“This room doesn’t work,
but I can’t put my finger on why, exactly.”
Selective inattention is not your friend. Not knowing what to do or what to do first, most people tend to do nothing.
Start at the beginning….
•Take a good look to see how your rooms measure up, or not. Be clear about your habits and preferences and truthful about the actual condition of your environment and furnishings. Your answers won’t be graded by a jury of your peers, but you will have a solid set of guidelines from which to proceed to design a home that works especially well just for you.
•Decide what to attend to first, later, or not at all. With these decisions, you can begin to develop an organized plan of attack, along with a budget and a time-line for purchases that’s guaranteed to raise your spirits as well as your standard of living.
•Keep it simple. If you rent or otherwise are planning to move within the next year or so, forget about major renovations. Equally, you won’t need to do much with the kitchen if all you make are reservations.
Most of all, keep a firm grip on the obvious:
•Is it time to paint the walls? Wall color greatly influences how you feel in a room. Landlord White By Default is hardly inspiring. Bonus: It’s the cheapest, most effective way to change the look and mood of a room.
•Is the furniture arrangement non-functioning? Your life can be improved with a furniture arrangement that supports your needs and activities, which won’t cost you a thing. Assume form follows function and start by giving your furniture something to do. Think through what you’ll need for comfort, practicality and attractiveness. For example, in your living room, (multi-purpose or not), if you want to talk with someone besides yourself, you’ll want a conversation area. Comfortable seating close enough to speak without raising your voice or craning your neck plus convenient surfaces (coffee/end tables) to set down drinks or food is essential. Extra credit for thoughtful lighting.
•Does the furniture itself looks “tired”? Are the upholstered pieces still serviceable? Do they need to be slip covered, reupholstered or simply thrown out and replaced? Does any of your other furniture need an upgrade or to be improved with a coat of paint?
If you’ve been hauling around those milk crates since college, it’s time for an upgrade.
•Is it dark in there? Rooms without enough light are depressing. Most of us, for lack of a better experience, under-light our homes with either too few light sources, or worse, “over-light” with a couple of light sources at very high wattage. What you want is a range of lighting options that meet your needs for the tasks at hand and fill your rooms with light, without dark corners. You want the overall effect to be welcoming, comfortable, interesting and beautiful.
•Do you have a room with a view, or a view of security bars and a brick wall? Great windows with a wonderful view need no decoration. However, most windows need some sort of covering, if only for privacy or to block out sunlight. Another advantage of drapery is that it can add softness, color and texture to a room, while camouflaging “unfortunate” architecture as needed.
Continue to cross examine the usual suspects (as noted above) and don’t overlook any area of your interior affairs. Keep refining your “repair/to do list” down to the nuts and bolts of what you need to be more comfortable and satisfied.
Everyone wants a DESIGNER LOOK without hiring one, but you don’t have to make a major design statement to live well.
Developing a clear perspective insures that home design happiness can be found at any price point.
You can do this…..
Here are the first posts in each topic series (as mentioned above) to help you.
Click on the topic you need to reach the first chapter of each series.
Featured Photo from Sergio Sulliotti on Flickr
Article Photo from Decoding Decor Archives