I run a vintage selling business from an apartment that doubles as a backdrop for creative photography; frequent re-arranging to maximize efficiency is a must. It's (happily, I say) made me pedantic about balance in a home design. I've slowly researched and applied rules that whipped my crazy 'collector's style' into balance. When you're decorating on a budget, the ultimate way to make impact on a budget is to display your collections creatively. Rules are meant to be broken, I don't follow everything on this list to a 'T', but these professional designer rules are a great way to harmonize your home. Try them out and see which ones like:
1. Group Your Collections Creatively: By Subject, Style, Object, Etc.
Do you have your childhood toys, souvenirs, or stamp collections in a box somewhere? These are the details that make a home unique, and they're great conversation pieces. Frame your favorites (the dollar store is a great place for frames) and group other objects into collections around your home for interest.
2. Use the 1, 3, 5 Rule
This is a rule designers in all fields follow for compositions. Using a stand alone item, grouping by 3, or 5 is a great shortcut for creating balance when you're stuck. This number pattern occurs in nature, how often have you seen a 2 pronged leaf? Now how about 3 and 5?
3. Use the "Gallery Height" Hanging Rule
Covered in detail here, hanging everything in your home at "Gallery Height" will create visual harmony throughout your home and allow guests to view your artwork without straining their necks or kneeling on the ground. Unless that was your intended affect for artistic merit. Write that in your 'home design thesis': "For this series on...mole...Pokémon...I hung the artwork near the floor board, prompting viewers to crawl along the ground and get into the mind of this battle monster..."
4. Create or Use an "Anchor"
It's tricky to create "rooms" in open concept or small spaces. Sometimes you need an "anchor" that frames or defines your space. You can use large mirrors or area rugs. My favorite anchor is #5 below, gallery walls. Also, always incorporate some black or dark wood elements into a space!
5. Use Gallery Walls
It's the visual innate design-whore in me, my walls must be covered in stimulation or I can't work. Have you seen my crazy cubicle from my office days with a rainbow explosion of fabric all over every square inch of it? Anyway, as a patient person with a limited budget and freshly purged furniture this is my favorite way to anchor a space. Frame and hang some of your old favorites and get creative.
I love interior design as a creative outlet, it satisfies design kicks while improving my space for maximum efficiency! Try some of these design rules on some of your own projects and watch harmony emerge from the chaos. Then play The Jackson's magnificent Can You Feel It and dance in triumph. Required final step.
Got anymore tips for arranging a home artfully (and resourcefully)? I'd love to hear 'em in the comments. I'll write about it more but I'm challenging myself to use only second-hand finds to furnish my space. Limitations force creativity. (And it saves money! Win/Win.)