Creating a well-designed room takes a lot more than just picking out pieces of furniture and placing them along the empty walls of your room. But it also doesn't need to be a complicated process that leaves you exhausted and frustrated.
There are basically 3 ways to go about designing your room:
No matter which method you choose, you want to make sure your room has the functionality you need and the looks you want. The following basic steps will help you better understand what it takes to create the room of your dreams. Or
Function: Determine the specific functions of your room.
First and foremost, the room has to perform its intended function. Determine the purpose of the room and decide what furniture and accents are needed for it.
1.) Decide and Prioritize
a. The functions that you Need in order to use the room that you want.
b. The functions that you Want that will help you most enjoy the room.
• A bedroom might need to house the appropriate size bed, area for an alarm clock for each sleeper, lighting to read by, storage space, and a dressing and changing area.
• A dining room might need to seat 6 people on a daily basis, but expand to seat 8 to 10 for special occasions. It also may require an area to store fine china and silverware.
• A family room might need to seat 4 to 5 people comfortably so that everyone has a clear view of the TV and access to adequate lighting for reading.
• A formal living room might need to allow seating for 8 and standing room to mingle, while also making a fashion statement in an effort to impress.
• A home office might need to have a large workspace for paperwork, an area for a computer and printer, and task lighting.
Decide on the Mood or Feeling for the room.
A well-designed room starts with a mood or feeling that you want to establish.
Often, we refer to a "Style" when describing the look, mood, or feeling of a room. Most "Styles" get their inspiration from geographic locations or a bygone era (or a combination of the two).
Here is an example of a "Style"
• Old World / European
• The Old World / European style draws its influence from continents abroad. This style is an opulent mix of various European influences spanning the Medieval, Renaissance, and Classical eras.
• Woods: Mahogany, Pecan, Cherry, Oak and Walnut are most commonly used.
• Fabric / Leathers: Damasks, Tapestries, Brocades, Chenilles in the jewel tones and Distressed and heavier weighted leathers
• Recreate the romance of the past by mismatching furniture pieces with antiques. Combine earthy materials like marble, tile, limestone, and wrought iron with heavy textured fabrics (like damask) that have tassels and fringe. Furniture and decor in the Old World style is generally oversized and more ornate, with distressing and painted finishes making the grandest of statements.
Once the mood or feeling has been determined, it will be the overarching theme for the following design elements.
• What mood would you like other people to experience when they enter this room? What feeling would you like to have when you are using this room the way you imagine it? One of the best ways to determine this is to ask the question: What adjective best describes what you are trying to accomplish? Romantic, clean, casual, plush, exotic, etc. Determining this feeling will help to ensure the room represents your own unique style.
• Every room has architectural elements. Even the most basic room has some architectural elements that you need to keep in mind while determining its mood or feeling. Cathedral ceilings, arched doorways, fieldstone fireplaces, Palladian windows, crown moldings, columns, and intricate inlaid flooring are some examples of architectural elements that can influence the the mood or feeling you want to create. So, the question you need to answer is: Can the mood or feeling you want to create be accomplished with the existing architecture, or will you need to make some structural changes?
Lifestyle Strategy: What will be the strategy for creating your unique style?
The most important step in creating a well-designed room is establishing a strategy that delivers your signature style. This is where you need to determine how you are going to create the mood or feeling you chose in step # 2. The furniture and accessories you choose and how they are arranged in the room will help you execute this strategy.
• You need to determine how much dramatic involvement is needed to achieve the mood or feeling, as well as what it takes to accomplish it. What tools will you use? Colors, products, textures, lighting, scale, balance, etc.
• Additionally, in order for a house to feel like a home, it needs to reflect the personality, likes, and preferences of the people who live there.
• Whether your signature style reflects travel and adventure, or historical memorabilia, your personal influence is how you turn a house into a home.
Decide on the "Focal Point" for the room.
A well-designed room needs a focal point. The focal point is the area of the room that attracts the most attention and establishes the inspiration that other design elements will follow. Decide which area of the room you want your eyes to focus on first, and then build the room around this point.
• Some rooms might be void of an existing focal point, so you may need to create one.
• Sometimes a new focal point is created to detract from a less desirable existing focal point.
• Many focal points occur naturally in the home's architecture, such as fireplaces, bookshelves, built-in cabinetry, and picture windows - especially if they showcase a gorgeous view. These features capture the eye and give the feeling of structure and balance to a room.
• If there are too many areas competing for focus, a room can appear disjointed and feel off balance. If there is more than one focal point in a room, the eye needs to be directed where to look first.
Determine the traffic patterns for the room and how they will impact your design.
A well-designed room needs to create and / or account for the traffic flow.
• How do you envision traffic patterns in this room or groups of rooms? This is extremely important. Don't forget, just as you often have hallways connecting rooms, you also have "interior hallways" within rooms. You never want to block one of these "hallways" inside a room. The traffic pattern in the entire structure should also be studied. For example, will normal household traffic enter and exit in this new space? Or, will traffic travel through this room or groups of rooms into another part of the house? All of these aspects need to be considered.
Color: Determine the color pallet that best delivers the lifestyle strategy.
Every color yields certain feelings for most people. You need to select the best color pallet that will support your desired theme.
• Colors found in nature tend to evoke feelings of calmness and restfulness. Reds and oranges are generally used for a kitchen or dining room, as they are lively and tend to stimulate conversation and appetite. Greens and blues are restful and calm colors that promote stability and serenity.
• All colors have a temperature associated with them. Some colors feel cooler, and some feel warmer. You need to make sure the colors that you choose reflect the desired mood or feeling.
• These principles should apply to all aspects of the room, including the furniture, window treatments, accessories, flooring, rugs, and walls.
Scale and Proportion.
Products: Choose the furniture and accessories that best deliver your Lifestyle Strategy.
You need to choose products for your room that will best support your signature style based on all of the design steps we have presented so far.
• Make sure you are aware of the materials, construction, and design elements so that you know what quality and value to expect from the items you are purchasing.
• There are many advantages to choosing a dependable, quality brand name. Manufactures that have stood the test of time will ensure lasting style, durability, and functionality.
• Delivery and set up, a competent service department, and manufacturer's warranties are all important when you invest in products that you intend to use and enjoy for years.
Balance: Position the furniture so they look proportional.
Balance keeps the furniture and accessories in a room from looking disproportionate.
• Symmetry - create balance with the display of furniture and other objects. This should be something that delights the eye, so separate appealing objects so that you don't have too many objects fighting for attention.
• Finding the right balance - There's an extremely fine line between chaos and order - too few furnishings will make a room look cold and unwelcoming, and too many knick-knacks can make a room look messy and cluttered.
• After years of practical experience as interior designers, we can tell you this: balance is everything. In fact, if there's any design lesson that requires mastery, it's this one. The ability to skillfully harmonize the essential elements of a decor - scale, proportion, light, pattern, and color - takes practice, but leads to great success.
Accessorize: Place your accessories throughout the room to enhance your signature style.
The placement of the wall hangings, lighting, and accessories are the leading factor in creating the impact and mood of the room.
• Area rugs can help define your space. Most of the time, they add color and texture as opposed to fulfilling strictly functional purposes.
• When hanging pictures or mirrors, center them 5 to 8 inches above your furniture.
• Generally, lamps are used for function, but depending on the room and placement, they can stand out as a beautiful accent piece.
• Accessories, no matter what type, are an easy and safe way to inexpensively add drama and character to your room.