Although moving into a new house can bring you great joy, it can also present a challenge, especially in decorating. How can you make your space stand out while still expressing your style? If you do it right, your home will be happy and comfortable. If you don’t do it right, your home will be a mess of different furniture, paint colors, and fabrics that don’t blend together into one cohesive whole. You’ll be much more successful if you do your research and follow the steps of professional interior designers.
Do not start in the furniture store
People have long heard that grocery shopping should not be done when you are hungry. This can lead to poor decisions. This is also true for furniture stores. Don’t panic if you don’t have a home. You do need a sofa. You can’t just buy a pink-striped sectional because it looks good in the store without measuring it or considering the space. You will need to build around the sofa. If it is too big, it will make the space look awkward.
Know your measurements
It is important to match the furniture’s scale with the room. A large sectional sofa with a lot of legs can overwhelm a small space, while slender chairs can look lost in a spacious loft. Before you begin designing, measure the room’s length and width. Also, consider the height of the ceiling and any obstructions such as columns, stairs, radiators, or other obstacles. To make window coverings, it’s a good idea also to measure the openings of windows.
David Kleinberg, the founder of David Kleinberg Design Associates, a New York-based interior design firm, stated that the first mistake people make is buying the wrong size furniture. This includes sofas that do not fit into their rooms, tables that fit through doors, tables that fit through doorways, tables too small, large desks, and nightstands that fit into the doorway. These problems can be avoided by measuring the space carefully.
Make a Floorplan
Now that you know the dimensions of your room, you can create a floor plan that shows you the whole house from one point. Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton, a New York interior design company founded by her father, said that every job should begin with a floor plan. “You must know the space.”
Another option is to draw the floor plan by hand using paper, a pencil, and a ruler. However, most professional designers use drafting software like AutoCAD. There are apps that make it simple for homeowners to create floor plans. Some even automate measurements using your smartphone’s camera. But double-check those numbers.
Once you have a rough idea of the space, begin to experiment with furniture placement. Make sure the footprint of each piece matches the drawing.
How do you want to live
This is the most difficult part. There are no right or wrong answers. You can have a traditional or modern room, a more relaxed space, or a room that is visually cool or warm. Ms. Hampton said, “To the best extent possible, you must try to determine how you would live in this space.” What will you do? Are there a lot of people living there? Do you have children? How do you envision your life?
A home that hosts large dinner parties should look different than one that is used for casual dining. A living space that is designed for hosting lavish fundraisers should be different from one that is used by someone who only dreams of watching TV.
Copy the Pros
To find your own style, look into magazines and design books as well as online resources such as Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram. Brad Ford, an interior designer based in New York City, said, “Find the style that you like best” and compile a list of your favorite images.
After you have found images that you like, take the time to study them, suggested Mr. Kleinberg. He said, “See where the pattern is used and where solids are used. And where color can be used with success or not.” This will help you decide what furniture you like and how to cover your windows.
Tape it Out
You can take your floor plan ideas one step further by using painter’s tape to mark the areas where the furniture will be placed against walls and floors.
Anne Maxwell Foster, a New York interior designer at Tilton Fenwick, stated that blue tape is used on the floor to “box out different elements”. “Where is the rug going to be placed? Is it necessary to cut it? What distance is the coffee table from the wall? Although we can see everything to the sixteenth inch on a furniture layout, it’s still helpful to visualize it in the space and be able to move around.
Create a budget
It’s obvious that spending on a chair at an unanticipated price will result in less money for other home furnishings. Ford said, “You won’t be strategic about how your money is spent.” “A budget will give you a guideline for how to split the cost of items between rooms.” He said that you can still make exceptions if you find a unique dining table but you need to be careful about what other expenses you can reduce.
Plan the Phases
It can be messy to finish drywall, refinish hardwood floors, or paint ceilings. It’s best to complete this work before you move any furniture or accessories.