Design & Plan

1. Know your space

Before you tackle a room redesign, one of the first things you must do is to get to know your space intimately. Take a good look around the room. Measure it. Make a note of the dimensions, and note the location of power outlets and switches. Knowing the size of your room will help you to make the right choices regarding furnishings, floor coverings, paint and accessories. Also make a list of all the items that you will be keeping in the space.

2. What’s going on here?

It’s important to know how people will use this space. List activities the room must accommodate. Depending on the space, it may serve many functions. For example, today’s living rooms are used for a lot more than watching TV. Computer time, reading, listening to music, entertaining family and friends — these are just some of the activities you might want to consider as you design a living room.

3. Make a plan

Based on the functions of the room, create a floor plan plotting where pieces of furniture will be placed. Consider comfort and ease of movement around the room as you plan furniture placement.

Also think of ways to increase the functionality of the space. For example, you could decide to provide more storage by investing in custom cabinetry.

4. Light it up

Lighting is key, whether it’s being able to find your way around the room, carrying out specific tasks or creating a mood. The right lighting can make a big difference in the feel of a space. So remember to think about ambient, task and accent lighting.

Related: 4 common interior design mistakes

5. Picking the pieces

Begin selecting furniture pieces that will fit your floor plan. Remember to double-check your selections against your floor plan measurements. Also make sure that the pieces you select work with the desired look and feel of the room.

You can change your mind

Designers carefully construct a plan or scheme for a project so that they can refer to it throughout the design process. Each item they select is purchased while keeping the overall plan in mind.

The purpose of a plan is to help you reach your goal. So especially in the planning stage, don’t be afraid to change your mind.

Maybe you thought you wanted a sleek look for your sunroom … but after checking out furniture and accessories, you may realize that you’d prefer something a little cozier. It’s natural to explore a direction and then decide it’s not the way you want to go.


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