Planning a room can seem a daunting and overwhelming task. Most of us are afraid of making mistakes. But just like we need a map to get where we are going when we travel, we also need a plan of how we want our rooms to feel or look.
1. Decide what purposes you want or how the room needs to function. Be honest with yourself. How often does the room get used for those purposes? A room can have dual functions, just make sure they make sense for your lifestyle.
2. What has to stay? What will work with the room's purpose? Be open to selling or donating things that will not help you further your goal. In most cases, less is more. When we have wall to wall furniture, we are cluttered. Your eye is forced to travel in a fast pace to absorb everything. Have you ever walked in a crowded room or even furniture store and at a second or third return, you noticed something about that room that you never saw before? Decide what can go, and it will open the room up and give everything else a bigger stage.
3. Don't buy without a plan! Some of you are cringing at the thought of having to be so regimented. I have some clients that have such a clear view of their spaces that they don't need a plan to get a great piece at an antiques or flea market. But for most of us, we need to first know what we want our finished result to be before we buy. Once you've developed a plan for your room you can buy as much or as little as you like, now or in the future, but at least you'll have a plan.
4. Keep a notebook. Use a 3 ring binder notebook with plastic sleeves to store cut out pictures from magazines or images from the internet. Keep fabric and paint samples along with any furniture ideas and tear sheets. I start one of these for some of my clients and it helps to keep as you go shopping for different items the room may need.
5. When you see a picture that you like, ask yourself, 'What do I like or dislike about that picture?'. You might discover that your love a lot of color, but in smaller doses (such as a toss pillow or drapery panel).
6. Measure your room and make a "before" plan. Several different furniture websites put out a free on-line room planner made by Icovia. It is very simple and easy to use. You can enter in your room dimensions, furniture, and accessories. The plan will save on their site, so you can add as you buy new things and reprint the new plans. Here is one site where you can go.
7. Now you are armed with all you need to go shopping! But one last tip and this is a good one..... no matter how much the salesperson at the furniture store tries to push you, don't get it unless you know it will work with your plan. If you like the item, ask for an information sheet to take.
It has been such a pleasure to help others find their style and transform their room into an environment that they can't wait to be in. Lets revisit those rooms that are bugging you and start making your plans!