Introduction to Interior Design

by Donna Kopsick

I love touring homes, analyzing magazine articles and studying books on interior design. All evoke awe in me at the decorator’s originality, inspiration and insightfulness. Coming home to an artful, comfortable and tasteful environment is not an unattainable goal.

Inspiration for home interior decorating can be derided from a variety of sources: nature, history, HGTV shows, travel, regional cultures, family inheritances, interest and the home owner’s personality all combine to create a unique home.

IMG_5355When I am asked to assist with home decoration decisions, my approach is to ask the homeowner what desired look they wish to express. Photos, clips from magazines, special interest books or design styles (country, traditional, French, Western, modern, Asian, etc.) all help the home owner pinpoint their taste.┬áHaving a plan (though it doesn’t have to be set in stone) helps keep the project on track, contain costs, create cohesiveness and save time.

I have learned from experience the hard way that editing ideas, realistic limitations and patience make the process a whole lot more enjoyable. Creating a home that can be enjoyed by the home owner and their family and friends takes time. Don’t try to rush.

IMG_5371In the following series we are going to walk through building your design as well style concepts for color and accents and more to help you with creating your own unique style. We will incorporate your current home design and decorating with where you want to go. The hope is that this discussion will help you transform where you are now into your desired destination in manageable steps.

Changing Colors

“Some things just make my heart happy!”

That was what I said to my husband while painting our master bathroom recently. The beauty and promise of a fresh coat of paint going smoothly on the wall…oh yes!

You can bring new life to a room with that one step. You can give a completely new look to furniture or an accessory with the same step. If you are looking to refresh your space — without remodeling — I highly recommend thinking about paint. As you do, here are a few comments and suggestions.

It can be done. You don’t need many tools, and you can get a nice look with focus and care. You will need to take time for painting, though, so don’t try to fit it in between chores or with young children in your care.

  • You need a paint tray (& cheap liner to make cleanup easy), a roller with cover (one-time use for covers will save your sanity and time), and an 2″ or 2-1/2″ angled brush. I find the short-handled brushes to be much easier to hold, and I clean them thoroughly right away for several uses.
    • A paint key opens cans easily, but a screwdriver also works.
    • A stir stick is nice, but you won’t need it if you buy your paint right before you use it.
    • Chip or sponge brushes are handy for touch-up after the entire room has dried (since you have everything else cleaned up). They are cheap, so you can use and toss them.
  • Use the angled brush to paint the edges of the room. Go slowly and carefully, and you can get a smooth line right up to the edge. Take your time — it’s worth it! You can also tape to make sure you stay within the lines, but tape does not mean that you can be sloppy. Globs will still show when the tape is pulled off.
  • Rolling is the easiest and quickest step. If you haven’t before, check out online videos for how to do it well. It’s really fairly easy, once you get the feel.

Use quality paint. Buy the best paint you can afford. Using cheap paint will mean more coats, so you end up spending as much or more. Better paint will cover the wall smoothly. I rarely have to do two coats, although reds or lights-over-darks always take more work.

Spray paint is cheaper than a new ceiling fan. A friend recently moved into a new home and was decorating without spending a lot of money. She knew the look she wanted, but then she compared the price of a new ceiling fan with the price of spray paint. Pictures of her process are below, and she is quite pleased!


Consider the size of the room. Dark paints will make a small space feel smaller. Light colors will open up a tiny room. Consider your color and how it will act before you buy and paint. Samples are a great idea to get a better idea of how paint looks in your space and lighting.

You don’t have to change everything. You can change the color on the wall, even slightly, and not change anything else in the room. You’ll be surprised at how much fresher the room feels to you when you are done! Sometimes a different color choice will change the feel of a furniture item also. It’s a cheaper way than completely redoing the room, if new furniture and decor is not in your budget.