Blaine Robert’s Guide to Interior Design for Beginners

Being able to design your own space can sound extremely exciting. It’s easy to envision an ideal version of your room in your head — after all, everyone has one. Materialising it, however, is a different issue.

Coming up with a detailed plan and the necessary steps to bring your vision to life may be a lot trickier than you might have expected. Interior designing can be somewhat intimidating, especially when you have no idea how or where to start. That’s why it’s important not just to know what you want, but to know how to achieve it.

Having done interior design for over 30 years, Blaine Robert is no stranger to this. From the overarching concept down to the smallest detail, Blaine is able to determine the best step forward to get the room looking how he wants. Each and every decision you make regarding your room design will affect the end result. So before you jump headfirst into decorating your room, you might want to read some tips on designing your own space by Blaine Robert himself.

Tip #1: Think about what the room is for

In any aspect of interior design, there are often two polarising groups to choose between. When making such decisions, you should keep in mind what the room needs in order to make the most amount of impact.

Blinds and curtains are a great example to illustrate this. Generally speaking, curtains and blinds accomplish the same goal. But curtains open vertically and blinds open horizontally —  this in and of itself can and does make a difference to the overall look and feel of a space.

Although there is no specific rule as to when one should choose to use blinds versus when one should use curtains, it is obvious that blinds create a more masculine feel while curtains are more feminine.

Curtains in general are advised for the bedroom as the amount of light can be completely controlled. At times when you need to totally block out the light — such as in a bedroom — curtains are able to provide that function. As such, they would definitely be the better choice in this regard.

Rooms where light control is not so important, however, can opt for blinds to add privacy but still make a statement at the same time. Bathrooms and kitchens are such places where blinds are preferred. These are areas where the temperature is not generally in your control and blinds hold up better in such areas.

Some people also feel that blinds are less maintenance than curtains. However, I hope to remind everyone that both are expensive and need to be professionally cleaned and maintained at least once a year.

Using a combination of both blinds and day curtains can add a truly sexy yet subtle flowy feel especially in core areas like living and dining areas. It is all a matter of the way you want to present your lifestyle. At Blaine Robert Design, we take into consideration the type of home you desire to live in and work towards that vision. Be it blinds, curtains, or customised furniture, we offer every possibility you can think of.

Tip #2: Accessorise your space with a personal touch

Accessorising a space is to a certain degree the make or break of any design. It is more often than not a way of bringing the entire design feel together. Once the design and perspective drawings are complete, the accessories that closely reflect the approved design should be discussed.

It’s important to many of our clients to include things that they love into their new space. This not only brings them joy but creates a stronger statement for the room as well. When working with any client, knowing the lifestyle they want to live is a determining factor of what should be included.

However, it is also important to take into account the practicality and maintenance. Everything that is chosen must enhance and not deter from the overall look and feel. That is why we at Blaine Robert Design focus heavily on first establishing a relationship of trust and integrity with our clients before accepting a project. It makes it easier for both parties to have a clear understanding of expectations and project goals.

Tip #3: Work with a designer that understands your style

So many people think interior design is just about building a beautiful home or office or space. In reality, it is about creating a lifestyle for people to live their lives to the fullest. There is only one way to accomplish this and it is to build a relationship from the very beginning with your designer.

One rule I follow without question in all of my projects is to always work with people I like and people that like me. Over the years, I’ve learnt that we are not everyone’s cup of tea and there is enough business out there for everyone.

There are plenty of styles that people have requested — bohemian, tropical, chinoiserie, maximalist… the list goes on. As you can see, there is a wide range of preferences that each individual holds. However, Blaine Robert Design specialises in contemporary, luxurious, yet affordable designs and as a result, we are not always able to accommodate everyone.

Getting to know your designer and enjoying the time spent with them is the best recipe for a successful project and, in many cases, a long lasting relationship. That is why we place so much importance on setting up a strong foundation with our clients before proceeding to the next step.

Tip #4: Consider how your lifestyle plays into your space

As we slowly enter the post-Covid era, it is important to remember that the effects of this pandemic will still be felt for a long time to come. Covid-19 has affected each and every one of us in ways that we couldn’t have expected. Working in an interior design firm, we’ve seen for ourselves how the new work-from-home philosophy has and will change the way spaces are being used.

Creating an environment at home as a work- and think-space is vital. We all believe that this may start with a home office. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not only the space to work that is important but also an entire or partial environment that adds happiness to the work day.

With the new work-from-home practice, there is little need to get dressed and to venture out into the world. But as we have discussed in our previous article, it is important to have biophilic spaces in our homes as they introduce healing and calming properties. Not to mention that natural light and air quality helps to boost your productivity greatly!

If there was ever a better time to spend a bit of money and focus on creating a balcony garden, it’s now. Imagine starting the day with a fresh cup of coffee, admiring the greenery and flowers on your balcony as you watch the rest of the world exist around you.

As an interior designer, I realize that home offices are already a part of people’s lives. Some people enjoy just the simple set up of their computer on the dining table while others prefer to have a room specifically designated as a home office. As so much more time will be spent in that space, it’s important to first create a sense of comfort in the room. Meaning a good table and chair is a must to enhance the work day.

Furthermore, as more time is spent in the home office, it should contain absolutely everything you need to perform your duties productively and efficiently, just as you would in an office. In the event your life has now significantly taken a work-from-home role, it would be time to create a new space specifically for it that says work, but means home.