What Makes for Good Interior Design?

Today I’m tackling a hotly debated topic; what makes for good interior design? Like any art form, design is subjective which means one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. It’s highly divisive, and I’d argue that good design should be highly divisive. If you create something that engenders strong feelings in anyone, you’ve created something powerful.

That said, there are some ‘rules’ one could follow; things that most designers will agree form the foundation of any well executed space (whether they personally like that space or not). So if you want to create a home that speaks volumes, represents you, and is a joy to be in, take a look at these easy-to-follow tips that form the basic principles of ‘good’ interior design.

Find Balance


Balance is an important component in design. Too much of any one thing can be overwhelming to the eye. That’s not to say that symmetry is essential, just that an overlarge sofa in a small room can look cluttered and uncomfortable. When designing a space, consider carefully how the furniture and accessories will sit within it, just because they physically fit doesn’t necessarily mean they visually fit.

Is it Functional?


We all want to live in a beautiful home but the essence of good design is in its functionality. If you live with young children or pets then lots of sharp edges and pristinely white furniture just isn’t practical. While if you’re a creative working from home then an open space with lots of light and a motivating colour palette might be just what you need. Before undertaking any work, first ask yourself if the design scheme actually suits your needs. If it doesn’t, seek to create something that allows for a practical balance of style and function.



Your home has the power to tell a story so use it as a canvas for expression. Good interior design doesn’t please the masses, it pleases those who live there. So if you’re an avid art collector, make wall space for your favourite prints. If you collect taxidermy, proudly display it. Express your identity and your home will always look wonderful.

Take Care of the Environment

It’s important to consider the impact your design choices may have on the environment; both locally and globally. If you’re designing a space that will offend your neighbours and bring down the price of every home around you, it probably can’t be considered good design. Similarly, if you’re using toxic materials and lots of plastic, you’re not doing the environment any good. Good design is considerate so choose sustainably sourced materials, low VOC paints and look to upcycle or recycle where possible. Oh, and don’t let contractors start work before 8 AM unless you want to make enemies of your neighbours.

All images by Nick Smith Photography for Clair Strong Interior Design.

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