by Karen Kloostra
Do you have that one room in your home that never quite feels right or complete? You’re certainly not alone. The following tips will help make finishing that project much easier. Whether you have a clean slate or are looking to refresh and breath some life into an existing room, it’s all about how you approach it. Take it step-by-step, and you’ll have a fabulous, finished space in no time!
Start with a budget. It’s hard to know where you’re headed until you know how much money you have to spend. If your budget is large, maybe you want to get rid of everything and start over with a blank canvas. If your budget is limited, there are still a number of things that can be done to create an amazing space.
Once a budget is established, analyze your space to determine what needs to go. With fresh eyes, look at your room as if you’re walking into it for the first time. Take a photo and look at it objectively. Are there hand-me-downs or items that you’ve never really liked? Now is the time to clean out and declutter. If all of your seating pieces are the same color, it’s time to mix it up. Look for the glaringly obvious pieces that are either the wrong color or scale (overstuffed furniture makes a small or modest-sized room feel even smaller). Once you’ve physically cleared them out, you will have a room that is easier to work with.
Based on your budget and aesthetic preferences, plan for your biggest purchases first. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have an attention-grabbing feature in your room such as a fireplace, a stunning view or TV/entertainment center that you want to accentuate? Do you have a favorite piece of art, rug or accessory that can serve as the inspiration to plan your room or color scheme around?
Use these answers to center your design and plan your purchases. With a large budget, you may be considering new flooring, wall covering (paint or paper), built-ins or cabinetry, furniture, rugs, artwork, tables, lamps, pillows and décor pieces. If you have a limited budget, you might want to consider refurbishing these pieces. Remember, paint is your friend! Fresh paint can make a world of difference and is one of the least expensive options when freshening up your space. You can also use paint to add a pop of color to an old end table or TV cabinet.
Once you’ve decided which pieces in the room need to be changed or replaced, it’s time to research your options and make selections. Remember, if you’re ordering furniture, custom upholstery pieces can take up to eight weeks, so try and make those decisions first and then build from there. Ask your retailer if they can order a sample for you, so you have it (and your paint swatch, room dimensions, etc.) with you when you’re out shopping. While you’re making your choices, be sure to incorporate at least a little texture and pattern for visual interest – try a chunky-knit pillow or throw, or fill a decorative container with woven balls, corks or beach sand.
Once the paint has dried and all your new or refurbished pieces are in place, give yourself a pat on the back – you did it! Now mark the occasion by throwing a party—you know all your friends are dying to see what you’ve done!
Karen is a fourth-generation member of Huizen Furniture and leads the design direction of its Stonesthrow store. She assists with unique design needs and provides leadership for the design team of the company’s two stores – Huizen Furniture Stonesthrow.