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Planning a room redo? Ask yourself THESE questions first

How to tackle an interior design project

Image Credit: Neptune

Have you ever walked into a room in someone’s home and thought to yourself.....something’s just doesn’t feel right? It could be that a colour or pattern doesn't appeal to you maybe, but it could also be that the room was designed without a plan.

No matter how large or small your home project may be, you need a plan.

Even if you want to give the bedroom a new look with fresh lick of paint or new bedlinen, starting with a plan is the first step to successfully completing your project. And there’s more to planning than simply making a list of possible paint colours.

Whether you’re hiring someone to design a room for you or you’re doing all the work yourself,  it’s important to know what you hope to achieve in the space, how it will look, who will be using it and what it will be used for.

How to tackle an interior design project

Image Credit: Heidi Lau

Every project starts with a brief

A brief is basically a written plan to help you better understand the purpose of the space and your end goal. Your brief should cover the major aspects of the project; the look and mood you want to create, as well as the people using the space and the activities that will take place in the room.

There are so many questions that should be answered before you start your project.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Who will be using the space regularly? Think about yourself, your family and guests.
  • Do you have animals who will be in the space?
  • Do you have young children or teens? Do elderly parents live with you? Every age group has specific needs. Pointy coffee tables may not be your best choice if young ones are running around.
  • Do you have regular visitors who will be in the space? Grandchildren who visit every weekend?
  • Do you do a lot of entertaining? Will you need additional seating or side tables (living room) or a larger dining table?
  • Which activities will you/they be performing in the space? Do you use your kitchen table as a desk in the evening? Do the kids do their homework in the living room? Consider all activities that will occur in the space.
  • Is there proper lighting for what you want to accomplish in the space? Will you be eating? Relaxing? Listening to music? Studying? Entertaining? Playing? 
How to tackle an interior design project

Image Credit: Alison Giese

  • If the lighting is inadequate, can you add table lamps or floor lamps? Do you have all the sockets or will you need an electrician in?
  • What do you hope to achieve with the look and feel of the space? Is the mood going to be calm and relaxing? Or do you want to create a sophisticated room used solely for entertaining?
  • What are your LIKES?  What are your favourite colours or patterns that you’d like to incorporate in the space?
  • Are you inspired by a website, designer or style? If so, you may want to put together a folder or mood board of the looks you like so you can visualise the space.
  • What are your DISLIKES? When you know what you DON’T want in a room, it can help you achieve what you DO want.
  • What stays in the room and what goes? Are you keeping all of the current furniture?
  • What needs to be done to prep the room? Are you painting? Wallpapering? Is there old paper that needs to come down? Are there holes to plug? Do you want to paint it to change the look and colour?
How to tackle an interior design project

Image Credit: Stacey Brandford

  • How is the natural lighting? Is it currently too bright in the room or too dark? Do you need heavy curtains or light sheers?
  • Do you have a budget in mind? Will you be purchasing new furniture? Accessories? If these are major purchases, will they happen over time or immediately?
  • Do you need professionals for this job or are you completing all of the work yourself? Are you painting or hiring someone? How much will they charge? Think about your budget and get a few quotes. Being prepared means knowing where your money is going before your bank account starts diminishing.
  • What features in the room do you want to enhance? Architectural details? A stunning fireplace? A view? How will you do that?
  • Is there anything in the room you wish to hide? Unsightly pipes? Television cables? How will you do that?
  • What style do you wish to achieve? Ultra modern? Country farmhouse? French chic?

All of the above should be considered before you start making changes and purchasing furniture or accessories that may not be suitable for the space.

How to tackle an interior design project

Image Credit: Neptune

Making compromises doesn’t mean settling for less than lovely

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve had your eye on a luxurious sofa for the living room. You do a lot of entertaining and really want to have statement furniture that makes a grand impression.

That’s great if you don’t have little ones or animals running about. If you do, consider the impact of muddy paws, grape juice and sticky fingers before you make that purchase.

Perhaps a sofa with washable covers is ideal for a growing family. You can keep an elegant throw or extra cover on hand to cover the sofa when you’re hosting a get together.

Eye-catching scatter cushions can dress up the sofa even more.....until the children are old enough that you can trust them on the good furniture!

Happy decorating!

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How to tackle an interior design project

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