Two Important First Steps to Take When Starting Your Interior Design Project

Where Do I start?

Two important first steps to take when starting your interior design project.

I hear people say, “If I could only get my house decorated the way I want, I would be so much happier, and I would feel complete.” There is a lot of truth to that statement. Coco Chanel said “Our homes are reflections of our hearts.”

When you walk through the door, is your home authentically you? Each home has a story to tell about its inhabitants. What is your home saying about you? Does it mirror who lives there? Does it show hints of your hobbies, hidden talents, what’s important to you? As an interior designer my desire is not to impose my vision but to help you realize yours! Not everyone can afford an interior designer, but thanks to all the hot design shows available on television today, a lot of people wish they could have one. Well, now you can and it’s YOU!

There is no greater satisfaction than seeing families sit down together for a meal in a dining room, they once never used. Or to hear that a couple now sits by the fire each night with a glass of wine discussing activities of the day, where there once was no comfortable place in which to settle. Is your home just a stopover that you try to leave as quickly as possible? Does your home have your individual imprint on it? Does your home give you a place to relax and gather strength?

Lives today are busier than ever and we must have a place to renew and reenergize. While a furniture display in a store may look nice, are all the pieces an exact fit for you? Will you be bored with it in a year because it is trendy and expresses nothing about you? One thing I know for sure is that your environment dictates your life. Are you and your family in need of a true reflection of your authentic selves? There are tricks in every trade and I want to share some of mine with you so you can make your home truly your home.
Where do I start?

Step One: Budget.

You will want to determine a budget for this project. You should spend only what you can afford to pay in a reasonable amount of time. Be mindful that a remodel and or furnishings are solid investments. If you are thinking of selling your home at some point, it may help to have a great color scheme, with a well-designed d├ęcor. When you invest in the best quality foundational pieces that you can afford, such as artwork and area rugs, you will not be compelled to upgrade later.

The words I hear most often from my clients are “I had no idea how many decisions that I would have to make…there are so many details, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into!”

Step Two: Architecture

The architecture of your home needs to be your leader. You can’t make an Italian Villa out of a contemporary loft, it looks and feels foolish! Research the year in which your home was built. Is it a cottage craftsman or a Tudor? Is your home a mid-century modern ranch? Or is your home a bungalow? You can Google the year your home was built and you can read a wealth of information about the style of your home.

Example: Search: homes built in 1914.

When you respect the architecture of your home the furniture will fit like a well-tailored garment. What once was frumpy is now refreshing. My clients use these rooms constantly and are pleased they made the investment in their home.

Designer Secret: Make your starting point your home’s architecture; it will lead you where you want to go. But keep in mind, rules are made to be broken once in a while – ALL the furniture doesn’t need to be in keeping with the architecture. In small doses, fine-quality antiques or collectible modern pieces can be incorporated into any home.

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5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment

For many homeowners deciding on a theme or style for the interior of their home seems about as simple as splitting an atom or negotiating peace in the Middle East. Daunted by an overload of magazines, web-sites, books and television shows each presenting dazzlingly photographed interiors filled with chic, stylish and wildly desirable objects and each slapping an editorial spin on what this look will be called; is it any wonder that most homes languish in an unfocused design haze far longer than necessary?

To cut through the clutter and the confusion here are 5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment:

1. Understand the Architectural Style in which you will be living. Maybe your home is a California Bungalow or a New England Cape. Maybe your condominium building is heavily influenced by Mediterranean Architecture or is a symphony of modern glass and concrete. Regardless of what’s going on around you to intelligently parse out what will happen inside your home you should have a grasp of your homes’ architectural styling.

2. Have an opinion on what will happen inside your home. Good design is not for wimps and great design actually necessitates a home’s owner to have well formed opinions about what they want to live with every day. So do your homework. Visit a Designer Show House, tour model homes or spend a Saturday afternoon flipping through pages of design and architecture books and get in touch with what makes you smile. You don’t need to identify every element in the room on the page you just need to know that looking at it makes you smile. While the smile is still fresh on your face place a post-it-note on that page and we’ll come back to it shortly.

3. Play nicely with those who share the same address. Few things are as tedious as are constantly bickering couples. On the best of days finding harmony amid life’s madness can be a challenge. Please don’t add decorating discord to the list of topics on which you and your spouse joust. No one ever wins these bouts; in fact everyone within earshot actually loses. So think in terms of mutually beneficial negotiations as you hash through the thoughts and ideas shared by your life-partner and seek ways to weave together the single best idea each one brings to the table. Melding two design ideas under one roof is neither revolutionary nor improbable. In fact, it’s been done for decades with happy relationships as a delightful by-product.

4. Create visible reminders of the agreed upon direction (s) for your home. If “Big-City Modern with a touch of French Empire” is what’s been agreed upon then make it the law of the land by memorializing the decision with a pin-board and shared idea-page. Own the decision which is the result of your hard-fought negotiations by establishing visual markers. This way those in your spheres of influence can hold you to your choice and support you as you together create your new home.

5. Don’t hesitate to call in professional reinforcements. There are times, both in the negotiation phase and in the shopping phase, when outside help can be priceless. Learn who the pros are in your area who you can call for that bit of non-partisan back-side kicking. And don’t be shy about dialing their number. Writing a check for an hour or two of design consultation can mean the difference between a good room and a great room. You’re worth it being great so do what’s necessary. You won’t regret the call.

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