My husband and I moved into our first home a couple months ago. Now that we are all moved in we have begun the incredibly exciting task of designing our space and undertaking some small builds to make it feel like home.
We purchased a 1950s 1.5 story Cape Cod in Prairie Village, KS. The house was remodeled in 2009 so the major work has been done for us. But we enjoy an eclectic taste of modern mixed with mid century mixed with antique store finds mixed with traditional. Our house has four modest bedrooms, living room, dining room, bonus room on the back of the house, gallery kitchen, two bathrooms and an unfinished basement. Our house has fairly traditional finishings so we are looking to modernize things a bit with the décor.
Planning is Paramount
My best advice for you is to live in your home a little while before making any major design decisions. Chances are once you begin to use the space you will find different functionality for your rooms and design tastes. I have already rearranged the furniture numerous times and decided I don’t like one of the new couches I ordered! But once you feel settled in make sure you take the time to plan out your spaces. A couple things I find helpful in planning for a room:
- Take notes. Look through design sites, magazines and blogs to pick out features you like. Cut out pictures. Even if features are out of your price range you can piece together a style board and then think about how you can do it on the cheap.
- Pick a focal point of your room. Whether it is an architectural element, piece of furniture or favorite color, make sure you have something to base the room off of. This will keep your style cohesive.
- Do some research. For example you might have the perfect idea of style of furniture but find its out of your price range or difficult to find. Or pick a paint color that totally clashes once you commit an entire wall to it (sadly I know from experience). Issues such as these can change the entire set up and design of your room.
- Make a sketch. Sketch out your room and the furnishings to scale (especially if you plan to order new furniture) to make sure everything will fit and be comfortable in the space.
- If you are uncertain about different elements in your room keep them neutral. If you can’t decide on furniture pieces, cabinetry, paint colors, etc. error on the side neutrality. It’s always easier to infuse color into a room with detailed accents but covering up your bright yellow sofa or red walls proves a little more difficult.
In order to keep the design process from becoming overwhelming we are tackling one room at a time. This also keeps us motivated and feeling a sense of accomplishment as we complete parts of our house. Phase I will be the design of the living room and creation of an entry way space as the front door opens up directly into the living room. First order of business is building some custom shelving to highlight the fireplace, our focal point of the room. Oh, and figuring out something to do with all those cords. Stay tuned…