Redesigning? Plan before you spend
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to stay indoors more than ever before. Has spending more time at home sparked an urge to redecorate? Whether you’re tired of the current look of your space or you want to make sure it’s better suited to your needs, here are some suggestions to refresh your home.
Tackle low-hanging fruit
Take a look around. Does your space look jumbled and disorganised? Try getting rid of clutter—if you haven’t used an item in a while, consider donating or selling it. You may be inspired by the KonMari Method, created by Marie Kondo. She encourages you to tidy up your space by category—clothes, books, papers—not location, and keep only things that spark joy in your life.
Consider the purpose of each room, and the desired focus. “Our goal in design is to create a visual hierarchy, creating a focal point so the eye knows where to go,” says Judith Taylor, founder and principal designer of Judith Taylor Designs. A messy and poorly organized room can be unsettling. “Think of it like prose without punctuation. The spaces between words and paragraphs pace the reader’s experience. It’s not a restful experience to spend time in a room that’s not visually organized.”
Plan, then spend
“Before you purchase anything, make a plan,” says Judith. Browse décor websites for inspiration, gather photos and think about the look you want to achieve. List the things you want to keep and build on that foundation; this’ll help you decide on colour palette and style.
You can also take a cue from the professionals by creating floor plans. “We do all the measuring and planning work on paper to make sure everything will fit. You can do this too,” says Judith. “We select images for each of the pieces we’re considering. We lay them out in a document to make sure they will all work together well before it’s time to spend.”
Big ideas for small spaces
Maybe you live in a condo, or you have a small room and you aren’t quite sure what to do with it. A limited space deserves just as much attention when redecorating. Many people lean towards smaller furniture and décor items, to avoid overwhelming the room. However, Judith notes that this is a misconception. “Fewer, larger pieces of furniture will make a small condo feel more grand than if you fill it with too many smaller pieces. A large enough area rug also helps to visually expand the room. Many people buy rugs that are much too small. The outcome is the room feels smaller than it really is—as though nothing larger could fit.”
You may want to play with bold colours and contrasts in a small space, but Judith recommends sticking to a lower contrast colour scheme. “One paint colour used throughout the common areas, including all trim, allows the eye to flow easily from one area to another. It also gives the effect of visually expanding the space.”
Don’t be afraid to use light to open a space. Strategically positioned mirrors or thoughtful lighting can expand a room, and make a small area seem bigger and airy.
Feeling overwhelmed? Ask for help!
If the thought of deciding on colour palettes, throw cushions and statement art fills you with dread, don’t panic. It may be a good time to call a professional. An interior designer can help you figure out your style, and work with you to make your vision a reality.
Whether you decide to do it yourself, or get expert help, a few simple changes can make the world of difference! Take a look around you and decide where you’d like to start.