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Paint smaller rooms in softer, lighter colors to help make the room feel larger.

Light colored walls and ample use of mirrors not only reflect the natural light pouring in from the doors and the windows but the use of mirrors also gives the optical illusion of space, making the room seem larger than it actually is. Conversely, darker colors will make a room feel smaller. Even with the abundance of natural light and the strategic placement of the mirrors, this room in a darker shade would have a more boxed-in feel to it.

Warm with wood

If a room lacks warmth and character, there's no better antidote than wood. While timber accessories and furniture are an easy way to lift a scheme and add texture, a 3D wall can really work wonders in a space without a focal point. It doesn't have to cost the earth either – this chic beach house-inspired design can be achieved with narrow strips of reclaimed wood. For something more rustic, sand down the surface before installing.

How to choose colors

Warm, neutral colors are generally favored for industrially designed spaces, which are typically large and open. Such hues help to bring visual warmth to an area that might otherwise be overwhelmed by the coolness of metal pipes and ducts. Shades of gray work very well.

Leave floors bare

Urban loft living brings the industrial nature into your daily living with finishes that are exposed, bare and ‘unfinished’. For flooring consider leaving concrete exposed and adding a concrete stain to seal it, and add a patina of color. Hardwood flooring and slate are also typical for flooring. To soften sitting and conversational areas add area rugs to match the décor.

  • How to find your interior decorating style
    The "Style & Error" technique is a fundamental method of solving problems, including design and interior decorating ones. "Style & Error" means repeated, varied attempts, until you find a style that is just right. It can be as unsystematic as you like. Don't expect this to be a finite or static thing either… the "Style & Error" operation will continue throughout your life.
  • Hang artwork at the right height
    Most people hang artwork too high. Place a piece so its bottom is only three to eight inches above furniture—lower for large pieces and slightly higher for small pieces. When there’s too much space between furniture and a painting, the eye rests on the void, blank wall between the two pieces.
James Leon
An interior designer and a founder of Designlei courses

Are you curious about how to learn interior design online? Then learn the basic rules of great interior design from one of the best interior designers. These online courses are intended for beginners and intermediate students. Learn the most important interior tricks in the loft, rustic, shabby chic, modern and other styles with the best interior courses!