Design Chick  

Interior design secrets

There aren't a lot of hard-set rules when it comes to interior design, but there is a widely accepted tenet that all designers understand:

  • the importance of a solid concept can either make or break your spaces.

Before the paint, wallpaper, or floor plans, every design project absolutely needs its catalyst.

It can start with something as simple as a fixture or interesting tile you've discovered, or be as complex as interpreting the entire design scheme of an interior you've visited, but you must determine a starting point before just diving right in.

Your design concept becomes the framework for all of your design decisions, helping to keep you focused and on track throughout your entire project. 

Here are a three important tips that will not only help to put you on the right path, but keep you there...

Find Your Concept; Define Your Style

Determine what style and esthetic best suites you or your home. 

This is sometimes the hardest part in the beginning; clients might tell me they know what they don't like, but can't articulate certain elements or looks they’re drawn to.

To begin forming a concept verbally, use terms and phrases that evoke a certain feeling or esthetic that best helps to describe the space or project you'll be working on. Sometimes saying ideas or key elements of different styles out loud will help to systematize and sort out your thoughts.

In some cases though, a concept can come to you visually; seeing an image in your mind for part of the project or the colors you want to use can come in an instant. Also, don't feel you have to stick to just one specific style. Blending and morphing a variety of modern, transitional, global, or even traditional styles will only increase the wow factor of your spaces.

The key here is to have a predominant style staple, then layer in a little of the rest if you so choose. 

Leave Themes Out 

I'll use a past house of ours as a quick example here: Beach House. Sophisticated design uses elements of themes all the time, it just doesn't get too literal in the process.

To create a watery bungalow reminiscent of ocean life, I didn't haul out fishing nets, starfish, or paint waves and sand on my walls.

Grown-up design is much more subtle and alluring than that: I focused on a mix of turquoise, soft grey, fawn, soft cream, suede, and silver as a colour palette, and pulled it together with toss pillows, throws, accessories, and artwork.

Warm hardwood, rich leather, intricate woven textures, vintage white fiberglass dining chairs, soft drum shade fixtures, driftwood,  frosted glass. These are all elements that support the concept, while keeping it grounded and interpretive, not theme-y.

Collect Images and Inspiration

This leads me to another important step in strengthening a design concept: create a binder or file and grow it with images, clippings, materials, samples, and finishes of ideas that inspire you.

Having visual references of interiors, furniture, fixtures, paint colours, and anything else available at your fingertips means never having to second guess yourself or the direction you're going in.

Pinterest and Houzz are two fantastic websites you can spend a lot of time leafing through images on, so be sure to browse digital inspiration as well!


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About the Author

Crispin Butterfield is the creative force and mastermind behind Urban Theory; a graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, her engaging personality and design-commerce savvy make her a valued and well-respected professional and mentor within her field.

She’s able to uniquely see the parameters and vision of each project in ways her clients often cannot, and has honed the process and proficiency required to grow incredible long-standing client relationships. 

Crispin embraces a life full of ingenuity and imagination, fueled by raw ambition and a desire to leave her mark on the world. Her impeccable design style, expertise, and a rock-solid business acumen is the foundation which allows Urban Theory Interior Design to provide full scale services with authenticity, innovation, and ample amounts of personality.

Featured in Style At Home Magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and The National Post – www.urbantheoryinteriordesign.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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