The question that I am most commonly asked by my clients, friends, and family is "where should I start when designing and decorating my room?" While this seems like a simple question, it is really as complex as they come. No one begins planning a room the same way. Each element of a room means something different to each person. However, I will highlight a few common places to begin to get you started on your home.
Starting with paint color can be a great way to start. You want something new, so make this your opening statement. Don't make an understatement and don't make an overstatement.
An understatement is choosing a paint with no life. You do want your wall to be the background to your life, but you don't want that background to be drab and dull. Choose a color that represents what you would like to do in the room. Try to stay away from stark white, carpet beige, and grays. They can work in special situations, but mostly they make your home feel less like a home.
An overstatement is choosing a paint that makes you loose your mind. Remember that you actually have to live with your decision and live in your decision. Some things are bold and beautiful, and some things are just bold. Red can be wonderful in some situations, but it also can signify alarm and stimulate digestion. Yellow is a beautiful color, but some yellows are so bright they can eventually give you a headache. Save your "overstatement" for accessories.
Finally, chose a paint color that will mesh with your general plan for the room. If you want to go with a Tuscan theme, then pale purple just won't achieve the desired effect, even if it is your favorite color. But most of all, do not be afraid of color. Color will bring depth, diversity, and beauty to your new room.
Going with a theme -
Choosing a theme can help lead all of your design decisions to a common goal. If you can envision your desired theme, then you can easily make the decorating decisions needed to complete your space. Two challenges to this approach are selecting your theme, and envisioning your theme.
Once you have your theme, you go can go around your room deciding what you need for each wall, on each wall, furniture needs, carpeting needs, and finally accessories. Planning is the best way to begin decorating when choosing to start by theme. If you pick a theme, and plan to pick up items at random, most times you will never finish your project. Make a plan and stick to it.
Focal point -
Getting started by using a focal point is excellent when you have a painting, decoration, architectural feature, or other eye catching object that will speak for the room. If you have a painting that will be your focal point, then you choose colors that will go nicely with your piece of art. If the painting is a beach scene, then you immediately have your theme. If you have a large window that opens out to an old barn, then you may want to choose rustic elements and create a comfy relaxed country feel. With your focal point leading your decisions, you must choose elements that create a sense of harmony with the focal point.
Existing furniture -
Maybe you don't want to do a complete overhaul of your room. Then this is a good reason to begin by basing your decorating decisions around existing furniture. If you have a sofa that you are not planning to replace, then the pattern and color will greatly influence your decisions. Base all of your decisions off of the items you are retaining. Just remember, this is the most limiting option. You may not be able to go in the direction you were planning, the feel may be tainted by the old furniture, and your color and pattern choices are going to all be based on this furniture. If you want a new feel, old furniture is not the way to start.
However, if you have an antique table that is a family heirloom, then you may want to choose other period pieces to go along with that piece. Beginning with furniture can be great, if you have a furniture that already makes a statement that you love.
No matter where you start in your design, if you get stuck then step back from your project and start again at the beginning focusing on a different aspect of the room. Of course, if you get irrevocably stumped, contact me or a local Interior Designer, and you can set up a consultation to get you started in the right direction!