Decorating a room can be a daunting task, but there’s no need to hire an interior designer. Follow these tips and learn how to be your own interior decorator.
The most difficult thing about decorating a room is figuring out where to start. Many people make the mistake of going out and shopping without a plan of any kind, but the result can be a disjointed and thrown-together space. Before starting to decorate follow these tips and suggestions to figure out how to get the look you want.
Find Decorating Inspiration
Inspiration can be found anywhere. When taking on a decorating project, it’s wise to start collecting pictures, paint chips, and fabric swatches. But don’t stop there. Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. Nature, fashion, art, travel, packaging, etc. Think outside the box. Carry a camera at all times and snap pictures of items that inspire. They don’t have to be decorrelated to provide inspiration.
Determine a Style for the Space
Take a look at all the inspiration items that have been collected and see what style emerges. Is it traditional? Asian-inspired? Modern? Perhaps it’s a mix of several different styles. Urban classic? Bohemian country? Whatever it is, try to give it a name. It will help you stay focused once the actual decorating begins.
Take Inventory of What’s Already in the Home
The best place to start is in one’s current home. Take pictures of everything and think about where items can be used in the new design. It may seem like a tedious task but it will be well worth it. Looking at the photos and seeing items out of context will help to visualize them in a new way. Perhaps there are items in other rooms that can be moved around or repurposed. Perhaps there are items that can be gotten rid of. Whatever the decision, take this opportunity to edit.
Draw Up Floor Plans
Don’t try to decorate a space without first coming up with a floor plan. Think about how the room will be used and be honest! Consider what arrangements will work best for all the members of the household. Think about creating conversation areas, seating areas, what the focal point will be, traffic flow, etc. Are there places for people to put down their drinks and put up their feet? Try drawing up a few different floor plans and experiment with different arrangements. Remember to take measurements and plan the space accordingly.
Set a Budget
Make no mistake, decorating can be expensive. It’s very important to set a budget before starting to decorate. Be realistic about what things cost and how much you are willing to spend. There will always be ways to save, and items where decorators will want to splurge, so think about it before starting to spend. If there’s a particularly expensive piece of furniture you want to buy (like a new sofa), perhaps you can save money by doing the painting yourself (or buy less expensive pieces and splurge on a professional painter).
It’s important to take one’s time and make a plan before starting. Resist the urge to make impulse buys, don’t forget about hidden costs like shipping and handling charges, and factor in a buffer amount in case of unexpected expenses (which there will inevitably be).
Do Some Home Decor Research
Before starting any decorating project, do some research. Hit the shops, surf the web, and compare prices. Visit magazine websites and interior design blogs. Have a look at some home decor books. Take a look at what other people have done and why it does or doesn’t work. Educating oneself about the world of home decor will be incredibly valuable once you’re ready to start.
These tips will help even the most novice decorator figure out how and where to start. So get out there and get decorating!