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January 2, 2020

Design as a Home

by Elizabeth Brill, Graphic Designer

As a new homeowner, lately my mind has been inundated with ideas for decorating my house; paint colors, artwork, furniture, and décor ideas are constantly popping into my head (and onto my Pinterest board). For me, getting the look of my house just right is so important, not just because I want to be happy when I’m inside it or because I want to show it off to friends and family, but because I want it to reflect myself and my personal brand. The more I think about it, decorating a house is not too different from the decisions I make as a graphic designer.

Color

Color is so important because it really is setting up the base for the feeling of the room and house as a whole. I like to think of myself as a happy person who enjoys the simple things in life, so for my walls I kept to clean, calm colors that would really serve as a neutral canvas to support the other design elements in my house. I’ll use the same colors throughout the house to help the space feel cohesive, so that each room belongs to the same house. In design, I like to do the same thing. I choose a color palette that will be good to support all the elements in the design and reflects the brand I’m working with. If I stick to my color palette and keep to the brand, a cohesive design is sure to follow!

Design Elements

As with color, I want to be very intentional about the elements I choose to include in my design and make sure each piece reflects my brand. As a designer and artist I would be remiss if I did not cover my walls in paintings and art prints! If I decide to do multiple paintings on one wall, I will want to make sure there is enough breathing room between each painting so that the room doesn’t feel cramped or overwhelmed with art. Each element should take in the viewer’s attention individually and allow the eye to gaze pleasantly throughout the room. The same idea goes for graphic design. Every piece included should be intentional and work with the brand. If you have no space between text and images or graphics, the viewer of your design will become confused and might miss important elements in the piece. Every item should be balanced on the page, and the eye should be able to go from one part of the design to the next without being too overwhelmed. 

Brand

Branding might not seem like something to take into consideration when decorating a house, but at the end of the day, you want the house to reflect you – not your neighbor, your mom, or anyone else. Choose colors and decorations that work with your brand and work together. If the master bedroom looks like something your sister decorated, and the kitchen looks like something your dad would love, the house is not going to feel like it belongs to you, and each room will feel disjointed from the home. The same thing goes for branding in design. If each piece in your brand uses different colors, fonts, and graphics, they will not feel like they belong to the same brand. You want the viewer to see something and know immediately what brand it goes with. Once you have your brand figured out, you’ll want to stick to what you have for a while, most likely multiple years, and design decisions will come easier to you.

When you think about design and branding as your house, you will want to take care of it and nurture it just the same. I want my house to be a reflection of myself and the things that make my life special. Each room should be unified by color and design elements so they stick with my personal brand, and the items should balance each other out and have breathing room to allow the eye to travel through the space. Whether you’re a homeowner or a designer (or both!), know that good design is achievable. Just keep these ideas in mind when you’re creating your vision and you’ll be on your way to a happy home!