Whether it’s a blank canvas or a fixer-upper, there are elements and principles of interior design that help every finished project achieve a cohesive harmony.
Interior Designer Lynn Myers believes so much in striking the right balance among these that she named her business, Harmony Interiors in Frisco, after it.
“To design a space that enhances human lives, you need to focus on a range of details including color, personality, culture, furniture placement and scale which will help transform a person’s personal environment, creating harmony, balance and a natural flow of energy through the space,” she said.
Myers launched Harmony Interiors in Frisco in 2005, and has since discovered that she’s particularly passionate about remodel projects. She loves looking at before-and-after photos that illustrate how creativity and harmony can totally transform a space.
Design principles include things like harmony, contrast, balance and repetition. By combining these principles with the seven elements of design, Myers helps her clients apply their tastes to create beautiful spaces.
Color is one of the design elements that needs to be cohesive throughout the entire space, Myers said. She prefers to use colors that are proven to make people feel comfortable and relaxed — the way you should feel when you’re at home.
By using the same accent color in multiple rooms — whether in a pattern, on a wall or in the furniture — you can bring that mood through from room to room. Pops of color are also common ways for homeowners to incorporate their personal touches throughout the home.
“Greens and blues are really good for bedrooms if you’re going to do an accent wall,” Myers said. “Red is one of those colors you definitely don’t want in a bedroom because it’s a very energetic color. Red would be better in places like the dining room.”
When Myers advises her clients about form, the lesson always goes back to harmony.
“You don’t want something super contemporary in one room, and then something traditional in another. You want that form to carry through the entire house,” she said. “If you’re doing an oval dining room table, you don’t want to turn around and do straight-edge night stands in the bedroom.”
Lighting, both natural and artificial, is extremely important in any home. Myers said the prettiest furniture and designs don’t matter much without the right lighting.
When you’re considering paint colors for a room, it’s extremely important to see how those colors play off the lighting in that room. Get sample paint and test it on the wall — don’t lay it on the floor — so you can see how the lighting changes the colors. Bulbs should also be consistent.
Clean lines are all Myers’ clients want these days — it’s all the rage in mountain modern design. Clean lines essentially mean straight edges, so you won’t see big roll-arm sofas or raised panels or molding on cabinetry.
“Do you want a straight, knife-edge on your pillows or a little bit of a welt on it to where it has a little more finish,” she said. “Again, this should be cohesive throughout the home.”
3D artwork, like a metal piece or sculpture, can add layers of texture to a room that would be hard to achieve with framed artwork. Myers said another way to softly incorporate some texture into a room is by using tone-on-tone colors.
“You don’t necessarily need to get wild with your textures,” she said.
Patterns are a great way to incorporate colors into your design, Myer said. This can be done via upholstery, rugs, bedding, throw pillows, backsplashes, wallpaper and more.
“Pattern is the repetition of a graphic motif on a surface, most often on fabric and wallpaper in our homes,” Myers said. “While texture refers to the physical quality of the surface, pattern creates an illustrative perception.”
Patterns, textures and colors can often perform the same role of breaking up uniformity in the overall design of a room.
One of the most important steps in any design process is measuring the room, or examining the floor plan, before you choose pieces of furniture. Too often, Myers sees clients select furniture before they know if it’ll even fit through the front door.
“You have to space-plan everything,” she said. “Don’t fall in love with furniture before you know if it’ll fit.”
You might want to cram a sofa into a living space but then there’s not enough room for the coffee table.
“You need 18 inches from the edge of the table to the edge of the sofa for people to walk around,” Myers said. “For a dining table, you need to make sure there’s enough room around the table to fit your desired number of chairs, and enough space to pull the chairs out and also have people walk behind them.”
Conversely, you also have to think about how furniture fits into large, open spaces, which are common in mountain modern design.
“Many mountain homes we are working with have high, vaulted ceilings,” Myers says. “Furniture that is petite or intricately detailed usually doesn’t pair well in these spaces. Everything needs to be spatially proportioned.”