How to Decorate Your Residence?

Shifting to a new house can bring immense pleasure, but it can also lead to confusion, particularly when it concerns embellishing your abode. The task of creating a beautiful living space that reflects your individual taste can be daunting. If done correctly, you will have a cozy and contented home. However, if executed poorly, you may end up with a disorganized and unappealing amalgamation of furniture, fabrics, and paint colors. By utilizing the same approach as professional interior designers and adequately planning, you can significantly increase your chances of achieving success.

Setting the Groundwork for Interior Design

When embarking on a journey or task, it is crucial to have a clear destination in mind in order to successfully reach the desired outcome. Similar to the advice of avoiding grocery shopping on an empty stomach, it's important to not make impulsive purchases when shopping for furniture to fill an empty home. While it may be tempting to pick a sofa solely based on personal preference without considering measurements or the overall layout of the room, doing so could lead to being stuck with an ill-fitting piece that disrupts the balance of the space.

Begin with a measuring tape and a notebook in the space you want to equip.

It is important to ensure that the furniture you choose for a room is proportionate to the size of the space. A large sectional sofa can easily dominate a small room, while small chairs can look insignificant in a spacious loft. Before starting to decorate a room, it is essential to measure the length, width, and height of the room, as well as any obstacles that could affect the furniture layout, such as stairs, columns, and radiators. Measuring window openings and the surrounding wall space can also help in preparing for window coverings.

David Kleinberg, the founder of New York-based interior design firm David Kleinberg Design Associates, warns that purchasing furniture that is the wrong size for a room is one of the most common mistakes people make. Such errors include buying sofas that do not fit through doorways or are too large for the room, as well as tables, desks, and nightstands that do not fit the space. To avoid these mistakes, careful measurement of the space is crucial.

To help with furniture placement, it is recommended to create a floor plan using the room measurements. Alexa Hampton, the president of Mark Hampton, a New York-based interior design firm, suggests that every project should start with a floor plan to provide a comprehensive overview of the space. This allows for a better understanding of the area and helps to determine the most effective furniture arrangement.

There are various options to create a floor plan, including the traditional method of using paper, pencil, and ruler. However, most professional designers prefer to use drafting software such as AutoCAD. For those who prefer a simpler method, there are also apps available such as Magicplan, Floor Plan Creator, and RoomScan Pro, which aim to make it easy for homeowners to create basic floor plans. Some of these apps can even automate measurements using the camera on your smartphone, although it's important to double-check the accuracy of those measurements.

Once you have a basic outline of the space, you can begin experimenting with furniture placement. It's crucial to ensure that the size of each piece of furniture is scaled to match the dimensions of the floor plan.

Decide how you want to Live: The next step is to decide on the desired aesthetic for the space. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to the design of a room. The style can range from traditional to modern, formal to relaxed, and visually warm or cool. According to Alexa Hampton, it's important to try to determine how you want to live in a particular space. Consider factors such as the number of people living in the space, the presence of children, and your aspirations for how you want to live. By taking these factors into account, you can create a space that reflects your unique lifestyle and personality.

The decoration of a home for someone who regularly hosts large dinner parties, for instance, should be different from a home for someone who eats out at restaurants every night. The person who plans to host lavish fundraisers should have a different living room than the person who dreams only of crashing in front of the TV.

Copy the Pros

Look in design books and magazines, as well as at online resources like Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram to sharpen your personal style. “Figure out the style that you respond to most,” said Brad Ford, an interior designer in New York City, and develop a dossier of favorite images.

Once you have images you like, study the details, advised Mr. Kleinberg. “See where pattern is used versus where solids are used, and where color can be used successfully or not,” he said. It will also help inform everything from the type of furniture you might like to a potential strategy for window coverings.

Tape It Out

To take ideas on a floor plan one step farther, use painter’s tape in the real space to outline where furniture will be placed on floors and against walls.

“We use blue tape on the floor to box out different elements,” said Anne Maxwell Foster, an owner of the New York interior design firm Tilton Fenwick. “Where will the rug be? Does it need to be cut? How far is the coffee table coming out? Even though we have everything down to a sixteenth of an inch on a furniture plan, there's something helpful about visualizing it in the space, and being able to walk around.”

Develop a Budget

There’s no getting around the math: If you splurge on an unexpectedly expensive chair, you’ll have less money available for the rest of the home. “You want to make sure you're being strategic about how you spend your money,” said Mr. Ford. “A budget gives you a roadmap for how to divide the costs of things between rooms.” You can still make an exception if you find a one-of-a-kind dining table, he noted, but in order to pay for it you have be thoughtful about where else you can cut back.

Plan the Phases

Finishing drywall, refinishing hardwood floors and painting ceilings is all messy work. If at all possible, it’s better to have this type of work completed before moving any furniture or accessories into the space.

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