“I want to redesign my home… what’s the best way to get started?” As a home designer this is one of the most common questions I hear. From clients to neighbors everyone has idea of how to decorate their home, but they just don’t know where to start.
It’s a very valid question. And I hate to say it, but there’s no straight answer. When it comes to interior design, everyone has their own options and concepts around what they want – from knocking down walls to adding a new sofa.
I know what you’re thinking, “Some designer. She can’t even tell me where to start!” Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you high and dry. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction. If nothing else, it will at least get you thinking.
1. Start from the sky and work your way to the ground, and think giant to tiny. This rule will save you tons of time and money. Whenever you’re remodeling or redecorating work your way from roof/ceiling all the way to the floor. Why? If you make a mess, it’s going to fall to the ground. Trust me; you don’t want all that paint and rubble falling on your new hardwood floors. When filling a room, pick the giant pieces first and then fill in the rest with the tiny stuff. Furniture and carpet should go first, then small tables, lamps, candles, etc.
2. Get comfortable with in your space. Time and time again people fascinate that they have a massive room to decorate when it’s really a shoebox. Learn, measure, and study your space and be realistic. Decorating a small room can be just as fun as a large room. Once you understand your area, you can buy or use appropriate furnishings in it to make it look bigger. There are several tricks of the trade that can help with that and stuffing oversized furniture in a small space is not one of them.
3. Know who you are. Okay, this is starting to sound like a therapy session. What I mean is, understand your lifestyle and habits. If you like to cook, entertain, and read then you’ll want to design with that in mind. Great design is all about functionality, comfort, and aesthetics. Remember, you’re going to be living in this space so make it what you want.
4. Throw it away! For Pete sake, don’t be like those people on the TV show Hoarders. I know if can be difficult to get rid of things and I’m not asking you to get rid of everything, but at least sort out what you use and what you haven’t touched in over a decade. Donating your belongings can be a very liberating experience. Besides, the minimalist design can not only make your room look cleaner, but your life in general. Trust me, guest will notice if you have clutter and they might think your life is cluttered too.
Before you start any of these suggestions, try to formalize a plan to help keep you organized. You can get a binder and brainstorm about ideas, paste magazine clippings, note room dimensions and measurements, list your life habits, and schedule a garage sale (like how I snuck that in). If nothing else, start thinking about and the next thing you know your room will be done!