Putting together a beautiful space is harder than you think. Though you may have a vague notion of what you want a room to look like, if you start without a plan, you’ll make mistakes and quickly lose momentum and that’s why we decide to compile a list of things to keep in mind while designing the perfect room of your dreams.
1. DECIDING THE PURPOSE OF THE ROOM
Some areas are more straightforward, such as dining rooms used for eating, and office rooms for working. However, many spaces aren’t so cut and dry. A room for relaxing should look very different from one for studying, and it may not even resemble one used for formal entertaining. Overall, you should base the décor, color scheme, furniture materials, layout and overall feel of the room on what it will be used for the most.
For instance, plenty of people have living room in their homes, but that doesn’t mean they have an identical purpose. If you plan on inviting your friends for a game night, it’s important to have video game consoles, tables and chairs and storage furniture for game discs and board games. Others enjoy having a group over to watch movies or football, so they’d prioritize a nice TV, ergonomic seating and places guests can put down their food and drinks.
Ask yourself basic questions about what you want and need. Focus on your current priorities and circumstances, and then be prepared to design around the function of a room. A kitchen shouldn’t lack the appliances and furniture required for meal preparation, and a bedroom should be centered around a comfortable bed. Are you converting what used to be a guest room into a home office? You’ll need to make some major changes. Do you have any children or pets? Keep them in mind during the process as well.
2. THINK ABOUT THE ROOM’S LAYOUT BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING
Each room has its own unique dimensions that you have to work around. Think about the size and scale of the space, the style of your home’s interior and exterior and the neighborhood you live in. Take cues not just from the bare bones measurements but from your surroundings as well.
Begin by mapping out the layout of your room on graph paper. You can either have your interior designer take care of it or do it yourself, if you know how to render it to scale. Then put down pieces of tape on the floor where you want certain items to be or based on specific furniture pieces you have in mind. Contemplate how you want the room organized before you start designing it, then purchase or arrange the furniture to fit that layout.
The worst thing that could happen is going through with buying something only to realize it’s out of place. You don’t want a dining room table that’s too big to get through the door or a sectional that sits awkwardly along the wall. From living room furniture to home office essentials, you don’t want anything to feel cramped, out of scale, or poorly positioned. Not to mention, every room has its own physical limitations beyond dimensions, such as pre-existing features like electrical outlets, doors/windows, and fireplaces. The layout you draw up should consider them as well.
Check out our guide to picking the right size furniture for more tips on how to arrange your space.
3. LEAVE SOME FREE SPACE
As we touched on in the previous section, space should be part of the equation in your room’s layout. Free space makes a room feel larger, and it reserves room for any future additions. Don’t feel like your goal should be to completely fill the room. That said, you don’t have to be a minimalist to appreciate the power of a little extra space.
Overcrowding a room can lead to restlessness, while enough space will make you feel more peaceful. Your room will even appear cleaner without the clutter of too much furniture or too many decorations. It’s key to leave the right amount of space for the activities of the room and for walking through, otherwise known as the traffic flow. Avoid arranging your furniture against the wall, as that will make your room look smaller.
4. DON’T BUY FURNITURE THAT’S TOO BIG
Oversized furniture also factors into the layout of a room. Some pieces of large furniture are luxurious, but others will easily overwhelm the room. At the same time, a carefully chosen piece that’s out of scale — whether it’s dining room furniture or a painting — can really make a statement. All you’re left to do is measure, plan and measure again. Find furniture that will fit like a puzzle piece in your space.
When you go shopping, make sure you buy for the future. Don’t invest in furniture you don’t foresee yourself loving in a few years, pieces that will be hard to move to a new home or items that aren’t versatile enough to incorporate into different spaces later on. Consider consulting with an interior designer for recommendations on sizes and types of furniture that coordinate with the room you’re designing as well as lend themselves to future uses. Don’t settle for something in a showroom floor just because you can get it fast, it’s worth special ordering the right piece and waiting a little longer.
5. PLAN YOUR ROOM’S LIGHTING
One component of interior design that people often forget is lighting. The size and location of windows, the position of built-in lighting and the placement of lamps all make a difference in the layout of a room. After you’ve designed the bulk of the room, that’s when you need to think about the lighting situation, from ceiling or wall lights to table or floor lamps.
Integrate a variety of lighting in your space, utilizing both task and ambient lights. Have a few different lamps scattered around so you have options for the amount of light in the area, and consider converting your conventional switches to dimmers for even more versatility! Don’t let your room become too gloomy with opaque curtains and dark walls or furniture, but at the same time, don’t install overwhelmingly bright lights that will be hard on the eyes when night falls. Lighting can make or break the feel of a room, so be sure it fits with your design goals and the purpose of the space.
It’s important to note that the number one factor in room design is personalization. Don’t just go for what’s trendy at the time, go for what’s meaningful to you. Reveal your hobbies and interests, and show people what you hold dearest. Reach out to us for a free consultation.