How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 8: Time


While time is not an official element or principle of design, it is still an important factor to consider when deciding how to decorate a space. The time of day and the time of year can determine how certain areas of your home are utilized and what level of attention they need to be showcased at their best.


The time of day that you spend in each room helps to determine its look.  Bedrooms will have a more relaxing color scheme and softer lighting, while your kitchen and living room will have livelier elements since that is where more of your waking hours are spent.  This concept can also be thought of in terms of how much natural light certain rooms are exposed to throughout each day.  A room that faces the day’s first light may need a different window treatment than the one that catches the sunset.  For example, a bedroom that receives a lot of sunlight in the morning would benefit from light-blocking curtains to promote better sleep patterns and lighter furniture to keep it cool temperature-wise so your energy bill does not go up during warmer months.  In contrast, rooms that tend to run on the cooler side can benefit from thicker, more lush fabrics with vivid colors to warm it up. 


Another way to think of time is how it plays a role in seasonal decorating.  No matter what climate you live in, there are going to be times of the year where you want your interior and exterior decor to reflect the cultural celebrations you observe.  These can be events that occur in the immediate neighborhood around you, an event that you are hosting, or a special holiday observance.  No matter what the occasion is, any one of these festivities can bring about the addition, removal or replacement of certain items in your home, even if it is only temporary.  The adjustments can be as simple as changing your tablecloths, displaying figurines or even incorporating party supplies into a space.  Special holidays may call for a change in kitchen accessories or more luxurious blankets to hang over the couch.  Lighting may be adjusted and candles can be brought out and prominently displayed. 


So, when it’s time to make decisions about your decor, think about the idea of time and how it will influence your process overall.