Decorating your home can seem like a daunting task. What color scheme do we choose? How do we choose? What needs to stay? What needs to go? Which patterns match well together? Plus, there’s an added element of restoration to consider. All while staying within a strict budget. It’s enough to make your head spin.
The overabundance of decisions can leave you feeling overwhelmed, causing you to give up and make no decision at all. When you reach the point of despair, don’t give up! Every interior designer has to make these decisions on a daily basis, sometimes for multiple clients within the same day. If they can do it, so can you.
We’ve assembled seven questions every interior designer asks themselves before they begin redecorating a room. These questions can be a helpful tool in eliminating stress, organizing your wants and needs, finding your personal style and ultimately tackling any design project with ease.
How do I keep this cost effective without sacrificing quality or the vision?
This is probably the most commonly asked question by anyone looking to upgrade their living space. The internet has truly made finding great pieces at affordable prices easier than ever before. It’s incredibly easy to find do-it-yourself tutorials online that will save you thousands of dollars if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Additionally, web shops feature hundreds of handmade or vintage finds that can completely transform your space without breaking the bank.
If you’re willing to put in some elbow grease, many farmer ’s markets, vintage shops, and trading posts have gorgeous furniture and home pieces in need of a little TLC. Utilizing these outlets can result in the exact look and feel you hope to accomplish without reaching far beyond your budget. Home decor blogs can help give you inspiration and guidance along the way.
What goal needs to be accomplished in each room? / What daily habits and hobbies will exist in this space?
Understanding your goals in your ideal space will help you to prioritize tasks. This can alleviate many stressful situations that can arise during redecorating. Additionally, knowing what you hope to accomplish in each room can help you assess what you already have and what you are lacking. For example, if you want a living room that can entertain up to 50 people at one time, you need to have plenty of seating and plenty of space. If you lack both of those necessities, you’ll be able to immediately determine what type of renovation will need to take place and what types of seating you’ll need to incorporate.
You can also look at what type of entertaining you’d like to take place. Do you want a room to watch sports? Do you want a bar area? Is this a quiet place for book clubs? Your budget can then be determined and set.
Will this project require renovation?
Keeping in mind your overall goal for the space is important while asking yourself this question. If your goal is to create more organization for your kids’ toys, it’s important to assess how you want to do that. If there’s no existing space for shelves or added nooks, you may need to consider renovation to create those spaces. This is also important to consider because this can drastically affect your budget.
Renovations can often hit a snag when running into plumbing or structural issues. Trouble with construction can greatly increase your costs and may cut into your established budget for other decor. Make sure you know what your most important goals and your least important goals are in every room. Creating a list of must-haves will help you determine leeway in your budget, should you encounter any renovation disruptions. You can also read about more helpful tips when remodeling here.
What is the client’s overall aesthetic?
Whether you are a big shot interior decorator, a homeowner trying to spruce up your living room, or trying to configure the perfect look for your new apartment, it’s important to determine what encompasses your overall style. Part of doing this is by asking yourself what aesthetic best represents you. You can gain inspiration from anywhere; a book, a tv show, or even a movie. A key way to do this is by deciding on what you want to feel when you walk into a room.
Think of each room in your home as an individual unit. Then determine exactly how you want to feel when you walk into that unit. From this point, you can begin to build your color palette and types of patterns you want to use in your decoration. For example, when you walk into your bathroom, do you want to feel serene? What color is serene to you? What pattern feels serene to you? Determining these details will make the decorating process much quicker. Before purchasing an item for your new room, you’ll be able to ask yourself, “does this make me feel ____?” If not, don’t purchase it.
What needs to be eliminated in the room?
On the same note as determining your aesthetic, understanding what needs to be eliminated in a space is key for redecorating. After you’ve determined your budget and aesthetic, it is important to go through the room and eliminate unwanted items or fixtures. In the same way that you wouldn’t purchase anything that doesn’t embody the aesthetic of the room, you shouldn’t hold on to anything that doesn’t embody the aesthetic of a room.
Start by looking at the overall layout of your space. If there are any structural details that prohibit your goals from being accomplished, consider renovation. If there is any knick knacks or personal items that prohibit the goals from being accomplished, they should be moved to a different room, sold, or donated. Sometimes eliminating items from the room is as simple as choosing a new paint color. Removing the clutter from your current project will help develop your overall goals, solidify your budget, and bring about your aesthetic. This tactic will help you stay organized throughout the decoration process, which can be easier than you think.
What needs to be highlighted in the room?
In the same way that knowing what must be eliminated from a room is important, knowing how to highlight the best aspects of a room is also key in the decorating process. Understanding a room’s best assets will give you a running start on what must be done to highlight the room’s best features. Again, renovation may be required to do so, which can greatly affect how much of your budget can be used for additional items.
Knowing what you love most about the room can determine a room’s layout. For example, if you absolutely adore your exposed brick fireplace, making sure the furniture faces the fireplace will draw attention to this key feature in the room. You might find a piece you love, like a chandelier, and need to make sure the decor works to compliment this specific piece. These small details can transform the way the room appears to guests. Starting with your focal point and building out from there is a great way to avoid getting overwhelmed during your redecorating process.
What special needs should be considered?
This question often gets overlooked, but it is equally important. Not only because it can, like many of the other questions, affect your budget in a major way, but also because it can help you get to the root of your goals. Knowing what you need from a room will help you determine how you want to utilize the room.
For example, if you know you need a kitchen that can feed multiple people but also needs to be baby/child-friendly, that is going to be a huge factor in how you decorate. Not only will you want to incorporate traditional childproofing methods, but you’ll want to consider how objects are arranged and what kind of decor should be placed in the kitchen. You don’t want a marble cutting board to fall off the counter, so making sure those details get factored in is a must.
Your special needs will determine where objects are placed, how they are placed, what types of renovation is needed and what extra details must be implemented.