Got blank walls? Stuck in a decorating rut? We have all been there, listening to the echo thrum through empty halls, wondering, How on earth do I fill this space and where do I begin?
It is more than a little intimidating to begin decorating a home, no matter how big or small. We want to do it right and we have a budget that leaves little room for costly mistakes, so we need to do it right the first time, but how?
Here are ten ways to step up, jump in and conquer that home designer’s creative block head on:
1) Go on Home Tours
What better way to learn what you like (and dislike) than to look at how others do it? With the summer season upon us, realtors are opening the doors of all their listings, welcoming everyone inside to take a peek.
Even if you are not in the market for a new home, consider walking through some open houses in neighborhoods you admire. Note the way the home is staged, the colors they choose and the way the furniture is placed. If there is something you admire, perhaps take a picture so that you can mimic it in your own home.
2) Pin Till Your Fingers Hurt
Perhaps you feel uncomfortable walking through a bunch of open houses—especially if you aren’t in the market for a new home. Sites like Pinterest and Freshome are the next best solution.
Create boards on these sites and gather images of all the housewares and designs that catch your eye. Remember, you are in the learning stage. The purpose of all this browsing and pinning is to learn what your eye is drawn to. It is imperative you become acquainted with your own unique style before you begin to decorate.
3) Window Shop and Browse, But Don’t Buy
Yes, more looking, but like we said, it is better to look and become acquainted with what you truly love before buying. Decorator showrooms are great sources for browsing high-end furnishings and housewares.
These showrooms are usually decked out in all the latest and greatest design trends, showing you a vast range of decor styles, allowing you to gravitate to the ones that speak to who you are. The things you like may surprise you. You may discover a style you never even knew you had. Stop yourself from buying at first sight because the next section below will tell you how to get these showroom designs at bargain prices.
4) Hire a Designer
There is a myth that only wealthy people can afford to hire an interior designer. This is untrue—anyone can hire a designer. No matter your budget, there is an interior designer or decorator out there who can meet your needs—even if it’s just an initial small job of choosing paint colors for your home. You just have to do your research first.
Here’s the other great advantage of hiring a designer: they can get you all those showroom pieces at a discount. Designer showrooms usually offer a designers discount of up to 40-50%.
5) Ask a Friend
Do you have a friend whose taste you admire? If there is someone you know who seems to have a natural knack for design, then ask them for advice. Perhaps ask them to accompany you on a shopping trip, but remember to get what you like, don’t buy something just because someone else pressures you to like it.
Maybe you have a room in your home that you want to overhaul, if so, ask your friend to come over and help you edit the room. Take out everything that doesn’t work within the room and assess what is left. Now ask yourself what the room is missing—color? pillows? a cool piece of art? dramatic curtains? This gives you an idea where to begin and what to look for when shopping or browsing.
6) Paint Swatches
Choosing paint is always a tricky undertaking that is seldom done right the first time. Of course, paint swatches help a lot, but there are ways to learn about color and how it works in your space without swathing your walls in blocks of random colors.
Freshome offers many informative articles on color theory, helping you to choose the right color the first time. Here are just a few of our helpful articles. Read these before you go to the paint store to become a color-savvy design pro: Learn about color theory and the color wheel, 10 Things to Know Before you Paint, How Color Affects Your Mood. Or in place of paint, try wall paper (the same color theories apply to paper.)
7) Use a Virtual Room
Technology is amazing isn’t it? There seems to be an app for everything, and now there are numerous apps and online design programs to aide your design choices.
Here we have highlighted 10 free virtual room designers to help you navigate the plethora of online options. Mashable has also compiled a list of 6 home design apps. Browse through all these online options to discover which ones meet your personal needs. Whether it’s as simple as choosing paint color or as complicated as remodeling a kitchen—these tools offer help for it all.
There’s something to be said about making mistakes—sometimes mistakes are the best avenue to learning. Sometimes this is what it takes to get it right— trying, discovering something is still wrong, and then trying again till you get it right.
Depending on the scale of your design project, this can become costly and it can test your patience. However, for those with an adventuresome spirit; those who are willing to make a few mistakes along the way, this can be a great experiment to discover what your design sense truly is. So go ahead and paint your walls that daring red. You may discover your new favorite color, or perhaps you will make an epic fail and learn never to make that mistake again.
9) Look to Your Culture and Passions
A home should reflect its owner. After all, we do not invest all our heard-earned money into our home only to mimic someone else, do we?
In order for a home to truly speak to who you are, it should reflect your culture and passions. Is your ancestry Scottish? Perhaps your home should have a den decked out in plaids reflecting your tartan. Do you love the ocean? Well, your home should echo the beach with light cottage colors or jars of sea glass, perhaps. Essentially, your home should reflect who you are. Design it in a manner that tells visitors where you come from and what you love.
10) Just Do It
As the famous Nike brand says, just do it. There is no better way to get out of a rut than to simply step forward and do something. Working toward a goal without a particular end in sight can be exhilarating. And sometimes the end result far exceeds your imagination.
A room design is fluctuating. You cannot design a room overnight and have all the pieces perfectly placed. It takes time and tweaking to get it right, so just do it and step forward to make the first design move. The end result will come with time and as you discover your tastes along the way.
Are you feeling a bit more creative now? Simply step forward and start your decorating adventure. It takes time and lots of browsing to discover your own unique design taste, so have fun, enjoy the ride and learn from your mistakes.
What gets you in a creative design mood?