So you’re ready to make a change in your home and you are unsure where to even start. You want that dreamy Pinterest worthy room and take a look at your space and feel discouraged because it is far from it. Better yet, you’re moving and have no idea where to even begin!
Take heed my friends, because I’ve got your back. These are my 5 Starter Tips for those changing up there current space or moving into a new one. I’ve personally found the most success designing when I start from the very beginning and do these items step by step. These guidelines should help you organize your thoughts and prep yourself for the beautiful space that you are about to create!
So this is never very fun…unless you are one of those people who love to organize! My friends, there is something super healing and rewarding about going through all of your belongings and doing the following with it…
- giving it away
- throwing it out
- Organizing items/compartmentalizing
- Making a consistent place for everything that you use on a day to day basis.
Once you’ve created a clean slate of items you want to move forward with, proceed to step 2.
2) Make a Dream Board
Whether this is on Pinterest, Trello, Microsoft Word, a notepad, Whatever ya got. This is your creative space to start compiling images of spaces you like the feel of. Pay attention to:
- how the images make you feel?
- what is the size of the space you are looking at?
- is this the color palette that you are attracted too?
- do you have any of these items already in your possession?
- Is the space practical to your lifestyle? (This is a reality that is HUGE and that we often like to overlook…me included.)
Are your ideas and visuals starting to help you see clearly on your future space? If so, go ahead and start step 3.
Example of a Design Board from thoughtsfromalice.com:
3) Create a Budget
You’ve created your dream board, you’ve organized your belongings and have gotten rid of the old and are ready for the new. It’s budget time! Some tips for creating a budget:
- Create a budget on an Excel Sheet, notepad, or method of your choice to break down the numbers.
- Start from the floor and work your way up. Write out each item that needs to be replaced physically to the space. Then start listing out the items that you will need to purchase. PS. unless you’re a movie star or killin’ it financially – most of us don’t design an entire home “perfectly” when we first move in. Start with one or two rooms and then work our way to the other rooms as you’re able.
- Do you need movers? Paint supplies? Boxes? Add this to your list!
4) Design Process
At this point, it is time to start working on your floorplan. It’s pretty crucial that you get your accurate dimensions of your space so that you can plan accordingly for current or future furniture. One of the things that I’ve found hard for clients is saying goodbye to furniture that once fit in their larger home. I get this one! But oh man, does it make a difference in a functional space. One option is selling those larger items and use that money to purchase a different one.
A program that is free on the internet for you to play around with is Google SketchUp. This allows you to do 2D and 3D Modeling for your space so that you can plan ahead. There are also some great tutorials on youTube, if you need a little extra help learning the program. Matt Donley of Master SketchUp has some great tutorials. Another option is AutoCAD. I love this program, but it’s a pretty penny and is a bit less user-friendly for the beginner. The best option for most will be a good ol’ sketchpad and ruler. Get yourself an Architectural Ruler like this one on Amazon. This will help you break it down to scale so that you can get the correct measurements and fit it all on your paper. 🙂 I usually suggest using the 1/4″ scale side.
I designed the below space for a client using SketchUp.
5) Purchasing Furniture and Decor
I highly suggest doing this part right before you get into the space or are already there. It’s easy to want to jump and buy ALL the things! But this often times leads to some items that you wish you had waited on until you were in the space. Make sure that you LOVE the items you are purchasing. If you’re not sure, ask some friends, a designer or wait on it until you find the perfect options! What are some suggestions of key places to shop you might be asking? I’m a budget kinda gal, which you will see throughout this blog.:) Which means, I’m giving you my list of top places I like to shop when designing for myself or others.
*Note: there are a ton of other wonderful stores! But these are my personal go-to’s. 🙂
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle – I’m a huge Craigslister. When you walk into our home you will find that pretty much everything we own has either been given to us, I made it, or we found it on Craigs/yard sale/consignment store. If you’re designing on a budget, look into these options!
- IKEA is your friend. I can’t tell you how many organizational items we have purchased at IKEA. It’s seriously helped us keep our life in order and make for a cleaner environment. For those who have kids – I can’t stress enough how awesome IKEA is for home organization. A couch that lasts? Probably not.
- Target – Target has some awesome options for Home decor. I have bought a few items of furniture and have never had an issue. They are also getting some really fun trendy items such as Hearth and Home as well.
- TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Home Goods: For those fun design needs, these places are a great start. They usually stay up with the trends and have affordable prices. Another great thing is that their items change pretty frequently.
- Cost Plus World Market: Love the global look? Can’t go wrong with Cost Plus! This one is always a must do for us when looking to update a room and we want something a little different.
- Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, CB2, Anthropologie. These are my go to’s when purchasing a nicer piece of furniture. They hold up better than the others and are pretty timeless when it comes to trends. They also hold their retail value better, so if you do plan on selling it in the future for a newer piece – they go pretty fast on Craigslist.
- Travel and Sentimental Objects: One of the most important things when I design a space for myself or others is finding out what items in their home are most important to them. I guarantee you it’s usually not a fancy chair or table. It’s usually a decorative item or piece of art that has sentimental value to them. It’s easy to get sucked into design trends and want your home to look like a magazine. (this is me all the time. haha) But, the reality is, I don’t want my space to look exactly like everyone elses. Great design shouldn’t be easy to purchase off of a website or a magazine. What makes the difference? Your sentimental items. When traveling, be sure and grab something that would fit your decor at home and will remind you of your adventures. Another thing I love to support is local artists. Think twice about purchasing from a chain store. A lot of those items ( for example, artwork, photography, clay pots, blankets, etc) can be purchased through local artists who usually make it better in the first place! It also will give your space more character, charm and wow factors than any Target item will give ya. Shop local ya’ll!
Now that you have these five items down, you should be ready to get to work on your new space! Have fun with this! Remember, that you can always change it up later if you decide you’re not feeling it. That’s the beauty with design.
Still have questions or need help designing your space? I do design consultations virtually! Feel free to send me a message, I would love to work with you!