Frequently Asked Interior Design Questions

Decorating can be a challenge. To help you, here are the answers to the eight most frequently asked interior design questions.

How do you make a small room look bigger?

Start by eliminating clutter. Go for a simple, streamlined look. Use cool light colours, such as pale blues and greens. Avoid contrasting colours, fabrics, or styles, as these can make a room look cramped. Add a few large but simple accents, such as a nice lamp in a clean design.

How do I choose a dining-room chandelier?

Find a style that matches your room’s colour and furnishing style. Measure the narrowest side of the dining table, and select a chandelier that’s 6 to 12 inches smaller. Make sure it won’t hang closer to the table than 30 inches above its surface.

How do I choose a dining room rug?

You want something 3 feet larger than table on each side (6 feet longer than the table’s length, and 6 feet wider than the width). Choose a vividly patterned rug if the room has no pattern. If your upholstery shows a print or geometric design, avoid carpet with a competing pattern.

How do I create a gallery wall?

Find an architecturally isolated space, such the wall on a staircase. Choose objects in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours, and frame styles. Group them to emphasize variety (not all the blue ones together, for example). Use one distinctive piece as a central or off-centre focal point.

How do I decorate a bookshelf?

Organize your books by topic, by title, or by author, but never by colour. Consider following the old standby of putting only books on your bookshelf, perhaps flanked by decorative bookends. Or group books together and add accessories such as figurines, framed art, houseplants, or lamps.

What do I put on my coffee table?

A nice set of coasters is a must for a coffee table—especially if it’s made of wood. Other options include a small stack of books or magazines with lots of illustrations, a vase and fresh flowers, some framed family photos, or a bowl of fruit, nuts, or other snacks.

How do I choose a lampshade?

Use this rule of thumb for table lamps: the shade should be forty percent of the overall height. Match the shade with the lamp: drum shades are for modern lamps and flared-at-the-bottom shades are for more traditional styles.

How do I light my bedroom?

Use low-watt bulbs in ceiling lights, and higher watts (60 to 100) in bedside table lamps, especially if someone likes to read in bed. Don’t be afraid to install a chandelier over the bed or a pendant at each side.

Happy decorating!