The Interior Design Alphabet: 26 Terms You Need To Know


Sometimes when familiarising yourself with a topic (in this case, interior design), it can be worth taking a look at a selection of keywords that relate to it as a whole, allowing you to understand their meanings in more depth and develop a better grasp on the subject.

Here’s our A – Z of interior design and the meanings behind these 26 helpful terms that relate to the process of planning, redesigning and decorating your home.

A: Accent

An accent wall or accessory can create a focal point or pop of colour in an otherwise simple interior.

B: Budget

It’s always important to consider your budget before going ahead with a new project. Major home remodelling or decorating can soon add up to a higher cost than you’d expected. Set a budget and work out how you can achieve your goals without spending over your limit.

C: Comfort

Comfort is key – there’s no point in a fantastic looking room if it’s not comfortable to spend time in. Choose designs that are both attractive and practical for use.

D: Discuss

If you live alone, you’re free to do as you please, however if you live with family members or friends you should always check that they’re happy with your plans before going ahead. Discuss your ideas and choose something you all love.

E: Effect

What is the overall effect of your home? This is important to consider as a room’s effects can often affect your emotions or productivity!

F: Fashion

Trendy, fashionable styles may look the part, but will you still love them months from now? Try to stick to styles that are both stylish and timeless if you’re not planning another redesign in the near future.

G: Guesstimate

This is exactly what you shouldn’t do. It’s important to go over your plans before shopping for supplies to ensure your measurements are correct. Suddenly finding you don’t have enough of a vital material could cause significant problems and hold up the process.

H: Harmony

Your home should be harmonious throughout, so it’s worth making sure your rooms and accessories complement each other to avoid a ‘hectic’ ensemble.

I: Ideas

Before getting started, create a collection of ideas to inspire you. You could do this by looking online, in interior magazines or even talking with an interior designer!

J: Joinery

Joinery is the method chosen to connect materials. This is important to consider if you’re taking the DIY path for any of your projects.

K: Kit

Many home décor projects are available in pre-made kits that will take away the planning and allow you to get straight down to business. Take a look and see if any home design kits capture your interest.

L: Light

Great lighting is essential for a well-designed home, so consider the ways light may affect your chosen colours, fixtures and furniture.

M: Material

There are plenty of materials to choose from, so take a moment to look through your options. Consider textures, colours, patterns and more before deciding which ones will flow with your chosen or existing theme.

N: Neutral

Neutral interiors are great if you’re looking for something calm and serene, and can also be ideal if you’re planning on exhibiting pops of colour or artwork throughout your home.

O: Off-White

This term has caused a lot of confusion in the world of interiors as everyone seems to have a different idea of what it is! Essentially, off-white is a white shade that’s slightly tinted towards beige or even coloured tones. Examples include magnolia or apple white.

P: Paint

Paint is possible the most versatile member of your decorating arsenal. It can transform walls, ceilings or even furniture with minimal effort.

Q: Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask questions as you complete your project. Does this work? Is this the right shade? What are the alternatives? You’ll be glad you considered all your options.

R: Research

Don’t do anything before you’ve researched your ideas! You’ll need to ensure they’re going to be possible within your home.

S: Solution

Sometimes our interior choices are based on finding the perfect solution to our problems, for example – creating more storage space. Consider the issues you have and how they could be resolved.

T: Theme

Without setting a theme beforehand, you’re setting yourself for a mismatched interior. Choose a theme you love and do your best to stick to it!

U: Unit

You’ll often see the term ‘unit’ as you shop for your interior. This could either mean a built in fixture, such as a kitchen unit, or it may be used as a term of measurement – for example ‘3 units’ of your selected item.

V: Vibes

You’ll often see the term ‘unit’ as you shop for your interior. This could either mean a built in fixture, such as a kitchen unit, or it may be used as a term of measurement – for example ‘3 units’ of your selected item.

W: Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used to create a clean canvas or a bright accent wall – the choice is yours! Choose a design you love and apply it to the wall carefully for best results.

X: Xerox

If you’ve printed out plans, blueprints, ideas or references that will help you in your project, don’t forget to back them up by making copies and storing them in a folder for safekeeping. Losing them halfway through and forgetting your plans could be a problem!

Y: Yard

Your exterior is just as important as your interior, so ensure your garden, yard or driveway looks the part too. Try using colourful outdoor materials, plenty of plants and unique paving or decorations.

Z: Zealous

To be zealous means to show devotion and passion towards something, and it’s important to feel that way about your interior project. Without dedication, things will be thrown together without thought, leading to a result that doesn’t look its best.

Do you think we’ve made great choices for each letter? Which interior design terms would you have chosen instead? Don’t be afraid to create your own interior design A – Z in the comments section below! We’d love to see your choices.

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