Interior Design Rules Every Interior Designer Should Follow

Interior Design Rules Every Interior Designer Should Follow

Interior design is an important field in Malaysia, as it provides homeowners and business owners with the opportunity to create a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing environment. As such, there are certain rules that interior designers must follow in order to ensure their designs meet the requirements of Malaysian regulations and standards. This article will discuss some of the key interior design rules every interior designer in Malaysia should be aware of.

Layout and Space Planning

Layout and space planning are two of the most important things to consider when creating a successful interior design. The purpose of this layout and space plan is to create an attractive and functional living space. It needs to properly establish the relationship between furniture and accessories with the overall design of the room.

Furthermore, it is important to take into account any obstacles like windows and doors when creating a layout. Here are some tips on layout and space planning for interior design in Malaysia:

Understand the function of the space

Understanding the function of a space is an essential aspect of interior design, and plays a significant role in space planning and layout design. It is crucial to determine the activities that will take place in a particular room or area before starting the design process. For instance, a bedroom should be designed to offer privacy and relaxation, while a kitchen needs proper ventilation and adequate storage space.

Here are some interior design rules every interior designer in Malaysia should follow when working on a project:

  1. Create a focal point in each room.
  2. Allow for smooth traffic flow and accessibility between spaces.
  3. Use appropriate lighting and color schemes to enhance the atmosphere of each room.
  4. Choose furniture and decorations that align with the function of the space.
  5. Utilize the available space wisely to create an organized, functional interior.

By understanding the function of a space before designing and planning the layout, an interior designer can create a space that meets the needs of the user while also enhancing its aesthetic appeal.

Determine traffic flow and furniture placement

Determining traffic flow and furniture placement is a crucial step in layout and space planning, which is a fundamental interior design rule that every interior designer in Malaysia should follow.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing the layout of a room:

  • Analyze the shape and size of the room to determine the best position for furniture.
  • Consider the natural flow of traffic and ensure that furniture placement doesn’t hinder movement.
  • Make sure that there’s enough space between furniture pieces and that they’re placed in a way that encourages conversation and relaxation.
  • Determine the focal point of the room and place furniture around it.
  • Consider the functionality of the room and make sure that furniture placement maximizes space while still serving its intended purpose.

By following these interior design rules, you can create a balanced and functional space that enhances the style and comfort of your home.

Balance the space with proportion and scale

When it comes to layout and space planning in Malaysian interior design, it’s essential to balance space with proportion and scale. This helps to create a harmonious and visually appealing interior.

Here are some guidelines every interior designer in Malaysia should follow:

  • Proportion: Ensure that the size of furniture and decor items is proportional to the size of the room. Large items can overwhelm a small space, while tiny items can get lost in a large one.
  • Scale: Create a sense of balance by using items of varying scales. For example, pair a large sofa with a small coffee table or vice versa.
  • Consider the negative space: Negative space, also known as empty space, is just as crucial as the objects within it. Leave enough negative space to allow movement and visual breathing room in a room.
  • Pay attention to the Golden Ratio: This mathematical ratio (approximately 1:1.618) is often found in nature and is believed to create a visually pleasing and harmonious impact. Designers can use this ratio to create layouts that are aesthetically pleasing.

By following these rules of proportion and scale, any interior design project in Malaysia can achieve a sense of balance and harmony.

Color Scheme and Coordination

Color is an important part of interior design, and choosing the right colors for a space can make a huge difference. When it comes to interior design in Malaysia, there are certain rules and guidelines that one should keep in mind when it comes to color schemes and coordination. Let’s take a closer look at some of these rules and guidelines.

Choose a color palette

Choosing a color palette is an essential step in creating a harmonious and cohesive interior design scheme. Here are some tips and rules that interior designers in Malaysia should follow when choosing a color scheme for their projects.

  1. Stick to three or four colors: Too many colors can make a space look busy and overwhelming. It’s best to stick to a limited color palette of three or four hues, including a dominant color and one or two accent colors.
  2. Consider the room’s function: Different colors can evoke different moods and emotions. Consider the room’s function when choosing a color palette. For instance, blues and greens can create a calming atmosphere in a bedroom, while yellows and oranges can energize a kitchen.
  3. Choose a color scheme from an inspiration piece: You can pull colors from an inspiration piece, such as a painting or piece of furniture, to create a cohesive color palette for the entire room.

By following these simple rules, interior designers in Malaysia can create beautiful and cohesive interior spaces that suit their clients’ needs and tastes.

Pro Tip: Don’t shy away from experimenting with colors. Mixing different colors and textures can add interest and depth to your interior design project.

Use color to enhance the mood of the space

Color plays an important role in setting the mood and tone of any given space. By using the right color scheme and coordination, an interior designer in Malaysia can enhance the overall ambiance of a room.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Warm colors like red, yellow and orange can create an energetic and lively atmosphere, making them perfect for living rooms and common areas.
  • Cool colors like blue, green, and purple can create a calm and peaceful ambiance, making them ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Neutral colors like beige, white and gray are versatile and can be paired with any other color to create a cohesive and balanced look.
  • Complementary color schemes like blue and orange or purple and yellow bring together colors that are opposite on the color wheel, creating a vibrant and eye-catching effect.
  • Analogous color schemes like blue and green or red and orange combine colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, creating a more subtle and harmonious effect.
See also  Understanding the Different Stages of Interior Design

Pro tip: When choosing a color scheme, consider the function of the space and the mood you want to create.

Coordinate colors and patterns for harmony

Combining colors and patterns can be a tricky task, especially in interior design. To achieve a harmonious look, you need to follow some basic rules of color scheme and coordination in your interiors.

Here’s how to coordinate colors and patterns for ultimate harmony:

  1. Choose a base color for your room, such as white or beige, and then select one or two accent colors to add interest and contrast.
  2. Use the 60-30-10 rule to distribute the colors in the room. 60% of the room should be the dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color, and 10% should be the accent color.
  3. Mix patterns in different scales, such as a large floral print with a small polka dot or a large plaid with a small geometric pattern.
  4. Incorporate neutral colors, such as gray or black, to balance the boldness of the patterns.
  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and pattern, but always step back and evaluate the overall look to ensure harmony.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about color coordination, start with a simple color palette and add interest with textures and finishes.

Lighting Design

Lighting design is one of the most essential aspects of interior design in Malaysia. It sets the visual tone of the room and can be used to create a captivating atmosphere, as well as to highlight certain elements or features of the room. In this section, we’ll explore the rules and guidelines of lighting design in Malaysia.

Determine the purpose of each space

Before you begin designing the lighting for a space, it’s crucial to first determine the purpose of each area.

For example, a living room can be used for entertaining guests or as a cozy space for reading and relaxation. These different uses require different lighting solutions.

Next, consider the mood or atmosphere you want to create. Do you want the space to feel bright and vibrant, or warm and cozy? The type of lights you choose will depend on the desired mood and atmosphere.

Finally, consider the tasks that will be performed in each space. A kitchen, for example, needs bright and focused lighting to illuminate work surfaces, while a bedroom may require soft, ambient lighting for relaxation.

By considering the purpose, mood, and tasks of each space, you can create a lighting design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Incorporate layers of light

Incorporating layers of light is a crucial element in creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing interior design. Layered lighting involves blending different types of lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere while simultaneously fulfilling practical needs.

There are three types of lighting that designers should consider in layering their design:

  1. Ambient Lighting: This lighting is the base layer of your design, providing overall illumination that sets the tone of the room.
  2. Task Lighting: This type of lighting illuminates specific areas where activities such as reading or cooking are performed.
  3. Accent Lighting: Accent lighting draws attention to particular elements in your design, such as artwork or architectural features.

Consider layering each of these types of lighting to create a balanced and cohesive design that’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different lighting styles and placements to find what works best for your design.

Pro-tip: Incorporating dimmer switches into your design allows you to adjust the light levels of each layer to create the perfect ambiance.

Use lighting to create a focal point

When it comes to interior design, lighting can be used to create a focal point in any space. By selecting the right fixtures and placement, you can draw attention to specific areas and enhance your overall design.

Here are a few ways to use lighting to create a focal point:

  • Pendant lights: Hang pendant lights over a dining table or kitchen island to create a central focus and define the space.
  • Track lighting: Install track lighting to highlight artwork, decorative objects or architectural features.
  • Wall sconces: Use wall sconces to create ambiance and accentuate wall decor or a unique feature such as a fireplace or statement piece of furniture.
  • Chandeliers: A chandelier can be used to create a dramatic focal point in a room, such as a grand entryway or main bedroom.

Remember, when using lighting to create a focal point, it’s important to coordinate your fixtures with your overall design aesthetic and color scheme for a cohesive look.

Furniture Selection and Placement

Choosing the right pieces of furniture to fill your space is crucial to any successful interior design. Apart from aesthetics, comfort and furniture function, furniture selection and placement must also adhere to a few design rules. In this article, the focus will be on interior design rules every interior designer in Malaysia should follow when selecting and placing furniture.

Select pieces that fit the style of the space

Selecting furniture pieces that fit the style of the space is a crucial factor in interior design. Every space has a unique atmosphere and aesthetic, and the furniture should complement and enhance the overall design.

Here are a few tips to help in selecting and placing furniture effectively:

  • Consider the size and shape of the space.
  • Choose furniture pieces that reflect the style and mood of the room.
  • Strive for balance and symmetry in the layout.
  • Ensure furniture is appropriately proportioned to the space.
  • Utilize color and texture to create visual interest.
  • Experiment with different placement options to determine what works best for the space.

By following these guidelines, you can create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing interior design that reflects your personal style and makes the most of your space.

Use furniture to create a focal point

Using furniture to create a focal point is a key interior design technique that is popular in Malaysia. A focal point draws the eye and creates a sense of visual interest and balance in a room.

To create a focal point with furniture, you must consider the following:

  1. Identify the main function of the room and choose a piece of furniture that will serve as the focal point. For example, in a living room, a sofa or a piece of art can be the focal point.
  2. Place the furniture at a strategic location where it can be easily seen and appreciated. This placement is usually the first thing one sees when entering the room.
  3. Use color, texture, and shape to make the furniture stand out. For example, a bright-colored sofa, a unique shape of a coffee table, or an arrangement of plants on top of the table.

Pro tip- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture pieces, colors, textures and placements to see what works best for your space.

Place furniture to allow for easy flow and function

When selecting and placing furniture in a space, it is important to consider both the flow and function of the room to create a cohesive and comfortable environment. Here are some interior design rules every interior designer in Malaysia should follow for furniture selection and placement to achieve this goal.

  1. Start with a Plan: Before buying any furniture, create a plan that includes the layout and measurements of the room. This allows for easier decision-making and prevents buying furniture that may not fit or look good in the space.
  2. Consider Traffic Flow: Think about how people will move throughout the room and ensure that there is ample space for walking and movement. Avoid blocking doors or pathways with furniture.
  3. Functionality is Key: Each piece of furniture selected should serve a purpose and fit the needs of the room. Avoid cluttering the space with unnecessary items.
  4. Scale and Proportion: Keep the scale and proportion of the furniture in mind when selecting and placing pieces in the room. Avoid creating a lopsided space with disproportionate or oversized furniture.
  5. Balance the Room: Balance the room by evenly distributing the furniture throughout the room. Avoid overcrowding one area and leaving another area empty.
See also  Myths About Interior Design

Pro Tip: Always remember to consider the style and color scheme of the room when selecting furniture to ensure that it matches the overall aesthetic.

Materials and Textures

When it comes to designing interiors, materials and textures play a huge role in creating the look and feel of the space. A good interior designer in Malaysia should be familiar with the types of materials and textures available and how to use them properly. In this article, let’s dive into the different materials and textures that can be used for interior design and the interior design rules that should be followed when using them.

Select materials that fit your design style and function

When it comes to interior design in Malaysia, it is crucial to select materials and textures that fit your design style and function.

Here are some factors to consider while selecting materials for your project:

  • Durability and maintenance of the material
  • The aesthetic quality of the material and its compatibility with your design style
  • The cost and availability of the material
  • The environmental impact of the material
  • The functionality of the material in the intended space

Selecting materials that align with your design style and function can create a cohesive and functional space that meets your needs.

Pro tip: Consider sustainable and eco-friendly materials to minimize your project’s environmental impact.

Incorporate textures for depth and interest

Incorporating textures in interior design is a great way to add depth and interest to any space in Malaysia.

Here are some ways that textures can be used effectively:

  • Mixing natural materials: For example, pairing a wood dining table with clay pots or woven placemats. This creates a layered and cohesive look while adding depth to the room.
  • Contrast fabrics: Experiment with different fabrics, such as velvet or leather, to create a visual contrast between the furniture pieces.
  • Accent walls: Adding textured wallpaper or wood paneling to one wall can create a focal point in the room and add a natural and rustic feel to the space.
  • Area rugs and throw pillows: Combine different textures through the use of area rugs and throw pillows in a space. For example, use a chunky knit throw pillow on a leather sofa to add warmth and interest.

The use of textures in interior design allows for a visual and tactile experience that can turn a dull space into one that is layered and interesting.

Mix and match materials for balance

Mixing and matching materials and textures when designing a room is an essential way to create balance and interest in your interior design. To do this, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Start by choosing a dominant material, such as wood or metal, and use it as the main element in the room.
  2. Once you’ve chosen the dominant material, add other materials and textures that complement it. For example, pair rougher textures, such as linen or burlap, with smoother materials like silk or velvet for contrast.
  3. Use color to tie everything together. Choose colors that complement each other, and make sure there is a balance of color and texture throughout the room.
  4. Remember that less is more. While it’s important to mix materials, it’s equally important not to go overboard. Too many textures and materials can make a space feel cluttered and overwhelming.

Accessories and Artwork

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of interior design is the use of accessories and artwork. They can enhance any design and add character and interest to a space. To make sure that you use them properly, there are several rules that any interior designer in Malaysia should consider when choosing these elements for their projects.

Let’s explore what these are in more detail:

Choose accessories and artwork that enhance the design

Accessories and artwork are crucial elements that can enhance the overall design of any interior space. However, it is important to remember some basic interior design rules while selecting them.

Here are some tips that every interior designer in Malaysia should follow while choosing accessories and artwork:

  • Color Palette: Choose accessories and artwork that complement the color palette of the room. This creates a cohesive and well-balanced look.
  • Scale: Select accessories and artwork that match the scale and proportion of the furniture and room. This keeps the space from feeling cluttered or sparse.
  • Style: Make sure that the accessories and the artwork align with the style and theme of your interior design. This creates a visually pleasing and harmonious environment.
  • Placement: Place the accessories and artwork in strategic locations within the room, such as mantles, coffee tables, and shelves. This creates focal points and interest.

Remember, accessories and artwork can bring a space to life, but only when selected and placed with intention and care.

Display objects in a cohesive way: grouping, layering, and framing

Creating a cohesive display of objects in your home, such as accessories and artwork, can elevate the look and feel of your space. Here are some interior design rules every interior designer in Malaysia should follow for grouping, layering, and framing objects:


Group objects together in odd numbers, such as three or five, to create balance and visual interest. Vary the size and height of the objects within the grouping to add depth and dimension.


Layering objects can create a sense of depth and add interest to a display. Use shelves, trays, or tables to layer objects and showcase them at different heights.


Use frames to create a focal point for your display. Choose a large frame or a group of frames to showcase a collection of artwork or photographs. Frames can also help unify a grouping of objects.

By following these interior design rules, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing display of objects in your home.

Use accessories to add personality and style to the space

Accessorizing a space is a great way to add character, personality and style to any room. In interior design, accessories and artwork are essential components to balance and highlight the elements of a space. Successful accessorizing involves selecting pieces that complement the existing color palette, style, and theme of the room.

Here are a few accessory ideas to get you started:

  • Add throw pillows and blankets with bold patterns or textures to a sofa or bed.
  • Hang a statement mirror or piece of artwork on the wall.
  • Place a decorative vase or bowl on a coffee or dining table.
  • Incorporate lighting fixtures that add ambiance and texture to the room.
  • Mix and match accessories of different shapes and sizes to add visual interest.
  • Remember that accessorizing is about adding personality to your space, so choose pieces that reflect your individual style and interests.

Pro Tip: When accessorizing, less is often more. Don’t overcrowd a space with too many accessories, as it can make the room feel cluttered and busy.


In conclusion, it is essential for all interior designers in Malaysia to be well-versed in the various laws and regulations governing interior design. By doing so, they can make sure that their designs are compliant and attractive to both local and international clients. Furthermore, adhering to these rules ensures that interior designers remain professional and ethical while creating beautiful spaces in Malaysia.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some basic interior design rules that every interior designer in Malaysia should follow?

Some basic interior design rules that every interior designer in Malaysia should follow include creating a focal point, maintaining balance and harmony, using proper lighting, choosing the right color palette, selecting appropriate furniture and accessories, and ensuring functionality and flow.

2. Why is it important to follow interior design rules?

Following interior design rules helps to create a cohesive and visually pleasing space that is both functional and comfortable. It also ensures that the space meets the needs and preferences of the client while staying within budget.

3. How do interior designers determine the right color palette for a space?

Interior designers typically consider factors such as the desired mood, the function of the space, the existing furnishings and finishes, and the client’s personal preferences when selecting a color palette. They may also use color psychology to create a certain ambiance in the space.

4. Can I mix different styles and patterns in my interior design?

Yes, it’s possible to mix different styles and patterns in interior design as long as the combination is cohesive and balanced. This can be achieved by using a consistent color palette and selecting patterns and styles that complement each other.

5. What should I consider when selecting furniture for my space?

When selecting furniture for a space, you should consider the scale and proportion of the pieces, the style and materials, the functionality and comfort, and the overall aesthetic of the room. It’s also important to consider the layout of the room and how the furniture will be arranged.

6. How can I ensure that my space is both functional and aesthetically pleasing?

You can ensure that your space is both functional and aesthetically pleasing by considering both the form and function of the space. This means selecting furniture and accessories that not only look good but also serve a purpose, ensuring that the layout and flow of the space is practical, and keeping in mind the needs and preferences of the occupants.