Interior design - the great multiplication table
A comprehensive guide to interior design. Here you will find living ideas, advice, tips and tricks, dos and don'ts as well as a whole lot of information about furnishing. Let yourself be inspired and give your home that special touch.
It doesn't matter whether you live in a big city, a small town, in the agglomeration or in the country. Whether you have an apartment or a penthouse, a terraced house, a townhouse, a modern villa or a studio: it all depends on the furnishings. Always. All over.
It's what gives your home your personal touch. Thanks to it, you feel good when you return home after a long day or an arduous journey. It's the first thing your guests will see and love when they step through the door.
Your furnishing concept should therefore bear your own signature. 0815 doesn't suit you!
When it comes to space planning and interior design, how much money you spend and how much interior space you have is irrelevant. What matters is what you do with it. The space should be used optimally and your home should appear in its best light. How do you get the maximum out of your four walls? Below we will show you how to do this.
colors and lighting conditions
The two factors clearly belong together and are therefore also examined together. Colors play an important role in the basic mood that prevails in the home. Depending on the lighting conditions in the living area, there is a leeway in which you can move in terms of colour.
But let's start at the beginning: The first thing we need is the natural light conditions. Based on this, we can then turn to the coloring.
Depending on where you live, there are different natural light conditions. The sun shines differently in a shady valley than on a southern Mediterranean slope. In the city, surrounding buildings can impair or improve the view of the sun, and there are also densely built-up areas and wide open spaces in the agglomeration.
The first thing to do is to clarify: How does the sun shine for me? Roughly speaking, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. However, depending on the season, the position of the sun and the incidence of light change.
There are a variety of tools on the web that make tedious calculations and research easier for you. For example here . Find your coordinates on the map and simulate any day of the year and the course of the sun with a few clicks. This allows you to find out quickly and easily how long the sun shines in your house and from what angle. Also consider which floor you live on and which neighboring houses are literally in the sun. Because even if the sun shines in your direction, your neighbors could cast a shadow on your apartment and you won't get any light.
Note the height of the sun (angle at which the sun shines on your apartment), the position of the sun (compass direction) and the respective time. Without being a physicist or astrologer, it's pretty easy to get a feel for when, how long, and how much sunlight is entering your home.
Dark / lots of shade
Is your apartment rather dark - for example on the 1st floor in a big city with many high neighboring buildings or at the foot of a shady mountain?
Then you should use all the means of art to create a bright and friendly environment. So choose light tones for walls, furniture and accessories to bind the little light that comes into your living space from outside. In addition, you preferably work with interior lighting to create a homely and warm atmosphere. Keep the light in the apartment and give your four walls the brightness they didn't have before you.
Stick to very light tones in color to tie in the light coming into your home. Alternatively, it can also look very elegant if you use many dark and black elements and use subtle lighting.
Do you have many hours of sunshine at home, but here and there trees, buildings or other shade providers that prevent the sun from entering your living room?
Under these conditions you are in a great position to transform your interiors into a true work of light/shadow art. The interplay of light and dark offers many possibilities to stage this supposedly unfavorable state.
In terms of color, you can tend towards light tones or you can go slightly dark in your color choice. Make sure not to use black, as this can make rooms appear dim depending on the incidence of shadows.
Lots of direct daylight / bright sun exposure
You are lucky and live on the sunny side - congratulations! As on a clean slate, however, there is no room for taste missteps. In bright, well-lit rooms you can see every detail - good and bad. That's why you should make sure that everything appears in the best light. The sun's rays and daylight enhance your great interior and give it a happy, awake touch.
In terms of colour, there are no limits here. Light and bright go just as well as dark elements that create a contrast.
It's no coincidence that the color part is second here. Once you know the lighting conditions, you can think about the colors you want to use in your living space.
Everything starts with a color concept for your home. Based on the lighting conditions and your taste, you can now define how the color of your home should appear.
A color wheel will help you to get a first overview. With this you can easily find out what goes together, what complements and what clashes according to all the rules of color theory. And here we go:
We use this Color-Wheel here and show you how it works. There are four common types of color schemes derived from this color wheel.
Monochromatic color scheme
Photo: Billy Jo Catbagan
These tone-on-tone combinations use multiple shades (via adding black) and tints (via adding white) of a single hue for a subtle palette. Examples are sky blue and navy blue.
Although the monochromatic look is the easiest to spot and understand, it is the most difficult to achieve. A room filled with just one color can look boring or overwhelming depending on how you go about it.
This room, for example, shows a monochrome palette that is very successful thanks to a variety of shades and textures. The bedroom color scheme adheres to the green part of the color wheel, but contains various shades ranging from greyish to beige. The walls next to the windows are kept in a homely turquoise and brighten up the room towards the window. Light colored fabrics in the bed ensure that the scheme runs through and bring the light further into the room. Finally, the wooden elements and the copper-colored cushion covers bring variety to the narrow color scheme.
Analog color scheme
An analogue color palette with colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, e.g. B. Orange, Yellow and Green, giving a colorful but relaxing feel. Neighboring shades can be easily combined with each other, since they have the same basic colors. The key to the success of this concept is to choose one hue as the main color or dominant color in the room - in this case, light brown. Then choose one, two or three shades as accent colors that are used only occasionally and in a limited way. This living room features an analogous scheme of tan, purple and lavender. A camel sofa is the dominant hue, while the two armchairs, cushions and towels are a matte lavender or bright purple. Because the highlights share the same purple undertones, they fit into the color wheel design. A warm beige wall color and matching floor lamps and tapestries complete the space.
Complementary color scheme
Photo: Viktor Bystrov
Using two shades that are directly opposite on the color wheel, such as salmon and dark blue, is guaranteed to bring energy to your space. These complementary colors go well together because they balance each other out. You can experiment with different shades and tones of the complementary colors to find a scheme that you like and that suits your space. In this lounge and reading room, a light shade of white offers warmth and brightness that balances a deep blue. The most important thing is that one color does not cover the other. White is more prominent as a wall color, while salmon colors serve as an accent to the blue. The two colors are found in other elements throughout the room, creating a unified look.
Triadic color scheme
Photo: David Tsay
This color scheme uses three shades evenly spaced on the wheel, such as: B. turquoise, red and orange. This combination forms a color palette with lively contrasts and balanced colors. These set up schemes work well in living spaces as they have a happy, energetic vibe. Use your three colors in different shades and tones to add contrast or soften the brightness. For example, this colorful living room uses rich tones of orange and blue, the pastel gray sofa is a shade of blue and the third color is only hinted at by the green stool.
Finally, on the subject of colors
When creating schemes using the color wheel, keep in mind that colors can also affect emotional responses and create a certain mood. For example, shades of green are calming, while shades of yellow are uplifting and energetic. Bold reds are considered passionate and daring, while soft pinks (also a shade of red) are perceived as sweet and delicate. Shades of blue are perceived as calming and calm, orange is warm and cozy, and violet, a truly complex color, can be interpreted as sexy, alluring, or even spiritual.
Colors are perceived as warm or cool based on associations. In our minds we usually associate red, orange and yellow with the warmth of the sun and fire. Blue, green, and purple are cool because they are associated with water, sky, and foliage. For a balanced look, don't limit your color palette to just warm or cool tones. Let one color dominate to set the overall tone of the room, but make sure you include contrasting elements as well.
walls / pictures
Compromises and experiments are not your thing with your walls? Then stick with white - you'll never go wrong with it.
On the other hand, if you like the unusual, dare to paint individual walls or all of them in a different tone or color. The above part about colors will help you to find dominant or contrasting colors.
As far as pictures and art in general are concerned, it is true that a wall with hangings looks more homely than if it is empty and bare. However, you don't have to be an art expert or a gallerist to find pictures to brighten up your home.
However, we clearly advise you to avoid mass-produced goods and to ensure that your pictures are unique. We all know the black and white Paris and London pictures from the big furniture dealers that adorn half of Europe's living rooms. Or the wall tattoos from online mail order companies from overseas, which so often beautify local bedrooms. In terms of taste, we clearly want to step it up a notch and stand out.
As already mentioned, it is not a question of price: The market for pictures is gigantic and there are now many small galleries that offer modern art that suits you and will beautify your home for a long time. Especially in big cities or on vacation you will find flea markets and antique dealers who sell you antique as well as modern pieces at absolutely fair prices. Don't let the old, squiggly and yellowed frames irritate you (if you don't like this style). Modern frames let a picture shine in new splendor and we have already seen many an ancient picture framed in plexiglass that looked extremely elegant and modern.
For fans of luxury, contact to an art gallery is a good idea - In Switzerland, Basel and Zurich are the places where you will find what you are looking for. In Europe it is worth taking a look at London, Berlin or Paris. When you browse through the portfolio, you will quickly develop a view of what you like and which gallery owners and artists are on your wavelength in terms of taste. You can often get tickets for art fairs (such as Art Basel) through galleries. In and on the fringes of such fairs there is something for every taste (painting, photography, digital art, sculptures, installations and much more). See also the “Art objects” section below.
Prints - printed patterns - can also create a desired atmosphere in your living room. Find inspiration on the internet and have the motifs printed in high gloss at the printer of your choice. In a simple frame from the hardware store, these really look good.
Old neon signs, letters, signs and advertising posters can also be found in abundance. There is often an exciting story behind it that amazes interested guests. Also visit antique markets or platforms with classified ads on the Internet. You will be amazed at what can be found there.
For more modern contemporaries, digital art also offers many possibilities. More and more manufacturers are supplying framed LED screens that you can hang at home. With this you can present your own NFT collection or individual pieces. Here, too, there is the right art for every taste and every budget. Both static and animated, these images are sure to be a talking point as the world slowly and steadily develops a flair for Non fungible tokens (or NFTs for short).
Uniqueness and timelessness are the keywords you have to go by here to beautify your four walls with art.
Photo: Christopher Burns
Pictures do not necessarily have to be attached. Put your pictures on a wall - like here: nicely arranged with a Vitra Eames chair with Eiffel Tower legs and a throw scarf. Staged images can be varied and adjusted quickly and easily. They also look young, cheeky and unconventional.
What would a living space be without any furniture? A pretty bleak affair. Cupboards, chests of drawers, shelves, sideboards, tables, sofas and armchairs are what fill your home with life. They offer you functionality and aesthetics at the same time and really make your rooms your rooms.
In this section, we focus primarily on the placement of the furniture. The selection of furniture itself would be at least as big a blog post as this one. And we want to tackle this very thoroughly in the future.
As just mentioned, the choice of furniture is a huge topic in itself.
In a person's life, it's also the furniture (or at least a few special pieces of it) that tell a story, are lovable or trigger emotional bonds. That's what makes them so special.
Be it the indestructible cupboard with which you furnished your first apartment or the desk from childhood, which has a very special value. But also the first expensive piece of designer furniture that you bought or an old heirloom from the family are things that accompany you and that are gladly passed on to the next generation.
In contrast to the art, which we describe below or the pictures according to the section above, in our experience, when it comes to furniture, quality tends to go hand in hand with higher prices. Solid carpentry has its price and durable sofas, armchairs or chests of drawers are rarely found at wholesalers.
If you deal with the term "planned obsolescence" it becomes clear that many manufacturers deliberately develop their products in such a way that they are defective after just a few years. A repair is often difficult because spare parts are missing or a replacement is cheaper than repairing. The result is high sales figures but also more things thrown away.
Fortunately, people are becoming more and more aware of repairing instead of throwing away. With so-called repair cafes, in which you can repair broken things of all kinds instead of throwing them away.
Above all, anyone who has ever bought a timeless designer piece knows what we are talking about: Vitra chair, Schaffner table, E 1017 side table after Eileen Gray or the Artemide lamp and the Corbusier armchair through to USM Haller furniture - they all have something in common that they are incredibly durable and stable. If something breaks or is lost when moving, the manufacturers offer a repair service even decades after the purchase or have huge spare parts warehouses in which each individual part is available in all colors.
The furniture is probably more expensive to buy than cheap copies of it or the current annual trends of the large furniture stores. On the other hand, they last a lifetime and if you still decide to part with them, you can resell them at very good prices. If you're lucky, you'll even see an increase in value and end up making money using your equipment.
Design classics therefore offer the following advantages:
If you don't have the budget to furnish your entire apartment with expensive furniture, it's also worth taking a look at the antiques area. Used furniture - even really old ones - are sometimes extremely robust and can also be timeless. Visit a flea market or a thrift store. You will be amazed at the furniture treasures hidden inside.
Until well into the 20th century, furniture was made regionally according to traditional craftsmanship. They were expensive and meant to last a lifetime. The big furniture market and online shops did not exist at that time and a piece of furniture was made by human hands or at least not industrially.
Exactly these pieces are still available in abundance for sale. If you like them, then definitely grab them - they will last a lifetime with you too.
How should I put my furniture? One of the most common questions when it comes to the details of a facility. Here we want to show you the basics and explain with a few simple tips what you need to pay attention to so that you get the most out of your furniture and the house.
do not block windows
Modern buildings in particular often have large window surfaces and lots of glass these days. In the living room, the misconception then prevails that the sofa should be placed in front of the window so that the light can look into the room. However, this error has the consequence that up to a third of the light source is blocked and the brightness of the room suffers enormously as a result.
So place your sofa against the walls or inside the room. The back wall of a sofa is usually designed in such a way that it is easy to see. It doesn't bother having a sofa in the middle of the room as long as it doesn't get in the way.
Do not place furniture against the wall
One is often tempted to push the sofa or chest of drawers all the way against the wall. This mistake is also made with a dining table or sideboard. First, the nature of the wall can scratch the surface or finish of a piece of furniture. Second, the apartment is more difficult to clean when everything is blocked up to the last millimeter.
The third and most important reason, however, is aesthetics. It looks more elegant if you leave a small gap of five to ten centimetersj between a piece of furniture and the wall of the house. Consistently applied to all furniture, a room appears many times more airy and less cramped when there are spaces. At first it may take some getting used to, but give it a week and you'll see what we mean and you'll be amazed. It's best to try it out right now.
A small sofa does not go well with a huge coffee table. Pay attention to the ratio of the furniture sizes and put small furniture together with small furniture. Conversely, you can combine large sofas wonderfully with several small elements.
When it comes to wall units, sideboards and TV furniture, you should also keep in mind that things are related to each other. Otherwise, small pieces of furniture could look even smaller next to a large television, or the television would take up too much space.
In the bedroom, matching furniture usually has a good proportion to a bed. So you can set it up without worrying about the dimensions.
For office rooms that you use as a home office, for example, it is also advisable to pay attention to the dimensions. It is also advisable not to deliver them too tightly. Less is more and the office then appears calm and tidy.
leave the radiator free
Many of our houses have exposed radiators. These are often attached to passageways or near poorly insulated places such as windows. Be careful not to block them. As a result, the efficiency of the heating is reduced and the rooms warm up less well. As a result, you have to heat more to achieve a comfortable room temperature in winter. In order to save heating and energy costs, it is advisable not to place the furniture directly in front of the radiators. With certain pieces of furniture (e.g. upholstered furniture), it can also happen that the accumulated heat attacks or even destroys the core and it becomes brittle.
Place lighting cleverly
Floor lamps by the window can be found in practically every apartment. In the summer, this attracts insects of all kinds, which are then always at your window. Even if you look into your apartment from the outside, it is illuminated like a showcase and pedestrians and neighbors can watch you every step of the way if you don't have opaque curtains.
So place your light elements on the inner walls of the room. For example next to the TV or in the hallway. This is how the light is inside the apartment and illuminates from the inside to the outside (and not the other way around).
Like pictures (and further down in the article also carpets), the variety of art objects is huge. In addition to painting, plastic art is one of the most common art forms. Artists offer statues, sculpture, pottery, stone art, decorative objects and much more in their studios and at fairs.
Are you more of an antique lover? Then let's go to the next auction house. The large and well-known auction houses still hold their auctions on site, where you can quickly get infected by bidding fever. Which object achieves the highest bid? Who buys the expensive vase? Even if you don't have the wherewithal for such expensive purchases, these auctions are always exciting to look at and, above all, one thing: inspiration.
For several years, the auctions have also been broadcast live online so that interested parties and bidders from all over the world can be there. Take a look at the auction calendar of the many providers and browse through the objects before you start. A highly interesting world in which you can learn a lot about prices, collector's items and style.
We, too, have specialized to a large extent in stylish and timeless forms of decoration, so it's always worth taking a look at our range. This is how we have been running our very popular for years Decorative and Laundry baskets - Functional and decorative at the same time. In addition, a large number of Art objects and a large offer hand and wall compartments.
But no matter what you end up using to beautify your sweet home. It is important that you like it and that it suits you. It is no less important that the things we love are timeless and of high quality. After all, we don't want to chase the latest trend every year and buy things that were manufactured under unacceptable conditions or break quickly. Certain things are for eternity!
Let's get to the planting in your house.
As with the color scheme of the furnishings, the basis is also the ratio of the light, which is determined at the very beginning.
There are some plants that need a lot of light and are sensitive. Others, on the other hand, are uncomplicated and forgiving.
Since we want to make things timeless and at the same time make sure that the maintenance of the plants is limited, we are concentrating on indoor plants that bring a lot of green into your home and that are easy to care for.
Which plants need little light?
- sword fern
- nest fern
- A leaf
- mountain palm
- lucky feather
These plants are our absolute favourites, as they thrive without much effort and without much light and on the other hand they are all highly aesthetic. Research through the different plants and discover what fits best in your bedroom or should beautify your living room.
In addition, plant walls are becoming more and more fashionable. They can also be a valid alternative to conventional indoor plants. The plant wall adds a natural feel to the space and often includes moss and fern species, which are known to purify the air. It is therefore also worth keeping your eyes open in this direction.
Here, too, it is the same as with art: A moss wall does not necessarily have to be expensive. See how a magnificent, lively green picture can be made on your own in a short time.
Video: Ellen Schreiber
Of course you can also create and raise many other plants, trees and shrubs in your house. The flora is as varied as the art world and with a practiced eye and a green thumb many a work of art can be created.
floors / carpets
Depending on where you live and whether you are the owner or renter of a property, there are more or less barriers to the floors in which you can move.
Maybe you have old-fashioned gray carpet that you have to work with because it can't be ripped out. Or your old building has a beautiful herringbone parquet or antique floorboards with wooden beams from the century before last. Or do you live in a modern style and have a brand new walnut parquet floor that is laid seamlessly?
So much first - here too there is a solution for every case that makes a difference.
Parquet and floorboards
If the parquet floors are in good condition or just look very nice (detailed patterns, excellent craftsmanship, beautifully aged, etc.) then we definitely recommend making them visible and using wood as an integral element in your room design. The same can also apply to a beautiful fitted carpet. Well made and in the right color, this gives your house a great color base.
If the parquet is damaged, inferior or you simply don't like the fitted carpet you have the following options open to you:
- Remove and lay new parquet (of course only applies to owners)
- Lay new parquet over it (also mainly recommended for owners. Of course you can also do it as a tenant, since nothing is destroyed or damaged if you glue it, for example)
- Install fitted carpet over the old floor
- Lay large carpets in the rooms
Variants 1-3 are self-explanatory. Here you can let off steam and create a floor according to your taste, as your heart desires.
With variant 4 we want to go into more detail here. Here, too, it is the same as with pictures and art: the spectrum of colours, shapes and types of a carpet is gigantic. From antique markets to rug dealers to modern home decorators, you're sure to find something to suit your tastes.
Carpets are a millennia-old craft that is at home all over the world. Well-known manufacturing countries of high-quality carpet styles are Morocco, China, Turkey, India, Iran, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and in our region also France, Great Britain and Ireland.
In many households there are hidden treasures of carpet art and with a good search you can find experts in every country who are familiar with the respective niche. Studios that repair antique carpets often have a wealth of experience and excellent contacts in the respective countries. So a visit is worth it.
But there is also a modern way: Various furniture stores and online retailers produce carpets according to customer requirements and you can get tailor-made carpets in all colors and sizes at a fair price.
Anyone with an affinity for price is best advised to keep an eye out on holiday trips and at flea markets and antique markets and to strike when a nice piece is available at a good price.
If the price is secondary, then it is best to go to a specialist shop for carpets.
Now we only have one thing left: Thank you for reading our blog so carefully. We wish you every success in setting up your four walls. Hopefully you were able to collect ideas from us that will help you to make your home the most beautiful place in the world.
Maybe a portion of inspiration from us will help you. So follow us on Instagram, sign up for our newsletter and receive a welcome discount along with always new trends and knowledge articles or browse through our Shop. We wish you a short while and lots of fun!
And as for this setup guide: Comment your experiences below or contact us - we are really looking forward to your feedback!
Ilse & Stefan
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