Imagine this: you’ve decided to revive your tired room with fresh décor. You choose your favourite colours and patterns, gorgeous furniture. You arrange the finishing touches. And…
…the room doesn’t look how you’d hoped, and it’s not long before you find yourself wanting to decorate again! If this sounds familiar, this post is for you. Answer these 5 questions at the start of your project for a beautiful new space you’ll be happy with for years to come.
1. What’s your style inspiration for the room?
When shopping for new décor there’s a vast range of styles and colours to choose from. If, like me, you’re prone to getting carried away, it helps to identify the style you want to achieve before you buy. Otherwise you might end up with a roomful of costly clashes.
Take some time to look through photos of rooms decorated in different styles. Collect those you love and you’ll start to see common elements running through your collection – certain patterns and colours, a particular period or influence. You might find yourself drawn to a bright, Scandinavian inspired interior, like this light but cosy bedroom.
Or you might prefer a sleek, contemporary space with vibrant colours. Maybe vintage Parisian might be your thing. Now’s the time to find out!
Take into account any limits your space may have – the traditional farmhouse style might not work in a modern studio apartment, for example. And consider what mood you’d like your room to evoke – bold and cheerful or serene and soothing? You can adapt your colour scheme to influence mood, like the uplifting splash of yellow in this dining room.
Read more about how to find the perfect colour scheme
Once you’ve chosen your style and colour scheme, write it down, and let it guide your future decisions.
2. What do you use the room for?
Your room needs to do more than look good. It has to be functional, too. Great interior design should improve your life by making your room’s purpose easier.
Think about your interests and lifestyle, and list the activities you’ll be doing in the room. Are you going to spend time watching TV, or entertaining? If it’s a place to relax, investing in comfortable seating is a must. An unused corner could become a closet to display your shoe collection - or a longed-for reading nook. If you’re a hoarder, plenty of shelving is a good choice.
But if you don’t have much time to clean, minimal accessories and low-maintenance flooring might be the way to go.
3. What do you love about the room?
This may seem an odd question if you’re changing up your décor, but while it can be tempting to throw everything out and buy matching furniture, a room becomes more interesting with a mix of old and new pieces. Take a look at your current surroundings and decide what you might like to keep, with your chosen style in mind.
Perhaps the pattern on a rug or your favourite art will complement your new style, or a large table could provide a focal point that draws the room together. Naturally, you next question will be…
4. What do you dislike about the room?
So you won’t repeat the same mistakes, consider what doesn’t work in your current room and why. Is the sofa so big it gets in everyone’s way? Is there a chrome unit that sticks out like a sore thumb amongst your vintage oak?
If it’s something you can’t change, consider how you can camouflage or downplay it, and if you’re on a budget, you don’t always have to get rid of what you don’t like: a new coat of paint can easily transform an ugly piece of furniture.
Make an inventory of the items you’re keeping and what you’ll be replacing. Start with the room’s essentials - the large pieces, then list smaller items and lastly, finishing touches.
5. How will it all fit together?
Now’s the time to choose where everything will go. Measure your room and note the dimensions of your chosen furniture.
Next, sketch a floorplan of the room. Include details like pathways where people will walk. Make scale 2D models of your furniture so you can rearrange them inside the plan. You can do this on paper, or electronically – there’s lots of free programs available online, like planner5d.com.
This step is a great way to experiment with furniture in different places – without the heavy lifting! – ensuring you make the most of your available space.
If you’ve a focal point that draws the eye, like a bay window or ornate fireplace, try arranging furniture around it to create harmony.
With a little planning, no space need be wasted, however awkward it is.
Once you’ve identified your style, chosen your decor and found its ideal placement with your floorplan, you’re all set!
It’s time to get decorating and create a flawless new space that’s the just you. What has helped you plan your own project? I’d love to hear your insights in the comments below.
Is there something you’d like me to write about? If you’ve an interior design question you like help with, or a suggestion for a future post, let me know in the comments.