A reclaimed finial becomes a decorative
pillar feature in this dining room.
These interior design ideas developed out of necessity in most cases. They were creative solutions to dilemmas I encountered while remodeling or designing various rooms. A few others were frugal decorating solutions that were amazingly easy to achieve and fool most people. Perhaps you can fool some people with these clever tricks too or develop your own to share with others.
Interior design solutions answer both form and function with function typically being the main focus. This is what differentiates interior design from interior decorating. Many people tend to use the two synonymously without realizing that the design portion is often more involved than the decorating portion.
Some of these interior design ideas could easily fall under interior decorating but I decided to share them on this page as they are not "typical" decorating methods. All of the ideas addressed below will start with the easiest project and get progressively more involved; this way you can stay within your comfort zone. However, I hope you will explore all of the areas discussed to see what can be achieved at minimal cost.
Tile can be a wonderful, luxurious addition to your home. Whether flooring, shower surrounds, countertops or backsplashes, it offers wonderful opportunity for customization. Tile, like any other type of decor, becomes dated. Luckily, many retro styles, especially seen with bathrooms from the 1950's for instance, are coming back in vogue. But if you happen to have some wall tile you dislike, cover it or paint it.
When you think of modern interior design do you think of chrome? Do you think of stainless steel or brushed aluminum? Most people would say "yes". A clever way to introduce this feel into your space is through the use of aluminum flashing. I have used this in many ways over the years and have friends who loved the idea and followed suit.
My first home had textured drywall and I didn't realize how much character this provided until I moved into a home with boring, flat walls. Faux plastering or texturing your walls and ceilings can be easily accomplished with joint compound. Give them some attitude and hide those cracks and defects with this textured ceiling technique.
Fireplaces have the potential to be wonderful, focal features in a room. They can add immense class to a traditional dining room or create a cozy, comfort zone in a family or living room. Often they lack the interest required to make them stand out or fit your design aesthetic. In this case, give them a face-lift. A weekend project turned a former, brick fireplace into a chic, tile fireplace. These easier fireplace ideas may provide some simple solutions to give yours a quick update.
Do you have areas in your home where support beams are exposed or oddly disguised? Box them in with finished wood. Create custom beams or columns to dress them up, disguise them better and further add character to your space.
People love custom, built-in features. In-wall shelving and niches create interest and free up floor space. Larger elements, such as built-in hutches and pantries provide additional storage; always a key need or want of any homeowner.
Push the envelope by adding some reclaimed architectural elements to your home, or replicate them. Some easier ideas would be the addition of chair rail, crown molding and wainscotting. Some of these interior design ideas can help establish a specific design style to suit your taste.
Most of these interior design ideas and projects can be minimal in cost if you are handy. The purchase of authentic architectural details can get rather pricey however, so make smart decisions and pick a room to really express such pieces. A main entry room would be a good choice. Hire out for any project you are not comfortable attempting.
A carpenter or handyman could complete many of these projects in a few hours at their normal, hourly rate. Buy the supplies ahead to cut costs.
For a few more, quick projects to complete or update your interior design, consider these room makeover ideas.