This is going to give you a really clear indication of the pieces that already worked well together. It'll also help you identify where you might have gaps. This will also allow you to see if the pieces that you already own aligned with your current design style or if they're a little bit different. If they're really different, let's figure out together if it's something that you can combine or if maybe you're identified style is not quite the same as what you already have in your home, and start to lean into one direction or the other to really clear and distinct style for yourself. Once you've gathered everything together and you have a clear vision of where your style is going to go, we're going to go back to our step-by-step process of pulling your bookcase together. As you might remember, we're going to start with our big pieces first. This could be big pieces of artwork, large thesis, even large bucks. Those are going to be your anchors in your foundation for your bookcase styling. So it's really important to start with those, placed them in the back and start to layer in front of them. As a second step, this is where you're going to start filling in your books. Whether you have a lot or a little, this is still going to be a key component of the bookcase, so it's important to start placing them early on, that way you're not trying to find home for them at the end. After that, you're going to start filling in with some of your smaller accessories. This can be the personal photographs, accessories, frames, little trinkets, anything that's a little bit smaller and not quite as large as your foundational items. To start layering those in and fill in the gaps within your design. As a finishing touch, I always like to pull in some live plants or other little knick-knacks that are about the size of a fist as finishing touches. These pieces often will fit in almost anywhere within a bookcase and it's a great place to start to fill in as you step back and see the gaps in your design. Once you've gone through and place your final elements in your bookcase, remember that it's not necessarily done, you can always go back and change things up. If you're looking for a creative outlet, maybe you find a new book or you want to shake up and add a new piece of artwork or a new picture frame, your bookcase is never done. The elements that we're applying into the bookcase here can also transcend in the other parts of your home. So once you've really nailed your bookcase and you feel like you're in a really good spot, you understand these principles and you understand your design style, this is where you can start to pull your knowledge into the rest of your room. You can experiment with styling other elements like your sofa, your bed, pulling and pops of color, experimenting with gallery walls, and using this foundational knowledge to really create a cohesive and fall designed for yourself. Just like you've seen me walk through a couple of my own style bookcases, now it's your turn and I want to see images of the bookcases that you've pulled together. So share pictures of your bookcases, tell me about the design challenges you face, and tell me how you incorporated the principles, and your own personal style into your newly styled bookcase. I can't wait to see your pictures. 10. Final Thoughts: Thanks for joining me in this class to cover the principles of design and discovering your own personal design style. Now that you have gone through this course, I hope that you feel empowered and knowledgeable about the basics of interior design. You feel like you can really identify a lovely space and that you have the tools that you need to turn your house into a home. So now that we've completed our project and you guys have styled your bookcases, I would love to see your pictures in our project gallery. I'd love to hear a little bit about the challenges you've faced, what principles you really focused on, and how you challenge yourself to incorporate different design styles and push yourself out of your normal comfort zone. I can't wait to see your shelfies. Thanks again for joining me. I hope you really enjoyed learning about the principles of interior design and that you feel empowered to create a really lovely space for yourself to come home to at the end of every day. 11. Explore More Classes on Skillshare: