Interior design is the art of understanding human behaviour to create spaces within a building, inside and out. Interior decoration, though, is the adornment of a space with life and beauty.

One can be seen as quite clinical, the other full of emotion and human story, and tackling any interior-decoration project can seem daunting to say the least. But like in life, things broken down into steps, is the way to take on a mammoth task. It's only then that we can slowly breakdown the process and articulate all of our decisions.

Here's what you need to know...

Find your style, your niche, your look. Easier said than done, right? Look around you, read magazines, save Pins, start boards, and you will start to see patterns in what you're saving and you'll find certain styles and looks coming through.

Don't feel held back by movements or particular styles; just gather what you love (the colours, the textures, the art) and make it yours. Own your style and you'll build a confident personal space that feels like home and is that realm of peace we all dream of.

List what you need and want from a space and start to tick off solutions.
Take your dining room, for example. What do you NEED from it? Table for six, easy-to-clean floors, plenty of task lighting and a place to store all the accumulation bits and bobs. What do you WANT from a dining space? Softness, pops of colour, plenty of greenery, natural light, and connection with the kitchen space. 

Furniture selection is a huge element in decoration. It may be the biggest purchase inside the home and usually dictates how a room is oriented or set out. Keep this in mind when choosing your pieces as you want to create flow and movement for the people who use the space. Keep corridors within rooms for people to use. (I'm guilty of failing here!) Furthermore, don't crowd your room with too many big pieces.
Cushions and throws can soften a space like nothing else, but remember that greenery and natural tones also have the power to create soft vibes within a space. Spend time choosing your cushions (think colour, pattern or texture) to really pull it altogether.

A rug has the power to make or break a space.
That being said, it's near impossible to guess what a rug will look like in your home. It's always a good idea to try before you buy (it's always good to avoid unusable purchases!) and always oversize a rug.
Take a rug (or two) home and see what works best. Tuck a third of the rug under a bed or sofa to let those elements overlap, and keep your rug clear of any cabinetry.

A room without some kind of art is an empty space, but it doesn't have to cost you a generation of inheritance. A simple print or two, or an oversized canvas that delivers some colour, can bring 'smile' to an otherwise dull room. Use appropriate scale in a room.

Nothing kills a space like clutter. We have enough going on in our lives without having to deal with 18 candles in a lounge room or your vast collection of snow globes from around the world. Kill the clutter and take back your life.

Designers and stylers stick to rules, which are the are principles they apply to the elements inside a home, and they govern balance, gradation, contrast, repetition, harmony and unity.
Applying them to the elements in your home (such as colour, texture, tone and size) will give the space a sense of cohesion and help you to create rooms worthy of any magazine cover.

Adapted from homestolove.com.au