How do I begin the design process to update my room?

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Answered by: Samantha, An Expert in the Interior Decorating - General Category
If you continually find yourself staring blankly at an outdated room that still displays 1980s rock band posters on the wall, then it might be time for a re-design and for some assistance.

In a home, the design process can often be more daunting than usual. It is often difficult to view your home as a blank slate when you live there day in and day out. There is a reason why design shows and magazine editors constantly revisit the concept of switching houses with a friend to assist them in a home or room makeover – it allows for a fresh perspective.

While I’m not necessarily expecting or encouraging everyone to coordinate a house design swap (afterall, you might not trust your neighbor who recently planted an Astroturf lawn in his front yard to transform your Victorian-style interior), it may help to get an outside perspective. Consider hiring an interior decorator to consult and assist with the design process or if you’re on a budget, perhaps is a better fit. This virtual design board allows you to post and share your ideas, while getting input and ideas from others as well. Brilliant!

Perhaps most important, when beginning your design masterpiece, is to determine a single element to focus on and inspire the overall theme of your room. For example, if you have found a unique paint color that you can’t live without, consider more neutral and coordinate furniture and accessories inspired by the vibrant shade. Or, if you can’t part ways with a beloved wingback chair that’s a family heirloom, consider fun throw pillows and lighting to accent and modernize the room.

By focusing on one element in the room it will both help you get started and set the stage for coordinating pieces. It will also help you to pass on that absolutely adorable country-style rooster mirror that you saw in an antique shop. It might end up as your focal point for another room, but it will need to stay out of the contemporary dining room you are designing around a modern Ligne Roset Trapeze table.

Once you determine the focal point of your room, an organized approach to the design process will be your best friend. If you have any pre-existing furniture that you would like to reuse, take a photograph of each item. When items are photographed, it is easier to look at them subjectively. Then look at your favorite item, the room you are redesigning, and see what of your old furniture can be refurbished.

If you have an old bookcase that is oak wood, with a more traditional feel, consider a new coat of white paint to give it a more modern feel. If your old sofa is still in good condition but the fabric is all wrong, consider getting it reupholstered with a better-coordinating pattern (or something more timeless). As you begin to fill in the pieces and pull your room together, fabric swatches, paint samples and photographs of design elements will play an important role in helping you stay on track from beginning to end.

It may seem like a daunting project that requires both time and resources, but I promise the reward of a home (or even a single room) that reflects the modern day you will pay priceless dividends.

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