How to do interior design
• Start with function. If you're beginning with interior design, start with a place for people to sit down. Like all functional design assignments, it starts with being usable. If it's just decorative, and people can't use it, it is a failure. Or, in other words, as many of my design students said, start off boring. Adding the art to it is the next step.
• Add aesthetics after function. This is where many people get it backwards. They start with "making it pretty" and hope that it works. Big mistake. Start with a chair, and then make decisions about color, texture, etc. If the chair is too big, or too small, for the space, color and texture won't matter. If, on the other hand, the design is pure function, it will end up looking like a hospital, or a waiting room at a dentist's office.
• Test it. Good design does not need instructions. Watch someone use the space. Does it make automatic sense to them? Do you feel that you need to write instructions, place arrows around? If people can't use your space "without thinking", it's not because they're stupid, it's because you're a poor designer.
• Study the masters. No, I don't mean going to an art museum or reading a book on design. Go to places that have beautiful and functional design. Luxury resorts are the best. If at all possible, visit Las Vegas. Walk around in those spaces. They function beautifully, and no one can say that they are boring.
Excellent interior design, like excellent graphic design, is practically invisible to the average person. It just works well and makes them feel good.
Posted by Brad Hall