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Interior Design: The Art of Creating a Home with Personality

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been absolutely encapsulated in the world of interior design. Growing up with a twin brother who is also interested in interior design was an added bonus. I remember sitting down at our kitchen table when we were as young as 7 years old and talking about our dream houses with one another. After years of seeking design inspiration ranging from Target to the glossy pages of shelter magazines, I have learned and developed a passion for design. I think some of the most unique tips and tricks I have learned over the years come from books I have read about interior design as well as conversations that I’ve had with my brother. Below is a list of my favorite tips and tricks of interior design:


Never buy sets of furniture. You want to be able to mix and match different pieces of furniture together to create an interesting variety of aesthetics and styles. Additionally, you want to be able to look in a room and see different shapes and styles of furniture. You want to be interested in the room you enter in addition to feeling engaged.


Mix old and new. Have a mix between vintage and modern. When you are designing your home, you want to be able to feel as though you are in a comfy, cozy living space. But you also want to be able to look around and realize that it’s the 21st century. Yet, there are so many connections, whether this be through fabrics, patterns, or styles, between our current time period and centuries ago. Get creative! Antique furniture pairs well with modern art and traditional animal prints.


Don’t be afraid of colors and patterns. Nothing says “well isn’t this fun” more than a pop of color in a room. If you have blue chairs, don’t choose a blue painting. Go for a red or a pink to make the chairs (and the painting) pop. 


Mix materials. Wood pairs wonderfully with various metals and stones. Explore with texture to create a unique but earthy tough filled with texture. 


Add some pizzazz. If you feel as though your room is lacking some spunk, experiment with some funky flowers or an interesting centerpiece. Wildflowers add character and liveliness to any room that you enter. You want to turn the room you are in into a living space, so add some life to it!


Allow yourself some privacy. In the world of Zoom, we all need some personal space. Make sure you have doors to separate each room and make sure that each of these rooms feels as though it is a separate and distinct section of your home. We all need privacy, especially nowadays. 


Don’t be afraid to “break the rules.” Not everything has to be perfect.  Your house should be a reflection of who you are and that each room brings out different aspects of your personality. But, your home should be a full reflection of who you are when the rooms are put together. It’s almost as if you were taking various aspects of your personality or identity into consideration when creating each individual room, but focusing on your whole self when you step back and view the house in its entirety. 


Create spaces that you will use and live in. If you don’t use a dining room, why waste space by having one? You want to make sure that you utilize the space you have in your home efficiently and effectively. Incorporate rooms or sections of your home you could envision yourself spending quality time in.


Place mirrors opposite windows. It brings so much more light into the space. When you place mirrors opposite windows in a room, you not only add an optical illusion to the room, but you add light. The light that reflects from one singular window suddenly becomes two because the light reflects off the mirror and acts as a second. 


I am passionate about creativity and design. With a home, there are endless opportunities to express who you are, what you stand for, and what you prioritize. I am looking forward to learning more about the world of interior design and sharing these tips and tricks with you.


Shayna Smith

Wake Forest '23

Shayna is a current sophomore at Wake Forest University located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Shayna is an intended Business and Enterprise Management major with a concentration in Marketing and a Communications minor. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and cooking but is passionate about both writing and interior design. Living close to Washington, D.C has given her an appreciation for the arts, especially music and creative writing. After graduation, I plan on working in the real estate industry.
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