Interior Design for the Non-Designer: How to Develop Your Eye for Style

Think Interior
6 min readJan 30, 2023


Interior design is the process of enhancing the aesthetic appeal and functionality of a space. It can be challenging for those who do not have a natural eye for design, but with some guidance and a bit of practice, anyone can develop their unique style and create beautiful spaces. This article aims to provide non-designer with the tools and knowledge needed to develop their eye for style in interior design. We will cover the basics of design elements and principles, establishing personal style, and functionality, gathering inspiration and practice, and tips for creating a polished and cohesive look. Whether you are looking to redecorate your home or learn more about interior design, this guide will provide the information you need to get started.

Start by Understanding the Basics of Design

It includes learning about color theory, balance, proportion, and scale. Understanding these concepts will help you make better design decisions.

Look for Inspiration Everywhere

Take note of the colors, patterns, and textures you find appealing. It could be in nature, fashion, or even in the architecture of a building.

Craft a Mood Board

A mood board is a visual demonstration of the style and aesthetic you are trying to achieve. It can be a collage of pictures, fabric swatches, and paint samples. Use it as a reference when making design decisions.

Invest in Key Pieces

A statement piece, such as a piece of art or a unique piece of furniture, can serve as the focal point of a room. Surrounding it with complementary pieces will help bring the room together.

Do Not be Afraid to Experiment

Interior design is all about trial and error. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. If something does not work, you can always change it.

Pay Attention to the Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in a room’s overall look and feel. It can be used to create different moods and highlight certain features. Experiment with different types of lighting, such as ambient, task, and accent lighting, to see how they affect the space.

Consider Functionality

A well-designed space should look not only good but also functional. Consider how you will use the space and what furniture and decor will be needed to make it useful.t

Add Plants

Plants can add life and color to a room. They can also help purify the air, making the room feel fresher and more inviting.

Seek Professional Help

If you need help with proceeding or want a fresh perspective, consider hiring an interior design diploma-certified professional interior designer. They can help you through the development and give you the confidence you need to make design decisions.

Take Risks

Sometimes the most interesting and unique spaces are the result of taking a bold design risk. Whether using a bold color, mixing unexpected patterns, or trying out a new layout, taking risks can lead to a truly unique and personal space.

Layer Textures and Patterns

One way to add depth and interest to a room is by layering different textures and patterns. It can be done using different fabrics, such as a plush rug layered over a smooth tile floor or by mixing patterns in a single color scheme.

Incorporate Vintage or Antique Pieces

Vintage and antique pieces can add character and history to a space, making it more live-in and personal.

Be Mindful of Scale

When decorating a room, it is important to consider the scale of the furniture and decor concerning the size of the room. A small room can feel cramped with oversized furniture, while a large room can feel empty with small pieces.

Have Fun and Be Yourself

Remember that interior design is about creating a space that reflects your style and makes you happy. Feel free to let your personality shine through in your design choices, and have fun with the process.

Do Not Overlook the Importance of Storage

A well-designed space should be functional, including having enough storage for all belongings. Consider adding storage solutions such as built-in cabinetry, shelving, or even hidden storage spaces to keep the room looking neat and tidy.

Incorporate Different Colors and Patterns for a Cohesive Design

A cohesive design is when all the room’s elements work together and flow seamlessly. When choosing colors and patterns, consider the room’s overall color scheme and design style, and try to tie them all together.

Use Rugs to Define Different Areas

Open floor plans can create a sense of spaciousness but make it difficult to define different areas. Rugs can create different zones or areas in the room, helping to make the space feel cohesive.

Incorporate Different Materials and Textures

Mixing different materials and textures can add depth and interest to a room. Use wood, metal, glass, and stone to create a layered, textured look.

Create a Focal Point

Every room should have a focal point, whether a piece of artwork, a fireplace, or a statement piece of furniture. The focal point will draw the eye and serve as the starting point for the rest of the room’s design.

Use Bold Colors

Bold colors can add energy and personality to a space. Whether it is a statement wall, a colorful piece of furniture, or a colorful piece of art, bold colors can make a room feel alive and interesting.

Incorporate Natural Elements

Adding natural elements such as wood, stone, or plants can bring warmth and tranquility to a space. They can also help to create a connection to nature and make a room feel inviting.

Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space

Mirrors are a great tool for creating the illusion of space, particularly in small rooms or narrow corridors. Mirrors reflect light and make a room brighter and more spacious.

Experiment with Different Layouts

The layout of a room can have a big impact on how it feels. Experiment with different formats, such as a symmetrical or asymmetrical layout, to see how they affect the space.

Keep Things Simple

Sometimes less is more. A room that is cluttered or over-decorated can feel overwhelming and chaotic. When in doubt, keep things simple and let the beauty of the space speak for itself.

Do not Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Playing with different styles, textures, and patterns can add visual interest to a room. Mixing and matching can also make a space feel more collected and personal. Mixing and matching different styles can create an interesting and unique look. For example, combine a vintage piece with a modern one or a traditional piece with a contemporary one. It is all about discovering the true balance and making it work.

Take Inspiration from Nature

Nature can provide much inspiration when it comes to interior design. Incorporating natural elements such as wood, stone, or plants can add a sense of warmth and tranquility to a space. You can also take inspiration from natural colors and patterns, such as a sandy beach or a forest.

Incorporate Lighting in Your Design

Lighting plays a fundamental role in forming the mood and ambiance of a room. Consider using various light sources, such as overhead lights, table lamps, and floor lamps, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Use Furniture that is Both Functional and Stylish

Furniture is an essential element of interior design and should be functional and stylish. Consider how you will use the room and choose furniture that is appropriate for the space.

Do not Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Interior design is a process, and it is important to remember that mistakes are part of learning. Do not be afraid to make mistakes; use them as an opportunity to learn and grow as a designer.

Use Curtains or Window Treatments to Add Visual Interest

Window treatments can serve a functional purpose, such as providing privacy or controlling light, and they can also add visual interest to a room. Consider using curtains or drapes in a bold color or pattern, or try using shutters or blinds for a more modern look.


Interior design is not just about aesthetics; it is about creating a space that functions well and reflects your taste and lifestyle. Remember, interior design is a process, and it is important to have fun with it. With these tips, you can develop your style and create a space you love. Do not be afraid to experiment, take risks, and have fun with the process.

Furthermore, if you want to be professional in the interior design field, attaining a certificate of interior design online would surely help. With the help you a diploma certificate, you can pursue an interior design career throughout the world.

A diploma certification in interior design is a great way to learn the basics of the field. In a typical interior design program, you will be introduced to the various elements and principles of design, as well as the latest design trends and techniques. You will also have the opportunity to improve your practical talents, including computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting, and learn about project management, materials and finishes, and lighting design.



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