By Lyndsey Fought
We all have that one room in our house that we’d love to do something with, but we just don’t know how to start. Locking yourself in to a new interior decoration project can be overwhelming — we are hesitant to pick new colors or a new scheme. Painting takes effort and time and sometimes the color you picked isn’t the color it turns out to be. Not to mention, once you pick the paint, you don’t know where to go next. It makes you wonder how people cope with total home renovations! So, you avoid and procrastinate to keep your mind off of that scary project.
The following are a few suggestions that will guide you through a room makeover and make you more confident in your choices.
Feel and use. Before you begin your transformation, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the room used for?
- Will kids be in this room often?
- Will you be entertaining people in the room?
- Will pets be allowed in the room?
These questions will let you know what type of surfaces you should have in the room, as well as the finishes on the floors and walls. Next, think about whether you’d like a theme or a particular feel. If you have an office and, like me, you want to give it a book-nerd feel, you’ll need to have that in mind while picking colors and furniture.
Paint. Going from white to emerald green is a drastic change so you’ll really have to think about this. Usually, warmer colors are inviting. Cooler colors tend to stretch a space and make it seem airy. Deep, saturated colors make a room look smaller and cozy. Whites and pastels will allow you to add more character in the room by adding wall art, dark floor stain, and more accessories without clashing. Dark colors make areas seem distinguished.
If you have a room that doesn’t get much light, painting it white can make it gloomier; a warm color would actually enliven it more. If you think doing an entire room in royal blue is too risky, try an accent wall instead. Also, don’t forget your ceiling: making your ceiling lighter than the walls makes it appear higher and if you paint it darker it will appear shorter.
Paint is relatively cheap for the overall experience and feel it gives a room. Major stores now have a love-it-or-change-it type of option, where if you don’t like the color you bought they’ll give you another.
Lastly, pick your finish wisely. A shiny finish may be what you need if kids and pets will be in the room frequently as it is easier to clean.
Other colors. People tend to be afraid of mixing colors, but contrary to popular belief you can mix many colors into the scheme. I like to keep the main palette at two or three colors (the walls and main furniture may be the main two) and then the accent colors can be never-ending.
Add as many colored vases or cushions as you’d like! Just make sure to keep your theme in mind when picking your colors. If you want to lean Moroccan, you’ll probably want jewel-tones, like turquoise, fuchsia and burnt orange. Whereas if you are choosing a French theme, you may go with khaki, black and white for the main colors and only touch a bit of purple in for the accent.
If you are going with an overall theme, keep in mind the items and accessories that will be added later. It might be good to go with all muted colors if you will be adding walls and walls of Iron Man memorabilia.
Storage. Storage is a huge issue in many homes. For a kids’ room, try the more casual totes or roller carts (remember you can use beneath the bed as more storage as well). If your room will have guests often, you might want to think about investing in nice storage pieces like an oak armoire.
Storage drawers with glass fronts look really chic but require lots of upkeep; do you want to keep everything folded perfectly? In order to utilize more space, think about adding shelving to the walls. Nice wicker baskets can fit into laid-back or elegant spaces easily for added storage. Remember to add hooks to walls if any coats or aprons will be in the room.
Lighting. For warmer rooms, use incandescent colored lights. For a colder look, use halogen lights. In dining rooms and libraries you will want softer lighting to make it inviting. For kitchens, all over lighting should be used. Bedrooms and living rooms should have one overhead light with lamp options (namely so you won’t have to get up from the couch or bed to turn off the lights). Think about table lighting in offices, and don’t forget to light up all of that Iron Man memorabilia.
Space. Be realistic about the type of space you have. You cannot fit both a sofa and a loveseat in a small living room, so instead add the sofa and in a corner, place a small slipper chair with a quaint side table. If you have a huge space, don’t push your furniture up against the walls; make individual spaces for seating and working. Use corner desks and move out any unnecessary items to save space. Start with the minimum in your new room; you can always add, but if you begin with too much it leads to disaster.
Hopefully these rules will lead you in the right direction and you’ll get started on that project now! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Happy decorating!
I have too many interests and I get easily distracted, so I haven’t completed a single thing in my life. Yay, hyperboles! I have been to culinary school and I like baking cupcakes. I write the beginnings of too many novels. I am driven by ambition and delayed by perfectionism.
I would like to travel the world, learn from others, write some best sellers, and have a restaurant or bakery someday. I am a Slytherin. I like the tenth Doctor best (followed by ninth). I am too obsessed with Downton Abbey and the whole etiquette of that era. I never forget to be awesome!