The 3 Principles of Interior Design

A beautifully decorated interior not only functions well but it creates a mood or a feeling and shows off the personality of the family that lives there. It’s attention to these three important ingredients — function, mood and personality — that ensures decorating success.


Before painting and rearranging, spend some time thinking about your family and how you live. Look through magazines for inspiration and pull out ideas or rooms that appeal to you. Gather things from around the house that make you feel good and study them carefully for color cues and perhaps a clue to the mood you’re looking for in your home. This is the beginning of a well-planned and decorated living area.

As for the rest, let’s start with function.


function interior-design

Decorating is more than just eye appeal — it’s making a room really work for you. Here’s how to do it, element by element:

  • The focal point:

focal pointSometimes rooms have natural focal points (places the eyes travel to immediately upon entering a room) — a fireplace, a bay window with a view, maybe even a built-in bookcase. If the room doesn’t have a natural focal point, create one with a dynamic piece of art or a colorful area rug.

  • The furniture:


Determine whether the furniture satisfies the functions you’ve planned for the room. If a piece isn’t working or if it’s too large or too small for the size of the room, get rid of it or trade it for something else around the house that may be more appropriate.

  • The lighting:

lightingLighting should be selected for the functions of the room as well as for visual appeal. Every task will require either direct lighting from a lamp or indirect lights that simply brighten the room for conversation or TV-watching. Accent lighting — floor spots, track lighting or recessed spotlights — enhance texture, color and room details.

  • The furniture arrangement:


Draw your room on graph paper. Measure and mark electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Measure your furniture and place it in your floor plan. Generally, the main furniture pieces are directed toward the focal point, keeping the major traffic patterns open. Fill in with pieces you’d like to have that may or may not be available now. Be sure to balance high and low pieces as well as heavy and light ones around the room.


The mood or feeling of a room is created by your choice of colors, the style of furnishings, the amount of texture and pattern you choose and your accessories. Since there’s so much to think about when creating a mood, establishing a theme through the selection of an inspiration piece can make this portion of a decorating project much more fun and interesting. Here are the factors you need to address when setting a mood:

  • The inspiration piece:


The easiest way by far to decorate is to start with some source of inspiration. A decorative pillow, a favorite scarf and even a magazine photo are good places to begin. Select your inspiration piece wisely, and be sure it makes you feel good when you look at it. It’s the basis for selecting your theme, colors, patterns and textures.

  • Theme:


Analyze your inspiration piece and develop a theme name for it. For instance, a needlepoint pillow with a botanical design on a black background may inspire a title like “formal botanical garden.” Be descriptive with your theme name and all sorts of supporting ideas will come to mind. Botanical prints, striped walls, greens and floral colors, formal fabrics and furniture, dark woods and black accents all fit this particular theme.

  • Color cues:


Color should always support the theme. Many times, the colors that are most appropriate are found in the patterns and design of your inspiration piece. Generally, it’s best to choose three colors in a room: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, found throughout the room in fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy and excitement to the room.

  • Patterns:

furniture-patternsStripes, checks, florals and plaids are just a few of the patterns to consider as you continue supporting your theme. It’s all right to mix patterns as long as you do three things:

  1. Keep the background color the same.
  2. Make sure all patterns share the same colors.
  3. Vary the scale or sizes of the patterns.
  • Texture:

new-texture-collage2 Too many smooth, shiny objects or too much nubby, rustic texture becomes tiresome. Use variety to keep the room interesting. Even a pattern can be used as texture. Many prints look dimensional and therefore add depth to a decorating scheme.

  • Furniture:

furniture Aside from being functional, your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme. Some pieces may function well but their style or color may stick out like a sore thumb. Try to salvage it with slipcovers, tablecloths or paint. If it’s a lost cause, remove it from the room.


decor personality

Here’s your chance to put your personal stamp on a well-planned room. Here are some strategies:

  • Accessorizing:

home-decor-collage-500x600Pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs are all integral parts of a great decorating plan. Generally, they should support your theme, but allow more flexibility here; an antique picture frame could add wonderful variety to a contemporary room. Accessories are located on walls, mantels, furniture, tabletops and floors; they can be paintings and photos or pillows.

  • Whimsy:

whimsy This is optional in your decorating scheme, but it can counteract any sterile quality that may have been created by strictly following all the guidelines. A beautiful country sitting room may get some relief from a playful quilt placed over the fireplace.

  • The unexpected:

tinrobotsInterest doesn’t have to be whimsical; it can simply be something unexpected in a room, like a brightly-painted ceiling.



Interior Design Trends for 2014


1. Macramé and fiber-art wall hangings:

SONY DSC“It’s sculpture for your wall that adds texture and replaces wallpaper or fine art you can’t afford,” said Ms. Burnham. “And we haven’t seen it since the 1970s. I think it’s time.” Early adopters include the Ace Hotel chain and architect Barbara Bestor.



2. Window sheers:


The popularity of heavy drapes is drooping. “Everyone wants greater transparency and more light,” observed New York designer Celerie Kemble. And “sheers are no longer granny-ish and polyester,” said Los Angeles designer Kim Alexandriuk. “The new ones in linen and wool look rich.”



3. Corduroy upholstery:


“It’s the casual alternative to velvet and the preppy version of chenille,” said Ms. Burnham, whose library sofa is olive-green corduroy. Mr. Harte, who used Etro’s “hip and vibrant” purple corduroy on a gold-leafed bergère, is also a fan: “It looks really cool on formal chairs.” The wider the wale, the gutsier the statement.



4. Venetian marbled-paper prints:

marble-montageFound on the end papers of old books, these intricately swoopy patterns evoke “the romanticism of a bygone, pre-digital era,” said Mr. Wood. Mr. Bullard noted that the prints are seeing a renaissance on “everything from the chicest of wallpaper to finely silk-screened linens and gold-leafed porcelain.”




5. Deco hues:


Color has been nudging gray and greige out of the picture, but, for many decorators, bright primary shades can still feel uncouth.

Improve Your Home’s Outdoor Space

We all love spending time in our gardens, but in recent decades, the boundary between inside and outside living has become blurred, with many people building garden rooms, permanent barbecues and even outdoor kitchens.

Here are some of the ways you could extend your living space and make your garden even more appealing to you and your friends.

  • Build a pergola with lots of creepers and even vines. This provides a nice shady retreat for you and your visitors, as well as a nice little habitat for various forms of wildlife.

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  • Patios that become hot, scorched and unbearable in the summer are a thing of the past. Make your patio an extension of the way your house already looks, and include planting beds and waterproof (and UV-proof for the optimists) furniture. Even if you’re part-lizard you’ll need some sort of respite from the sun, so get some fast-growing bamboo and train it over a trellis, or get a retractable awning.

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  • Think about an outdoor kitchen if you like eating outdoors. Many of us have a barbecue, but if you’re a frequent griller, you must be sick of being rained off, or maybe you fantasise about holding a barbie in the autumn or winter. An outdoor kitchen, complete with hygienic worktop, sink and cold storage, will make your life much easier.

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  • If you create any sort of outdoor room, you’ll need a sense of privacy and enclosure. Fences are great for regular gardens, but for something special, try lattices and landscaping to block out the neighbors – or at the very least their houses.

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  • Furnishings for outdoor spaces and outdoor rooms have developed a bit since cane and rattan, too. You can get cast iron, aluminium or wooden chairs and tables. You can get upholstery that’s made from modern fabrics specially developed to be rain, mould and sun-proof. Most of this modern outdoor furniture doesn’t even look especially outdoorsy – you could just as easily see it inside a house.

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  • This style extends to floor and table lamps, so you don’t have to rely on security lights and weak candles to light up your nights anymore!

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  • Of course if you’re talking about outdoor luxury then you can’t ignore the hot tub or spa. Don’t just plonk it anywhere, though. You need to think about how private you want it to be, as well as how shaded from the sun.


  • If you don’t get much sun, you can still have a hot tub, but you might do better with one designed by Arctic Spas for the colder climes. You also need to leave enough room around it so that you can walk past it. The average round hot tub is six feet in diameter and needs around 30 square feet of clearance. If it’s rectangular, you’ll need 48 square feet at least. Don’t expect to put it on your decking, though! Water is heavy, and your full hot tub will weigh at least two tons, so it’ll need its own foundations.


  • The really modern outdoor space has a fireplace or fire pit. Fire is always a focal point and helps you to define and divide space. Fire pits can be built-in (i.e. brick) or moveable, and the best thing about them is that they mean you can carry on partying into the winter!

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10 Awesome Pet-Friendly Home Inventions

Every pet owner knows, having a furry one as part of the family comes with difficulties when it comes to selecting furniture for your home. Sharing your space with your pet does not mean you have to sacrifice style or comfort. The key to decorating a pet friendly space is to plan out the correct materials and needs for both you and your pet.  Nowadays, there are companies like The Livable Home  that specializes in creating contemporary yet Pet/Kid/Life friendly furniture to make life easier. If you have a great idea, but need some help seeing how it will work in your space, you can always design your room online with e-design. But, here are some of our top favorite pet friendly & stylish decor to help you get inspired!

In this unique space in Toru Hirose’s living room, his basset hound, Marco, not only has a built in snack bar, but it also comes with a hidden restroom and nap space. (nytimes)

These amazing stairs are to keep your pet from falling over normal human size hand rails. (ArchDaily)

This fantastic table is created by Emily Wettstein. It has a removable planter in the center of this walnut and steel body table that the kitties can jump on to enjoy. 

This ultimate cat house designed by Asahi Kasei named Plus-Nyan House features open air cat walks, climbing steps, hiding/sleeping nooks and spaces especially for litter boxes. (Asahi Kasei)

This awesome peek-a-boo fence is made especially for the dogs in the yard to peek at what who is coming to visit. (Asahi Kasei)

These book shelves actually serve a dual purpose as a cat climbing item and play tower as well. It’s both sleek and functional decor!

We are totally digging this sink aquarium. There are two different tanks for flushing water and the tank, so you won’t need to worry about accidentally flushing Goldie while brushing your teeth. You can get this amazing accessory at Opulentitems.

Still giving your pet a bath in your bathtub or in the sink? Not these guys! These showers are especially designed to make giving Fido a bath easier since he enters through the back yard.

This is totally going on our wish list! These mid century, modern, dual purpose cabinets add style to any room! Designed conveniently to hide litter boxes or just a place for your dog or cat to nap and hangout. The amazing design is from an Etsy artist Crystal Gregory. See more of her designs here at ModernistCat

Stop tripping over, kicking and spilling water all over the place with food bowls! This built-in pet bowl in the kitchen makes a perfect space for all your loved ones to enjoy dinner time together!


Shopping for Sofas

Everyday we see clients looking for the perfect sofa for a new house, room, or a replacement for an old or cheap sofa. It is hard to decide on the perfect one by seeing it in a showroom and having to imagine if it fits into your room or your routine. So here are some hints for you to find the perfect match for your home!
First, think about where the sofa is going to go. Have all the measurements and either pictures or sample of fabrics and finishing of other pieces that will be in the same room. Is the sofa for a living room or family room? Are you going to use it everyday or just when you have guests? Have those facts figured out before you go shopping for your sofa.

There are so many different sizes and you need to know which one fits you the best. So, if you want a couch to be long enough for a nap, you need to go for at least 90″ length. The depth should be 40″ – 44″ depending if you and your family have longer or shorter legs and how many throw pillows you want. But a 90″ x 40″ is perfect to just curl up while watching a movie and take a nap. A 19″ seat height is also very comfortable. But seat on a few different ones to see the perfect height for you. If the sofa is for a living room that is not used that frequently, you can go for more antique styles that are less deep but still comfortable. If you have a 8″ ceiling, go for a low sofa that will give the impression of the ceiling being taller. If your home has a high ceiling, use a high back sofa that will make a presence in such a spacious room.

sofa post
Fabric and Finishing
Choosing the fabric can be tricky. Think about your style and the style of the room. Do you need something more calm to go in your entertainment room with other preexisting pieces? Choose a solid color as your curtains and walls. That will make the room calm and will give you space to innovate with the throw pillows. Choose a different pattern for your throw pillows and bring a new look to your house. They are easier to change if you get tired of the pattern. But if you want to take a risk and get a sofa that adds a lot of personality to the room, use mixed patterns. One idea is to have a frame and back with a solid color, cushions in one pattern, and the pillows in another pattern. That will be an exciting piece that shows you can take risks!

sofa post 2

If you are thinking about skirt or bare legs for your sofa, you need to have some facts in mind. Skirts will allow you to add lighter pieces with exposed legs to the room without making it too much. And you can add a 1.75″ trim at the base of the skirt in a different texture and color slightly darker than the body of the sofa to give it contrast. But the legs will give more personality to your couch. You don’t need to match the wood of the leg of your sofa with every other piece you have. A room that matches too much is boring. You can use different colors of legs in your sofa and coffee table as long as they go together. Use your personal sense of style to know what goes with what. Those details are what makes your house your home.

sofa post 3
Another detail is, do you love tuft sofas like we do? They give it that extra something. But if you have kids and pets, don’t forget that it can keep a lot of the crumbs or dirt left behind. It is more high-maintenance.

When shopping for sofas, don’t forget that you get what you paid for. The are no miraculous factories or products that can offer cheap sofas that will last you 10+ years. The frame of the sofa is very important and it is what will make it last for a long time. It needs to be made of hardwood as kiln dried maple or solid mahogany, for example. One way of testing the frame of the sofa is to lift one of the front legs 5″ to 7″ from the floor. The other leg should lift as well to prove a sofa with a sturdy frame. If the leg is still touching the floor, the frame is weak.
The cushions should also be good quality to last you long. Cheap sofas have cheap cushions that will go down and have your butt print after a year. Always look for sofas that are filled with down. A mix of down and feather, but with majority of down, can also make very comfortable sofas. A cushion filled with down will last you without needing replacement for a long time. Just choose softer or firmer according to your taste.
When choosing a good quality sofa, think that the piece will last you a lifetime and you can just get new upholstery every now and then to change colors, patterns, and textures, and you will have practically a new sofa at your home.

Those are our Divine tips to buy a great sofa that will compliment your home and last you a long time.
Do you have other hints that you want to share with the readers? Comment in our post and let’s hear about it!

Easter decorations, colors to celebrate!

Easter have so many meanings for different times and religions, but they all come together in one term: Passover. The word Easter comes from the Latin Pascae, Greek Pascha and the Hebrew term Pesach. Different cultures celebrate Easter for different reasons. Old civilizations, as the Greek, would celebrate the passage from winter to spring usually on the first full moon of the flower season. The Jewish celebrate the Passover when Moses led them through the waters of the Red Sea, freeing them from Egypt. And the Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ usually on the Sunday after the first moon of Spring. The Easter bunny is related to this date because it represents fertility, that for old civilizations meand better life conditions and species survival. In Egypt the rabbit meant birth and hope for new lives. For Christians eggs used to be forbidden during Lent (forty days preceding Easter Sunday) and they were brought to the table on Easter day painted red to represent Easter joy. Different cultures celebrate for different but similar reasons. But we all enjoy  Easter with a special meal followed by chocolate eggs surrounded by family and friends!

Easter decorations

So, this Sunday, decorate your home with your favorite flowers and don’t be afraid to go overboard with colors! If there is one day that you should have different flowers and colors at your home, it is Easter Sunday! Set a beautiful table, cook your favorite meal, but don’t forget to hide the chocolate eggs! Let’s celebrate Passover, Spring, health, family, LIFE!

collage easter 1

easter table decorations 2

Divine Interiors will unfortunately be closed for Easter Sunday (we are also going to celebrate!). But we will reopen on Monday, April 1st, at 10am. Come see us!

Have a Happy Easter!!!