First, don't assume that you can't afford a designer. In fact a good designer can actually save you money. There are literally hundreds of decisions that can go into a good design and making the right choices not only saves unwanted delays and headaches but in the end avoids mistakes that can also cost you money.
I've found that many clients spend money unwisely in the beginning of a project not realizing how important it is to focus on the priorities in a room. Experienced designers know what things can be changed, redone or added that not only make the most difference in your decor but also are the most cost effective. It could be a new coverlet instead of a new bed or an area rug that adds interest rather than spending hundreds of dollars installing new carpeting.
The number one question I've been asked over the years is "What color should I paint my room?" Sounds simple doesn't it? While choosing your paint color would seem to be the first item in redesigning a room you should pause and consider the larger picture.
Paint color is the backdrop for your room that doesn't change and when the curtain opens it's what steals the show! You may have the painter all lined up and what you think is the right color but don't rush into it. In my designs, when possible, the paint color choice is made last because when all the other parts of the room are put together the paint color becomes very obvioius.
When you have a well developed and thought out design within your space the right choice of color is the icing on the cake.
There a several ways to rework a room on a budget. First stand back and look at the room with a critical eye. Then sit down with some graph paper and pencil and make a plan. I usually start with where the furniture should be placed and this will determine things like where the pictures need to be hung. The furniture grouping will then determine even what size the rug may need to be. Fabric choices become easier now that the furniture arrangement has been made.
When I sit down with a client for a design consultation I usually address room arrangement first, as every else depends on it. So grab your pencil and make that plan... it's amazing what you can do with a plan on a budget.
Room arrangement, as we've talked about, is also foremost in making your room flow. Where the television is placed and how people will enter and leave the room all need to be considered for good flow. Once this function has been determined it will help determine your lighting, where the tables will need to be placed and help to further define the room flow.
Many of my clients ask me whether they should reupholster their old furniture or buy new. Also they are interested in what is the most cost effective. Generally speaking if the frame is the right proportion and is pleasing in the overall design it is certainly wise to consider reupholstery. In this scenario one is more likely to be able to get a higher quality fabric than if they were buying new with the same fabric choice. However if the proportion and design of chair are not aesthetically pleasing in the space then a new piece should be considered . Nancy will advise with these decisions and many times gives estimates showing the differences in cost.
There are many things to consider when deciding whether it's better to recover or replace a piece of furniture. Some things to consider in your decision are:
How is the condition of the frame, cushions etc.?
Does the style of the frame still work in the new room design?
Does the scale of the piece work in the the room?
Does it have sentimental value or personal value?
This is one of the questions that everyone facing the wonderful idea of recreating a room has to fiqure out. It turns out the answer is quite simple - it should be a reflection of you, your family and the people that occupy the space. It is your space so make it your own.
Find out what colors you like and what you want in the space. How do you want the space to function for you and others? Who will be living there and most important what mood do you want to create? Are there memories you want to carry in here and is there anything whimsical that you enjoy?
Now its time to start choosing your fabric, art and anything fun that all say "You"!