Interior Design Cheat SheetHome design doesn’t have to be complicated and it certainly doesn’t have to be stressful. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the choices or you are trying to figure out why a room doesn’t look quite right, here’s what you need to know. Here’s the ultimate interior design cheat sheet.

1. Rug sizes

If you are trying to find a rug for one of your rooms or you are trying to figure out why the rug you have now just does not look right, here’s why: choose a rug that is bigger than your seating arrangement. All of the chairs should be on the rug. Too many people choose a rug that fits in the middle of the seating area, making it look small and unwelcoming.

2. Types of doors

Choosing the right type of door for your home can be difficult if you don’t know what the names of doors mean. If a door is “six panel” or “four panel,” this is the number of panels on the door. Half lite means half of the door will be glass, while full lite means the entire door is glass. A single side panel means there is a panel, usually a window, beside the door. It is possible to find doors that open both on the right and on the left.

3. Types of sofas

A camelback sofa has one large hump in the middle, tapering down at the edges. A chesterfield (often seen in fancy gentlemen’s clubs), has a straight back, with tufting to make it look quilted. The Lawson has that quintessential American look, with three cushions and a skirted design. The arms can be either rolled or square, but it is more likely for them to be rolled. An English rolled arm couch also has three cushions, but it will have ornamental legs, instead of skirting. The tuxedo couch has a very sleek vibe, with no back cushions and a streamlined design. The cabriole is a dainty piece, with a very French-inspired design. Like the tuxedo, it lacks back cushions, but it has an exposed wood frame.

4. Wood colors

Understand the different types of wood colors that are offered to you can help you make a more informed decision when picking cabinetry, flooring, or wooden furniture. Ash, bamboo, maple, birch, and spotted gum are usually quite light. Walnut, cumaru, jarrah, purpleheart, and wenge are all quite dark. Medium woods usually include mesquite, sapele, teak, and merbeau.

5. Color theory

You don’t need to be an artist to understand color theory. Warm colors range from magenta to yellow, while cool colors range from purple to lime green. Colors that are across from one another on the color wheel will usually complement one another, meaning that they will look good together. Colors that are within two spaces of each other on the color wheel will also usually go well together. The purest version of a color is called a hue, while lighter colors will be tints and darker colors will be shades of that hue. Primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) often look childish (which works great for a child’s room), while the colors one space on either side of them will look more sophisticated. If you’re not sure if two colors will work well together, consult a color wheel.

6. Neutral colors

Not every color pairing is going to require you to whip out a color wheel. If you want to choose a color for your walls or flooring that is going to look great with just about every color on the spectrum, you will want to choose a neutral colors. These are white, beige, and even navy blue, among other colors. They are neutral enough so that just about any color will look good with them. Beige is a very popular choice, as it is softer than white, but doesn’t draw attention away from brighter colors in rooms.

7. Color and light

Dark colors, unless used strategically, will almost always make a small room look smaller. For example, painting a low ceiling a dark color will make that ceiling look much darker and therefore closer. Lighter colors usually lighten up small, dark spaces, making them the right option for smaller rooms. You can make a big room look more intimate with dark colors and make a small room look airier with light colors.

8. Bedroom tips

To make a bedroom look more finished, try layering your pillows and adding at least two throw pillows that coordinate with your bedspread. The bed is the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom and it is going to draw the eye. Your entire room will look decorated if your bed is properly styled. Putting two matching pillows, one in front of each of your sleeping pillows, is a good way to finish off the room. You can kick things up another notch by adding a bed skirt that matches your bedspread and tossing a throw blanket across the foot of the bed.

9. Art tips

No home is going to look complete until there is some art on the walls. When choosing art and arranging it on your walls, follow the rule of odd numbers. Your arrangements are always going to look more complete if there are an odd number in the collection. Pair bigger pieces with smaller pieces for more visual interest, but ultimately, you want your artwork to look balanced. Too much art on one wall and not enough on another wall will make one side of the room look heavy.