Have you ever felt overwhelmed or unsure of what to do when decorating your space? Where to start? What style to choose? Which colours complement each other? How to place your décor and furniture so that it all works well together?
These were some of my thoughts when I moved into our home. Spending hours on the internet, visiting our local library (yes, I was amazed and happy to find newly published books on home decorating and styling at my local library), browsing Instagram and Pinterest and joining Facebook groups were some of the things that gave me ideas and inspiration while decorating my home.
Along the way I found some useful tips and ideas and today I would like to share with you some of the things to consider when you are thinking of styling a room.
What will you use the room for?
While this may seem obvious, it is a good idea to look at the space and decide what you will be using it for.
If it is a living room, will you be using it to watch TV, will it be used for family time, entertaining or a more formal environment?
The Kids bedrooms, will it mostly be for sleeping or do you need an area for the kid’s toys, maybe a reading nook or place to do homework?
In your bedroom, are you only wanting a bed, or would you like a seating area or armchair to relax in?
Is the dining area for entertaining as well as family dinners?
Will the bathroom be for the kids (kid’s safety and bath toys etc) or is it for adults with candles and a relaxed vibe?
While considering the area take note of the use of the furniture e.g. large couches for a big family. Does the dining table need to be kid friendly and hard wearing? Do you have indoor pets and if so, where will they be sleeping?
Use our checklist below to help you plan your decorating.
The room layout.
Have a look around the room and see what you like and don’t like about the space. How can you promote the good features of the room? What areas do you need to work around? Is there natural light in the room, do you have dark corners? Where are the windows and doorways? Where are the passageways in the room, which way do most people walk in the room? Is there anything about the current layout that is not working for you and how can you change it to better suit your needs? Is there a focal point or stand out feature in your room?
Colour plays an important part in the design of a room. When deciding on the colours you are using in your home, consider the use of the room.
Would you like a calm, relaxed feel in the room? Consider natural tones with soft hues for a relaxed feel. Is it the kid’s playroom and you would like bright colours or would you prefer a softer tone?
Colours will look different at different times of day and at night. If you are thinking of painting a wall, it is a good idea to hang an A4 swatch on the wall or paint a large patch on the wall (you can buy sample pots of your desired colour) Take note of the colour during the day and night to see if you are happy with it overall before purchasing paint.
Look out for our future blogs on the use of colour in more detail.
Create a mood board.
Now that you have an idea of the main purpose of the living space, the positives and negatives of a room and what tone or atmosphere you would like to create, it’s time to create a vision. A mood board is great in helping you bring your ideas to life.
The main idea of a mood board is for you to bring all the elements of a room design into one place eg the type of furniture you would like for the room, a sample of the colours, the fabric patterns, plants, rugs, décor, lighting, cushions etc By bringing all the items you like into one place, it helps you see what works and what may need to be changed.
There are many ways to create a mood board.
If you want more info on creating a Mood Board, hop on over to our Blog. How to create a mood board.
Have a look at what furniture you already have when making over a room. This helps to keep costs down and reduces landfill. Some items can be made over with paint or a sand and varnish.
Remember the purpose of the room. Where you can, consider good quality solid furniture that is durable. You would not want a flimsy piece of furniture in the kids room that may topple or break should the kids climb on it. A light colour sofa may not be a good idea in the games room while a darker sofa with fabric protection may be the right fit.
Consider adding a pop of colour to neutral pieces. The look of a sofa can be changed by adding cushions of different colours and textures.
Lighting plays an important part of any room. It sets the atmosphere and helps with the functionality of a room.
Consider lamps in bedrooms to create a relaxed atmosphere in the evening, prefect to finish your book or relax before sleep. A great light in the home office aids in getting the work done. Lighting in the living room may need to be versatile depending on the use of the space, bright for family game night, subdued if you are relaxing in front of the telly or adaptable if you are entertaining at night. Table lamps, candles, floor lamps and lanterns are great to adapt the lighting in your room without changing the electricals of a house.
Finishing your room with décor and accessories.
Artwork, décor, cushions, throws, clocks, plants and rugs all add to the final look of a space. While we may be influenced by current trends it is important to remember to style your home with items that you love.
Add textures and layers with cushions, throws and artwork.
Adding indoor plants or artificial plants bring a bit of nature indoors and can help fill in empty corners and spaces.
Place décor in groups of 3 varying in size and shape on tables. Try different combinations and see what feels right for your space.
Remember who will be using the spaces and decorate accordingly. Kids safety is always an aspect. When placing sentimental or valuable items around your room, consider who will be using the room and if the items can be easily broken. You would not want little fingers to play with a glass vase you received as a gift etc.
Add items of interest and try for a statement or focus piece in each room.
Enjoy your living spaces, and in the words of David Hicks
“The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.”