Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Architectural tenets are those areas that support the planning and philosophy of architectural design. These tenets will help you to have a more comfortable and functional home that supports your individual lifestyle. So what are these tenets?

When I was in high school, I studied technical drawing for two years with a view to being an architect. I have computer designed over 300 houses, and love architecture, however interior design was always my true passion. Even now, Plush Design Interiors designs home extensions and undertakes complex renovations. However, architectural practice and tenets are of great interest and do affect my work as an Interior Designer.

Some people may think that an Interior Designer simply chooses wall colours, fiddles with fabric and throws cushions around. Well, many of us do but that’s only one small part of creating beautiful spaces. Interior designers must consider five important architectural tenets BEFORE embarking on a design project.

1. The Space

One room can appear different from another through manipulation of the space. Any room must be a quality space that best functions in relation to YOUR family and lifestyle. How will the space be used and by whom? What activities will take place? What architectural features are part of the space?

I will consider the space and all its dimensions – vertical, horizontal and diagonal – and how the space will ‘work’ before other considerations. For example, does the space need a picture window, a door, a wall removed or a wall put in place. It’s true – form follows function with architectural tenets. My expertise will help you to identify how best to utilize the space and make it work for you.

2. The View

To maximize good views and minimise bad views is a key consideration. No one wants to look out to a brick wall. Other considerations are how much privacy may be required, how secure and protected the room feels, and if you want to see who is approaching but for them not to see you.

Many people miss this important element because they may assume that ‘the view is the view’ and not much can be done about it. However, good views can be maximized for great enjoyment. Similarly, bad views can be disguised and minimized with a variety of good design ideas. Remediation will also enhance your enjoyment of the space… and the view.

3. The Air

Cross-ventilation and the movement of air is very important. Heating and cooling affects your enjoyment of your home, and your budget. Houses that are more narrow and rectangular are easier to cool with fewer ‘dead spots’ of air. Whereas houses that are fatter and squarer are harder to cool with more ‘dead spots’ of air.

The air flow in your home is one of the important architectural tenets with which I can help you. Heating and cooling are one thing. However air extraction – say from a kitchen or bathroom – is important as is the flow of fresh air. Part of any interior design plan should include looking at these aspects.

4. The Light

As an interior designer, I will see how much natural light comes into a room, the arc of the sun and the lighting needs of the room. The positioning of the room in the house and on the block is also highly relevant.

There are three types of lighting – Ambient (sometimes called general lighting), Task and Accent – each of which has a different purpose. A study will require different lighting from a kitchen, a dining room or an open plan living room, for example. Ambient lighting is that used generally. Task lighting, as the name suggests, is for tasks such as reading, studying, cooking etc. And Ambient lighting is mood lighting so may include strip lighting, wall scones, and other soft lighting,

5. The Sound

Often forgotten, sound is an area that really does impact the livability of a home. Is the home next to a railway line? Are there timber floors that clatter and echo? Will children need to sleep while adults entertain friends? Will children playing need to be heard from another room? The acoustic properties of a home can be manipulated and remedied with acoustic panels, fabric, books, rugs, etc.

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To truly live in a home that you love, an interior designer will consider these five architectural tenets before they begin to think about redecorating.

I’d Love To Help You Create A Dream Home

Whether you are building a new home or extensively renovating the home you have, Plush Design Interiors can help. From concept and design to demolition, renovation and handover, I’ll be with you every step of the way.

I work with a high-quality building company that will provide a detailed, fixed-price quote. Your new home or renovation could be closer than you think. Please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation chat. Please see what my clients say in their testimonials. I’d love to help you create a dream home.

Luxury Living Room Key Features

Luxury Living Room Key Features

A luxury living room will be different for every person. What makes something luxurious for one will not necessarily be shared by another.

So the idea of a luxury living room depends on the perception of the home lover. Additionally, the word ‘luxury’ may be different for each person. Depending on the style of home you want, your idea of luxury could be contemporary, rustic, traditional, futuristic – almost anything.

However, when it comes to designing your own luxury living room, there are key features that are shared by every elegant and luxurious room. Deliciously, you can incorporate these key features to create your own luxury room without the price tag.

Image courtesy of RLH Studio


The Window Treatments:

Bring a luxurious feel to your living space with heavier drapes that hang above the top of the window and to the floor. Even if the window does not reach the floor, ensure your drapes do. There is nothing more luxurious than stunning drapes that touch the floor.

Image courtesy of Applegate Tran Interiors


The Wall Art:

I always encourage my clients to choose wall art to which they are drawn. Pieces of art, including wall art, sculptures or installation art can add a very luxurious feel to a room when well-chosen. Don’t be concerned about buying a ‘name’ artist or whether the piece matches the cushions. Hang or install art and sculptures that you love. Simple.

Image courtesy of Ann Lowengart Interiors


The Rug:

Create a luxurious focal point in your living space by using a beautiful rug that is the right size and pattern for the space. Rugs anchor and delineate a space when used in front of a fireplace or under the sofa and coffee table. It’s very important to choose a rug that’s the right size. You won’t create a luxurious looking living space when the feature rug is too big or too small. It must be perfect.

Image courtesy of James Said


The Lighting:

Similar to a rug, dramatic lighting such as a chandelier will provide a luxurious focal point of your living space. Not all chandeliers are large and dripping in crystals. The style of your space must be considered. There are now many chandelier options including mid-century modern arm chandeliers that will create a stunning focal point.


The Vignette:

Styling centerpieces are now very much part of interior design. Whether you arrange items of varying height on a fireplace mantelpiece or on a tray for the coffee table, display vignettes suggests luxury and thought. Use candles, fresh or faux flowers, succulents, objects and books. Use your creativity and change seasonally.

Create vignettes or table decor by organising objects in a delineated space, such as on a tray or table runner. Mirror bottom trays reflect glass, crystal, flowers and other objects such as a silver animal. I have mirror bottom trays in living rooms, the guest bedroom, bathroom and in my dressing room. I use items specific to those rooms including beautiful room diffusers and highly scented essential oil Tilley soaps in the bathroom.


Another excellent item to add to vignettes, especially if you use flowers, is battery-powered candles. The new candles have a wick that moves simulating real fire-light. They come in a variety of sizes and my guests are always surprised that they are not real candles.

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In creating your luxury living room decor, it’s important the the style reflects your tastes and lifestyle. For example, if you have small children running around then choose more child-friendly objects to display on coffee tables.


The final element in creating luxury living room decor is to not have too many social points. Don’t cram all the ideas listed above into one room. Pick a dynamic and single focal point – such as a rug or chandelier – and then par back on the other luxury inducing items.


As with all interior design advice, it’s YOUR home and your lifestyle so stay true to what you love and how you live your life.

The One Important Decor Trick Most People Miss

The One Important Decor Trick Most People Miss

There is one important decor trick most people neglect when it comes to interior design. How can one little imperative make all the decor difference? You’ll be surprised when I tell you…

We live in a country where people love their homes, and their gardens. For such a bunch people who love their indoor-outdoor living, it’s surprising that one important decor trick seems to get missed.

Many people who contact an interior designer, do so because they need expert advice and a stylish eye. Bringing on a professional designer will help make a home more functional, livable, modern and chic.

When I start working with clients, I look at the functionality of the space including the use of the room, the air flow, natural light, sound design and, importantly, the view.

Yes, this is the one important decor trick that most people neglect, miss or ignore completely!

The view! Whilst you may not have million-dollar views, you can create a better view within your own home. Consider your home – when you move around the rooms, what views do you see? Which rooms have the best views? Which rooms need help?

The view from your window is the one important decor trick most people miss. Because they usually don’t consider it unless it’s a big picture window.

modern white living room furniture in front of huge floor to ceiling window

Even in the glorious Adelaide Hills, where I live, not every home has views of rolling hills, leafy eucalypts and lush shrubbery. However, you can maximize the views or create a new one with some deft interior design advice.

It’s not all about big windows and sprawling bi-folds either. Perhaps you have small bedroom windows or windows with views on to something ugly… like the neighbour’s fence.

Here are five ways to embrace a single important decor trick you can use TODAY. These tips will help you to maximise good views and disguise bad ones.

Bring the Outdoors In

Keep connected with the outside environment by positioning furniture to take in outdoor views. Place a chair for reading near a window. Position a dining table, sofa or bed to see some kind of outside space.

Your home is not meant to be a solitary space even if you live alone. Favourably impact your mental well-being and sense of human contact by opening up the views you DO have.

two leather chairs positioned in front of lots of indoor plants

Hang trailing plants around the windows if you don’t have much outdoor space. For example, add a ledge above the window frame so plants can trail down beautifully.

Add colourful pots of succulents or other virtually indestructible indoor plants. Greenery and living plants inside will help keep you connected to nature… which is very healthy. Health and well-being in our homes is very much supported by this important decor trick

Expose As Much Glass As You Can

Enable curtains and blinds to be completely drawn back from the window frames.

rustic window seat in front of huge window

This means either no window treatments OR extending the curtain rods beyond the window frame so drapes can be pulled back from the window. Expose as much glass as possible when the curtains are open.

Crop and Frame

Think of your windows as the frame to an artwork. What can you see through the window? How can you maximize the view? For example, a window may capture trailing roses growing on an outdoor wall. However, cropping will eliminate the view of your neighbour’s ugly air-conditioning unit.

This is also why you should invest in quality outdoor furniture. If you don’t have a proper view, create a beautiful outdoor setting that will be seen from the windows. Add plants atop the table, candles and gorgeous seating cushions.

Paint It Charcoal

I am constantly recommending to my clients that they paint a garden shed, fence or back garden wall in a dark charcoal. Dulux ‘Domino’ is a fave of mine and works beautifully with Colourbond ‘Monument’.

Dark colours recede so dark charcoal is a perfect colour to blend with residential flora and trees. So if you have an ugly shed or fence when you look thorough a window, paint it dark charcoal.

Another popular trend, and important decor trick, is to paint windows in a dark charcoal. The dark colour works to blend the view and the window frame making the window less obvious when looking outside.

modern bedroom with charcoal painted window frames

In fact, I have just had the windows in my own home painted in ‘Domino’ both inside and out. They look amazing.

Avoid cream and green because they don’t blend as well as a dark colour. AND it makes the space seem bigger… and not in a good way!

Light It Up

Adding solar powered fairy lights to trees and shrubs means you still have a delightful view when it’s dark. The result is that night time is the optimum time to enjoy your views, even if you have create one yourself.

large garden tree lit up with thousands of fairy lights

An important decor trick is to take the focus away from un-slightly views to fairy lights and a gentle ambience.

Want More Expert Tips? Why not view more of the great advice offered by Plush Design Interiors in our Expert Design Tips section. Articles are added regularly and seek to provide you with information you can use immediately. Because when you love where you live, you want it to be better and better, right?

Plush Design Interiors is an Adelaide based interior design, outdoor living and home additions design company. We specialise in residential interior design, especially in the Adelaide Hills around Stirling, Crafers, Aldgate and surrounds.

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation advice is always best taken from people who have ACTUALLY renovated. As an interior designer, I help home lovers renovate all the time. So you can imagine I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

If you have read my earlier blog post on ‘Pre-Renovation Planning‘ you’ll know the important elements to consider when planning your renovation. So this renovation advice follows on from that post.

Once the pre-renovation basics are taken care of, you can plan the interior design. It is important to plan the interior design before you start renovating because it’s not all throw cushions and bed linens.

Why Take Renovation Advice From An Interior Designer?

Working with an interior designer isn’t just about choosing fabrics and positioning the sofa. Far from it, in fact.

At the time of planning to renovate, you’ll be dealing with Council approvals, contractors and suppliers. This is the ideal time to get an interior designer on board who can help you with floor plans, lighting, surfaces, flooring, colours and selections. These are all things you shouldn’t change once the re-building has begun.

sketch of a new kitchen with staircase

Select all the finishes, fixtures and materials before getting quotes. In this way, it will be easier for contractors to quote more accurately saving you money down the track. This is renovation advice you need to know.

Did you know that most interior designers can recommend builders and other tradies with whom they work regularly? Plush Design Interiors does not take kick-backs or commissions from the trades we use. Therefore, we can work with your tradies or recommend our own.

An interior designer will help you select everything you require to get accurate quotes from other trades. Further, they can also negotiate discounts from retailers or gain better wholesale pricing for you.

Look to Your Home’s Architecture for Clues

There is so much inspiration for interior design that some people become paralysed with indecision. Consider the style of your home and decide on a theme before you start.

modern spanish style bedroom with large oversize windows

Is there a stunning stone fireplace, fabulous wooden floors or surprising windows? Which architectural features can you enhance? Again, an interior designer will help to clarify the design direction for your home. Their renovation advice will give you a result that reflects YOU not them.

See some of the ‘Testimonials‘ for Plush Design Interiors to see what other people have said about this.

Consider Your Lifestyle

How you live your life is a very important part of interior design. If you have small children or a dog that runs amok you’ll probably want to reconsider those white linen sofas. Be honest about how you live your life so your home can be functional as well as stylish. Choose surfaces, fabrics and flooring that reflect your lifestyle.

Family spending time together at home. Father and Son looking at laptop

Plush Design Interiors LOVES The Textile and Design Company for super cool outdoor fabrics and knock-out sun umbrellas that are straight out of Hollywood. Divine!

Don’t be afraid to use outdoor fabrics and patio paint indoors if you need tougher solutions. Modern fabrics and paints can be tough but beautiful. Outdoor fabrics include soft and resilient velvets that are virtually child-proof and weather resistant.

In looking at the floor plan, locate power points wherever you think you’ll need a plug and away from water sources. A lighting plan prior to your build will be of great benefit to your electrician. So follow this renovation advice to save you money and heartache.

Choose the Right Lighting

Often overlooked when renovating, lighting is a very important aspect. How much natural light does your home enjoy? Should you install skylights? Lighting also influences the way walls and ceilings are finished because lights cast shadows or enhance areas.

3d rendering interior of a modern bathroom

Colours will look different under different lighting conditions – pendant lights versus wall scones, for example. Given you are renovating, get renovation advice on how to integrate lighting into the architecture.

Flexible track lighting is also increasingly popular. These moveable fittings have a come along way since ‘back in the day’ and are now beautifully designed as well as highly functional.

Remember the Landscaping

Make landscaping part of your plan. This will help with budgeting but may also relate to the colour and material choices you make.

outdoor contemporary garden seating in a townhouse courtyard

For example, when considering the flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. For a seamless look, choose the same or very similar flooring options that flow between spaces. This may become a landscape issue when creating entertaining spaces adjacent to the home.

Further, when it comes to choosing plants and shrubs, ensure nothing is planted that will block natural light from entering a room.

The New Rules for Planning the Perfect Bedroom

The New Rules for Planning the Perfect Bedroom

The perfect bedroom is no longer a place in which to merely sleep. The humble bedroom has morphed into one of the most important private spaces in a home.

The modern perfect bedroom now reflects the personalities and lifestyles of the occupants. Even guest bedrooms are not spared from chic options, creature comforts and bursts of style.

New Rule #1: Consider the location.

What can you see from the window? Which rooms are adjacent? Are there privacy or noise issues? How does the air flow through the room? Are there any interesting architectural features? Does the room have good natural light?

Depending on the answers to these questions, your perfect bedroom design decisions may take a different direction from what you may have first envisaged.

New Rule #2: Function before ‘Funk’tion

The functionality of your bedroom must work FIRST. You could have the most stylish bedroom in the world. However, if it doesn’t perform the function of a bedroom you will soon be frustrated and dissatisfied.

For example, you may love sheer curtains but if they don’t provide the privacy you require then they are not functional. OR, if your home is near a railway line or noisy neighbours then maybe double-glazing IS an option worth considering.

Measure spaces for all furniture, rugs and wall art; DON’T wing it. I recently redesigned a master suite for clients when it became obvious their architectural plans would not fit a Queen-size bed. True story.

New Rule #3: Layering is the way

Start with the biggest items first; floor, walls and ceiling. Decide on a neutral colour palette in whites, taupes, greys or a pastel – cool blues and greens or warm pinks. Then co-ordinate your bedding. This provides the biggest opportunity for impact in terms of colour and texture.

The new rules love a mixture of tones and textures with linen, cotton, faux fur, velvet, patterns and block colours being mixed with different sized pillows and cushions. Don’t match; MIX… on the bed at least.

Bedroom accessories courtesy of one of our interior design partners, West Elm

If you don’t want a colourful bed then opt for accessories, such as cushions and throws, with lots of texture but a narrow colour palette – for example, all white, all beige, all cream, all grey.

Amp up the style with knotty wool, tassels, self-patterning and embossed fabrics. High-quality bed and plush accessories add interest without overcrowding the room.

New Rule #4: Create a focal point

Draw the eye to something unique and spectacular. This could be a dramatic bedhead, rug, artwork or chandelier.

As many Adelaide Hills readers live in heritage homes, a fireplace is a natural focal point whereby an impacting artwork can be hung above.

For more beautiful bedroom inspiration see Plush Bedrooms on Pinterest.