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Challenge Jigsaw Puzzle

This is a two part series of articles dealing with creating harmony in interior design.

Harmony is likened to a jigsaw puzzle in interior design. Putting up together a myriad of pieces that seem to be unrelated is an interior designer's challenge. The designer's task is to put all the pieces together and come up with a beautiful interior design. Putting the pieces together to produce a harmonious room requires a vivid imagination from the designer. Interior designers develop in their minds a finished picture of what the room will actually looks like after all the pieces are placed together. This mental image usually guides an interior designer on how to execute every move successfully and come up with a design that elicits his or her client's happy approval.

How do interior designers develop this mental image of a finished picture? There is a basic decorating philosophy that interior designers follow. This is to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative and when it cannot be eliminated, camouflage it. Take for example a room with windows that don't appeal much to the designer, but since the budget doesn't warrant the removal of the structure, eliminating the negative is not an option; rather camouflaging the negative becomes the better way out. To come up with a better interior design, usually the designer in this case designs a window treatment that will hide the undesirable feature and make the windows look more attractive.

You may want to redecorate your own home or help a friend create beautiful changes in his or her place. How do you use this philosophy in your own interior designing projects? You should look around the room. Notice any distinctive features and these should include both the good and the bad features. Have a conversation with the room. This could be a good starting point for all your plans. Create a mental image of a finished picture that will terminate in a well-executed interior design of a given room. Look for striking features such as a beautiful view, a fireplace, a sweeping staircase or a distinctive architectural detail. Let's say you want to change the interior design of your living room. The first thing people will notice when they enter the room is your fireplace. How should you handle this? Is it a good feature or a bad feature? Do you want to accentuate it, eliminate it or camouflage it? Also look out for problem features like badly placed columns or pillars. After identifying these distinctive features, whether bad or good, ask yourself on how to accentuate any good features that you see. For bad features, ask yourself whether to eliminate them or just camouflage them.

After deciding on what to do with the distinctive features of the room, you should realize that you have already started to formulate a picture in your mind of how the finished room will look. From this budding mental image of the room, you will find that other pieces of the puzzle will start fitting right into place and you are on your way to creating a wonderful interior design of any given room and this is just the beginning.

Michael RussellYour Independent guide to Interior Design