Done well, interior design is a way to make your house look inviting, relaxing, and like an expression of your life and personality. Here are a few ideas you might try to make your house more beautiful.
Good interior design includes many processes: painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, lighting schemes, artwork, and furniture to name a few. Modern interior design is constantly evolving, and that's a good thing. Wouldn't it be weird to have a house that was exactly like the typical ranch house of the 70s? New design should always take into account some of the best of past designs without recreating them in their entirety.
If you think that you have to have a large home for it to be stylish, you couldn't be more wrong. If anything, smaller space forces you to be more clever, so that you have the floor space you need, but have the things you need at hand too. The main thing you need a lot of when updating your house is creativity.
Don't worry about a shopping spree yet. We'll get to that, I promise. First you should visualize how you want each room to look. Think about the big features first (the bed in a bedroom, sofa in the living room, table in the kitchen, etc.) and then think of the smaller accoutrements that go with them. How can you make a nice mix of textures without making the room look overly busy. You should also take into account how the room will be used, and by whom. I don't have to tell you that if you have young kids white furniture and carpet isn't a good idea. But the great thing is, if you have small kids (or rowdy dogs), you have a great excuse to go for that richly colored carpet. It hides Kool-Aid stains better.
Consider linens, secondary furniture, wallpaper, and lamp shades. You can find some of the most amazing lampshades at thrift stores. Lamps, too! In fact, many thrift stores don't mind if you take a shade from one lamp and the base of another. Be careful when choosing wallpaper. It can be gorgeous, but it can just as well look dated.
A lot of people have been picking up elements of the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 30s. It's characterized by clean lines, black and white, and a sophisticated elegance.
The bold and colorful designs picked up from various Asian styles are also popular, and they're great for making small spaces look bigger. Carved wood and hand painted details about in Asian style, and even if you're just buying paint for the walls, there's nothing more serene and beautiful than a soft bamboo green.
Eclectic style is great. It's a way of saying: "This is me. I like elements of many styles, and I combine them to suit my taste." Some of the most beautiful living spaces are done in an eclectic style.
Don't forget the importance of lighting as part of your interior design. While you don't have to match style with style, it might look a little odd to have fussy Victorian lamps in a retro-mod style living room that looks like something out of The Jetsons. Then again, who am I to judge? You should make it exactly how you like it. Adequate light that draws at least partly on natural light during the day is about as strict as the lighting design suggestions get (plus safety!).
You can spend all day happily looking for ideas on the internet, and you don't have to stick with interior design sites. You can also purchase just about anything you see on the web by ordering it online, though you may have to do some amateur sleuthing to find it on a retail site. And there's always that great standby of cutting pictures from magazines. Once you fill up a notebook, try to discern whether you see any trends in your selections. Interior decorating should be enjoyable. After all, it's your home, and it's where you spend a lot of time. You should enjoy looking at it, so go for it and have fun.