May 27, 2020
From the moment we put money down on our first urban-apartment turned-condominium space, I began dreaming about what it could be. We purchased a country plaid denim blue and green sofa, refinished a pine entertainment center, and borrowed an antique dining table passed down through my husband’s family. It was a small space, but we made it home, and I loved it.
Whether in a cookie cutter suburban housing development, a quaint house in a historic neighborhood, a city apartment, or a country estate, we all have on thing in common: we want to love the place we call home. It should be a space that is functional, reflects our story, and contains beauty.
Here are five ways to plan a space you’ll love:
Decide on the best function for the room
What is the best function for the room? Does it need to hold a lot of people, food, or other? Is the room being used to its potential? How can the space be re-worked to better accommodate the needs at hand? For example, in the house we are in now, we converted a laundry room to a pantry off the kitchen. The laundry went in a storage room in the basement. I chose food storage over a handy place to wash clothes – it was my choice and I love the switch.
Make a design plan
Do not begin a project without a design plan. Make color choices, decide on lighting, tape out furniture, choose flooring and/or rugs, and figure out table and accent pieces. Begin with the end in mind and work backwards. Sites like Pic Monkey and Canva are a great way to create your own design board for free.
DIY what you can
Even easy room makeovers can be expensive. Do as much as possible yourself. Labor is often the most expensive part. You’ll feel especially proud of the room knowing you put your own sweat labor into it. Side note: paint and new hardware can transform almost any piece of furniture. I’ve painted bed frames, bookshelves, side tables, coffee tables, and chairs to refresh pieces I already had. My favorite items to do are outdoor deck furniture and planters. I’ve even painted fire tables.
Include your personality and story
Your home is YOU: it holds your story and all who have been a part. Place meaningful pieces, collections, or pictures around your home. This gives a home warmth and personality. The key here is to cluster like items so they aren’t scattered all over giving the room a cluttered feel. For example, my sister collects crosses from all over the world. She has them grouped and displayed in her dining room.
Add key furniture pieces to scale
Begin purchasing key pieces for your space, knowing it may take a year or two to get everything you want. Most people buy too small of an item for their space. When in doubt, tape it out! Don’t be afraid of large scale items. Chances are it will give a professionally designed look to your wall or corner. Also, add plants. If something feels missing in a space, it is often this detail!
I’m excited for you to re-purpose, re-use, and re-design! You truly can be happier than you are in your space with some intentional planning.
Tell me. What room are you planning to re-do?