Like many people, it may have been several years since you gave your home a full-scale makeover. You may have refreshed every room when you first moved in, and once you were settled in, let it all sit there in more or less the same condition. Now, several years down the line, your home may have started to feel a little knackered and drab. If you feel it’s about time you breathed some new life into your home, the good news is you’re not alone. If you’re finding the whole idea of large-scale redecorating a bit much to handle, here’s a guide to helping you plan it all out.
Start with the Practical Stuff
You’re probably reading this guide because you simply want your home to be a little more pleasing to the eye; a place that you can really be proud of when you’re inviting guests over. However, all that work towards making it look good is going to be for nothing if the home is coming apart at the seams! When you’re planning to redecorate top to bottom, it’s always smart to use this as an opportunity for any much-needed DIY. Before you start looking at armchairs and throw-pillows, read a good home owners guide to house maintenance, and make plans for any work that you know your home needs. You may need to put off your other plans for a bit longer, but in the long run, it will help your home retain its value and prevent any further costly repairs in the future.
Know What You Like
Though countless people wish their homes looked better, many wouldn’t be able to tell you what kind of decorating styles they like. This isn’t to say that most people don’t have any personal tastes! However, unless you’re an experienced interior designer, it can be very hard to articulate your preferences in a given context. The easiest way to pin down exactly what appeals to you is checking out some photos of other spaces. The web is full of interior design sites where you can browse beautifully done-up homes for as long as you desire. Create a new folder in your bookmarks, and use this to save all your favourite ideas. After you’ve collected a fair number of pictures, take some time to sit down and compare them. What are the common denominators in terms of colour, furniture style, patterns, and the density of objects in the room? While you’re throwing around ideas for your own home, just remember to think about the architecture of the space you’re living in, and any of the limitations that this might impose.
Create a Floor Plan
This may sound like you’re going a little too far for the task, and simply a drag that most people can’t be bothered with. However, it’s an important step when you’re planning a large-scale redecoration, and something that the internet has actually made pretty fun! Open up this 3D room planning tool, or any other program you prefer, and start toying around with ways that you can arrange different areas of your home. By experimenting like this, you may stumble upon ideas that you would have completely overlooked otherwise. Of course, you may not be all that techie, or ready to trust all your planning to a free online tool. If you want to see how your plans are going to translate into actual application, you can get measurements and construct “practice” furniture out of boxes, or mark out the feet with pillows, newspaper and so on.
Settle On a Colour Palette
Many people will tell you that you should choose the colour palette based on the flooring of a given space. Others say you should start with a piece of art. However, this is your house, and the way you pick a colour scheme should be based on your unique tastes. Base it around whatever item that you love the most. If that’s a rug, then go with a rug. If it’s a canvas, then go with the canvas. If you simply love the colour blue wherever you see it, then use it as a base. There’s no point in following every little pointer you get from interior design blogs and magazines if it’s going to make you wind up with a colour scheme that you can’t feel comfortable with. After you’ve chosen a main colour palette, you can let the rest of your decor stem from that. When it comes to investment pieces, you should generally stick to neutral colours, as these will stay versatile long into the future. Then, you can put all the more flashy colours into the paint, along with accent pieces such as pillows, art and small lamps. This way, you’ll be able to change the colour palette in the future without having to spend a small fortune!
Closely tied in with our point about the floor plan, you should also measure your space thoroughly before you start browsing items and planning the big shopping trip. Aside from the floor space you actually have in any given rooms, remember to measure the stairways, doorways, and anything else that could get in the way of bringing big, awkward pieces of furniture into your home. Write all those measurements down, and bring them with you when you actually come to shop. All that furniture is going to look much smaller in a showroom with massive 20-foot ceilings than it will look in a home. On the subject of showrooms, be careful about what you buy as sets. Too many matching pieces, and you’ll make your home look like a showroom!
Know Where to Skimp
Ideally, you’ll have saved for this project over a number of years, and given yourself a decent enough budget to buy everything without too much of a strain on your finances. However, if you find that you do need to skimp on anything, try to cut costs on accessories. Mirrors, pillows, lamps and so on can all be bought from low-end retailers, without causing too much of a blemish on the overall style you’re going for. One of the dirty little secrets of interior design is that if you throw a few cheap pieces in with all the larger investment pieces, no one’s going to notice.
Mix the Old with the New
If you’ve got a pretty big budget to burn through, it can be tempting to buy absolutely everything new. However, if you lean too far towards modern pieces when you’re redecorating, you’ll risk making the home look a too cold and minimalist. Look at some articles on vintage décor online, and use these as inspiration for a style that spans a longer timeframe. Then, arrange for some trips to some local antique stores, and find some more archaic pieces to add variety and intrigue to your space. If you can’t afford what these places are selling, your next port of call should be car boots and charity shops. You’d be amazed at the kind of gorgeous older pieces you can find in these places for a very low price. As long as you don’t go overboard, adding some splashes of history to your interior design will give the whole home greater depth and personality, and again, will keep your home from looking too much like a showroom.
If you’re planning a big round of redecorating, hopefully these tips have helped guide your plan. Take your time with every little decision, and you’ll be able to create a home you can be truly proud to call yours!