It’s the time of year when we start thinking about the upcoming holidays, when family and friends gather indoors to visit, share meals and celebrate. After the long warm summers spent outdoors, it’s also the time that we want to give our homes a well deserved update, ready to welcome our nearest and dearest.
As designers, we love to work on these type of interior design projects, giving us an opportunity to highlight each client’s unique style and present them with custom options to create spaces that serve their needs for years to come. The best bit? With a little advance planning, the perfect room refresh can be achieved in as little as a day! To help you get started, we’ve created our top 5 tips to plan your perfect room makeover.
Create a mood board.
This is something that designers use as a starting point for a design, but thanks to online resources like Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram, it’s easy for you to do too. We use Houzz with our clients, encouraging them to gather inspiration from other projects and websites and gathering them into categories - colors, fabrics, furniture, lighting and even details like moulding and fireplaces.
Make sure you note what appeals to you about each image / product, and you’ll quickly build up a clear picture of your ideal room, and what features will work well together. Remember that not everything you fall in love with will work together in the same space, so experiment by rearranging and overlaying images until you find your perfect combination.
2. Blend colors, patterns and textures.
One of the biggest mistakes we see in room decor is using too little variation in colors, textures and patterns, giving a room a bland and uninspiring feel. To avoid that impersonal ‘hotel chain’ feel, a room needs the same variations that you would find in a beautiful landscape or garden - straight lines and curves, smooth and textured, subtle and bold.
While some people are comfortable taking the DIY option here, this is one of the places where hiring a professional can save you both time and expensive mistakes. We can show you a wider range of options, have experience knowing what paints, fabrics and furnishings work together and can give valuable advice on what will specific products will work with your lifestyle needs. Designers have done the research already, both on other projects and at industry and trade events, so you can learn from our experience and often, hands on testing.
Having a professional on your team helps you take more confident choices, elevating your room to a whole new level and inspiring combinations that reflect your unique style. We have access to products that are not available on the high street and are often much more cost effective than clients anticipate (more on that later), and as most offer a free initial consultation, it’s easy to find the perfect partner.
3. Use accent pieces.
If the rest of the room aims to bring a feeling of harmonious welcome, accent pieces bring the charm and individuality. Most clients that we work with will have something that gives them joy - whether a family portrait, a rug, a piece of art or a personal memento.
These are the things that add visual interest and bring a room together, so we always seek out pieces that complement the existing furnishings and decor while reflecting the client’s unique style. Great ways to add touches of interest and luxury are throw pillows in an upscale fabric, a new rug or statement light fixture or artwork.
4. Blend comfort and practicality
Think you have to choose one? Think again! While big name furniture retailers charge a hefty premium for ‘performance’ fabrics, cushion upgrades and use overseas production, designers like Project Guru Design partner directly with US furniture makers who offer every piece custom made to exacting standards, in finishes that can withstand real family life. Each piece is unique to the client, who can choose from hundreds of designs and fabrics and your designer works directly with the manufacturer so that your new furniture is tracked from start to finish, rather than being part of an anonymous mass production run.
We recently completed two extensive home furnishing projects and were again reminded of the difference in quality between the new custom made sofas and chairs, versus (more expensive) well known high end stores. Details like included arm caps and throw pillows, perfect lines of piping and immaculate internal finishes to slipcovers put manufacturers like MT Company in our list of preferred suppliers and consistently delight our clients.
5. Plan your project timeline
The adage ‘the best things come to those who wait’ is never truer than with home remodels. Most made to order furnishings take at least six weeks from order to delivery, and the same applies for the best service providers. Allowing yourself a 10 - 12 week lead time means that you can take advantage of any offers that manufacturers have planned, use standard (and much more cost effective!) shipping options and plan your whole refresh into a single day or weekend.
From a design perspective, the longer lead time allows you to test out samples from a range of suppliers in your own home in different lights, to get detailed quotes for any work that you need done, and once orders are places, to take care of those little details that we so often run out of time for! In other words, you get your perfect new space on schedule, on budget and ready to celebrate!