I have just had the pleasure of moving into a new space. I've actually been in this house for over a year now, but have migrated to a new room. It is much brighter (more windows) and much larger (with a bigger closet!). Since I'm finally feeling a bit more settled, I decided it was time to do some "nesting" and decorating. I've had some pictures stowed away in storage as well as some cool ideas on paint scheme. Now that we've got the spring cleaning out of the way (you DID clean last weekend, right?!) we can move on to making our spaces more our own. Let's get started.
A few years ago, my girlfriend and I went to a really cool furniture store while visiting friends in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was all very cool "rustic" furniture and we even found a few perfect pieces for our home. The one missing ingredient (besides loads of money!) was measurements. We forgot to measure simple things like the area in front of the couch; the space next to the kitchen table; and the distance between the foot of the bed and the wall. If you're going to do any sort of serious shopping (which translates into more than looking), take some time to get specific bearings in the rooms of the home. Even simple distances between walls, chairs, couches and other furniture will be a huge help.
Speaking of planning ahead, it is always a good idea to buy paint last. If your plan is to tackle a den, bedroom or family room, I recommend picking out the furniture, upholstery, pillows and rugs before you even think about paint. (Well, OK. You can think about it, but just don't act!) You will likely have a general "tone" in mind when it comes to paint, but it is much easier to swap out a pillow or rug once you've painted the room versus having to re-think (and re-paint) the whole room because the couch doesn't quite match.
This this brings us to the next step. Unless you have a good eye for interior design (I don't) and a good eye for matching or complementary colors (I don't), get yourself some help. When I built my house over the hill in Lincoln, I had my sister-in-law (super talented graphic designer) help out with colors. She helped with the paint, stain, curtains and even comforters throughout the house. Of course, I had my general ideas of tone and "warmth" but I really needed her input to ensure that the colors in my head were not going to clash when they were placed in "real life". If you can admit that you're not great at color blending, congratulate yourself by getting a "designey" friend to help, or hire a pro.
Right along those same lines is being careful not to have everything match just perfectly. You don't really want to have a "Stepford Wives" looking home, so have some fun. Here's where those designers can really shine. Combining offset colors and bold highlight walls (or pieces of furniture) can break up a room nicely and even make it feel larger. We all have character. This is a perfect time to let your personality shine.
I should also note that we normally talk about keeping things "vanilla" in your home. It is important to note that this is entirely focused on you selling your home. If your intent is to live (and enjoy) this home for a few years, let your freak flag fly!
I love making pottery. I took a couple classes over in Littleton a few years back and have a handful of pieces that I enjoy showing off and simply looking at. We should all be a little careful to not go overboard on displaying every piece of these collections in our homes.
"A few highlighted items are great to show off and appreciate. It is when the full bookcase of porcelain figurines make their appearance that things get a bit out of hand," said Badger Realty agent Karla Badger.
I couldn't agree with Karla more. If you are really in love with your collection (whatever it may be) you can likely find a less prominent place for it. For the main living areas, just pick out a few of your favorites.
The last piece is really a reminder for myself, but you can listen in if you want. It is never really a good idea to hang "art" without a plan. I put art in quotes because I only own one "real" painting, so I intend "art" to mean pictures, posters and all "wall hangings". Since you just finished painting the room, the last thing you want to do is start poking holes in the walls! Of course, you have to in order to get anything up there, so the plan is to simply do some planning. (That's right, the plan is to plan!)
I have found that getting an extra pair of hands (or three) is super helpful. It allows you to see the piece on the wall without poking holes. It also can prevent you from putting a smaller item next to a "highlight" piece and the smaller one getting lost.
I'm confident that you don't need to be a trained interior designer to get a good result with your remodeling project. Just take your time, do some planning and get some help. The result will be much better and you'll be more proud of your project when it comes time to have your first dinner party! (Yes, I'd love to be invited!)