10 Simple Steps for Decorating Success
1. Ask the right questions: How will I be using the space? Determine your use for the space and plan accordingly. How often will I be using the space? If it’s an everyday room, perhaps durable fabrics are in order. What is my budget? No matter the size, you’ll want to set a budget and stick to it. What is my time frame? Setting a thoughtful and realistic time frame will help keep you on track.
2. Identify the focal point of the room and build your design around it. Things like a fireplace, a large piece of furniture or a picture window with a good view are all ideal candidates.
3. Sketch a floor plan. You only need the basics here, which are easy to do. Draw-to-scale using graph paper (1ft measured = 1 square), include features like windows and doorways. Once complete, make a few copies. Using simple shapes, like rectangles for sofas and circles for side tables, draw several different layouts on the floor plan copies. Now compare the various floor plans and decide which layout will work best for you.
4. Discover your personal style by reading home magazines, going on house tours, browsing online, or attending home & garden shows. Take notes of the looks you gravitate toward.
5. Pick an inspiration piece as a jumping off point. Something you can build the room from and refer back to along the way. You may have a favorite piece of art, fabric, rug, picture, etc. I’ll typically use a fabric swatch to address color palette, draperies, flooring and easily build from there.
6. Make a mood board to gauge the overall vibe of the room and create a reference piece. Cut out pictures of art, furniture, fabric and accessories you would like to use and apply everything to foam board. By pinning all of the items together you’ll get a sense of what your room will feel like and make adjustments from there.
7. Go shopping. Make a list of the items you need, beginning with big ticket items and working your way down to accent pieces. It’s easiest to coordinate future purchases if you start with drapes and rugs. You want a cohesive look to your furniture, but stay away from matching sets. Buy from several different stores for a more thoughtful and collected look. For versatility, longevity and value, go with muted solids and natural tones for large items and simply add the pop with accessories.
8. Paint the walls now that you’re able to see how the color story is coming together. Take a coordinating fabric swatch with you to the store when choosing a paint color. I recommend buying three different samples to try side-by-side on the wall. It’s best to select color under the same light as the room using it. Fluorescent hardware store lighting shows paint differently.
9. Add layers of accessories and lighting to enhance the overall look of room once all of the main components are in place. Pillows, accessories, artwork and wall color can easily be swapped out as frequently as your taste changes, so no big commitments here. Go bold and experiment with new hues and textures.
10. Throw a party, invite friends over to see the beautiful room you’ve created following these few simple steps.
For more design tips, visit www.kbddesignjet.blogspot.com.
Kenneth Byrd is the Principal Designer of Kenneth Byrd Design in Richmond, VA. Current projects include The Residences at the John Marshall downtown and East Beach Condominiums in Norfolk.
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