How to: six steps to a successful room design
Having spent the last few days with my latest client developing a new look for her master bedroom, I am feeling inspired to blog about the approach to designing a room and how to go about finding the right pieces.
My client won’t mind me saying that when she has designed rooms by herself in the past, her impatience to achieve the end look meant that she made snap decisions, which led to buying unsuitable pieces and wasting money. Although I always recommend letting your instinct be your guide (I love the buzz you get from a gut feeling!), I also advocate evaluation and re-evaluation. When designing a room or rooms it is important to allow yourself time to and space and step back from items you have selected. An item that seems perfect one day, may not seem so perfect the next.
The way you style your home is personal to you and needs to work with the way you choose to live your life and those who share it with you. This easy to follow process, helps you step back and look and what you have and what you would like to have, giving you time and space to create a look that works for you.
1. CREATE YOUR OWN STYLE FILE
Get inspired by all the things around you, inspiration is everywhere you look; magazines, art, fashion, nature…rip out the page, take a photo or get a sample of it and
Keep it all together, file it in a lever arch, pin it to an online album (I love www.pinterest.com although be warned, once you start pinning you’ll find it hard to stop!) or box it. File it however suits you best and once you’ve collected a good selection of things that inspire you
Create your style by going through and categorising it. It’s likely that common themes will run throughout. Break it down and find out what colours and styles you are naturally drawn to.
Taking this approach is definitely worth the effort. Why? Because you’ll always have your Style File to refer to and when you start making big decisions i.e. which sofa to buy, if you can’t trust your instincts, this Style File will be your guide.
Go around your house and evaluate everything you own; furniture, lights, accessories, frames, cushions, absolutely everything.
Think about each item and decide whether to keep or get rid of it. Consider whether repainting or reupholstering it would give it a new lease of life. Be ruthless and sort out what you love or loathe.
Now measure the big items and cut out roughly to-scale outlines of them.
3. SKETCH OUT A FLOOR PLAN
The simplest and most effective restyles are often the ones that use furniture and furnishings from other rooms within a house. A clunky looking table in one room might be the perfect missing piece in another.
Draw a simple outline of the rooms you plan to restyle and move your cut-outs around it until you find a layout that you like. When doing so consider any features you’d like to accentuate, areas to conceal, views and remember furniture in 2D looks smaller than in 3D. No one layout is perfect, make compromises and you’ll find the one that works best for you. (I’ve just been on an intensive sketching course so I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of my latest sketches and room plans soon…)
4. SET YOURSELF A BUDGET
Write a wish-list of all the stuff you would like and allocate a budget (with contingency!) and then
5. SEARCH, SEARCH, SEARCH
Get out and about; go into the shops you love and ones you’ve never entered before.
Look at books and magazines, get on the internet and check out retailer websites to see what is available within your budget. There are countless blogs (check out some of Home Restyler’s favourite blogs on the right side of this page) that you can also read that are packed with information
Ask your friends and family where they shop, if you like what they have in their home, they will be a mine of useful information!
Immerse yourself fully and then add all of your swatches, samples and cut-outs to your Style File.
6. GET CREATIVE & MAKE A MOOD BOARD
This has to be one of the most fun parts of the process. It’s time to get out the scissors and glue (release your inner child!) and for each room you want to restyle, make a mood board with the contents of your Style File.
Refer back to what you did earlier and create your board based on the furniture and accessories you already have and what you need to buy.
You know your style, you know your budget and you know your floor plan. This step brings everything together on one (big) board so you can see how your look comes together. How exciting!
One last point, before you get your wallet out and hit the shops, it will save you time and stop you from feeling overwhelmed by the task in hand, if you write down a list of what you need to do, what you need to buy and in what order. This way you can tick off each job as it’s done and when the room is complete you can sit back, relax and feel proud of how you achieved your own interior style.
Have fun and if you’d like any advice or have any questions, please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you x