A well-designed room is alchemy…part science and part art.
Sure, we want our rooms to look good, but more importantly, we want them to be comfortable – to LIVE well. And the essence of comfort in a room is feeling good there. Comfort is about more than the cushion fill in the sofa. It also includes the convenience and functionality and welcoming FEEL of the space. Good design serves the occupants of the room, not the other way around.
Whether starting from scratch or reworking existing spaces, here are a few essential processes and principles:
Think carefully about HOW you want to use the room – What different activities will take place? How many people will use the space? Talk to the stakeholders – find out what their priorities are. This will begin to answer questions as to how much and what kind of furniture, fixtures, and storage you need. Create a wish list.
2 Play Detective
This is the fun part! Look for images in magazines and catalogs, or online on Pinterest, Houzz, or Instagram. For every space that you are redoing, collect images of 7-10 rooms that you love and 3 that you dislike. Do not discard images just because they don’t match the size and shape of your room – this is still the dreaming stage! Study the images and see what commonalities they have. This will help you determine an overall style and color direction, and is a really useful communication tool when you talk to the professionals who will help you realize your dreams.
3 Determine a Budget
Redecorating or remodeling is an investment in the way you live in your home. Planning with a budget in mind is an important way to keep the project from becoming a runaway train. Most projects can be done at virtually any price level, but be realistic about costs. News Flash: HGTV is not a good indicator of either the timeline or the cost of redecorating and remodeling…Entertaining? Yes. Inspirational? Possibly. Realistic? No. Research the cost of the level of quality you want. If your desired quality level exceeds your budget, plan the project in doable phases. We have created phased plans that allow clients to get what they ultimately want over time without wasting money on short term solutions.
4 Mix Judiciously
Neutrals are tremendously popular and they can be either elegant and calming OR generic and bland. It is important to vary scales, textures, and intensities to create a pleasing atmosphere in ANY room, but it is especially important in a neutral color scheme. And “neutrals” are rarely truly neutral…they all have either warm or cool undertones and because of that, they don’t necessarily play well together – pay careful attention.
5 Create Rhythms
Playing with the scale and placement of pieces can add interest to a design. Everything matched to death can look dull and uninviting, but a jumble of totally unrelated things can feel chaotic. It’s a tricky balance. Placement matters…both for function AND feel. For example, a space with all the visually heavy pieces on one side of the room will feel uncomfortable even when you might not be able to define why. Create rhythms of visual weight, textures, colors, and shapes throughout the space. And don’t forget to consider how adjacent spaces relate to one another. The public rooms in a home should not have identical decor, but should have a thread of continuity that connects them.
Want some expert advice to get you started? We offer fixed fee consultation packages for just that purpose! Contact us at JRL Interiors to start the conversation.