If scrolling your Pinterest board is making your thumbs sore, then it might be time for a home design refresh. Here’s how to get started.
Review your budget and skills
Before diving into an interior redesign, it’s important to work out how far your funds will take you and whether you need to schedule some professional support. Interior design doesn’t have to involve a full renovation, so don’t worry if your budget is limited. However, if you’re hoping for a more significant transformation, then it’s wise to check your budget and be honest about your skills before knocking holes in any walls. If you’re a renter, then check your lease for details of what sorts of modifications are permitted, and contact your landlord for permissions if necessary.
Pick a style
It’s important to identify design direction and have a plan before you start, or your outcome may be disappointing. Good interior design feels cohesive, suits the space and your taste, and reiterates or echoes elements across the scope of the design. You can change styles between rooms if you want, such as a child’s room that follows a different theme from the rest of the home, but it can feel jarring when you move between spaces, or rooms may seem as if they lack design sense if you don’t have a clear and consistent style from the start.
Strive for balance
First-time designers are often tempted to just pick their favorites at every turn. However, good interior design balances elements and often incorporates things that you wouldn’t appreciate on their own but that support the larger whole. For example, you may love bright, vivid colors, but you should be cautious about painting the walls in every color of the rainbow. Instead, you’ll have more success with picking neutral or pale colors for the walls, and using furnishings, feature walls or design elements, and movable décor items to incorporate color. This leaves you the opportunity to change things more easily when you’re ready for something different. If you opt for strong wall colors, keep in mind that other things should be light and neutral to balance the space.
Manage the light
Light is important in design. It can be used to highlight design elements, make the space more functional, and create moods or feelings. If you’re not doing a full renovation, then you probably won’t be able to change the physical barriers to light (windows and walls). Instead, light fixtures, color use and window coverings are your best tools.
Recessed lighting on dimmer switches is a multipurpose choice, while feature light fixtures contribute more strongly to the design. Sheer drapes offer a light, airy feel with movement, while bay window shutters convey a sense of luxury. Mirrors can be used to better direct limited light, while paler paint colors and pale or neutral décor in general also contribute to a brighter seeming space.
Refresh your interior design by first identifying your budget and personal capabilities. Make a plan and schedule professional support as needed. Aim for a balanced design with neutrals moderating bolder color and pattern choices, and manage your light with fixtures, window coverings and color choices.