Ok, you want to re-design your home but you have absolutely no idea where to begin. Probably the most embarrassing part of this whole dilemma is that you don’t even know yourself well enough to be able to make a decision on what you would like to re-design your home with. First of all, you are not alone. Most people are too busy getting to know others to take the time to get to know themselves. Second of all, there is a way to re-design your home, like a pro, and get to know yourself along the way. “How?”, you may ask. Well design is much more then simply slapping paint on the walls and drapes on the windows. Design is in fact a good measure of psychology. On that note, Doc is going to give you nine ideas that will help you grasp the psychology of design and achieve professional results within your home.
1. When I design a home for a customer the first place I head is the closet. Now this may sound utterly absurd but in fact it is the most sure fire way to find out what it is you like. Get started by organizing your clothes first by color and then by design. This is also a great time to get rid of all those things you no longer wear. Done properly you will have a section of reds, for example, and within that section a section of, say floral designs, that are red. Once the entire closet is organized stand back and see what you have. Almost all reds and lots of bold, non-floral designs? Then that would be your obvious favorite choice of design and color and would be what you want to look for when shopping for fabrics and paints.
2. Now that you have your paints and fabric patterns down pat head for your jewelry box. Have a lot of silver and no gold? Then accent your new design with hits of silver. Is your jewelry Victorian inspired and mainly gold? Then design your room in the Victorian genre with ample hits of gold.
3. Head into your own mind. Find a quiet place to sit and relax. Sit back and begin to bring your mind to the happiest memory you can think of. Is it a romp in the park with Grandpa? Perhaps opening gifts under a fragrant Christmas tree? What do you smell in your vision? What do you hear? What do you see? These sensory queues are perfect design ideas for a relaxing bedroom or bathroom oasis. For the Christmas scene try hits of red and green in the room. Since they are opposites on the color wheel they always work well together. Also, green is very soothing while red invigorates. Now add candles that smell just like pine. The result should be that, every time you enter this room, you are instantly transported back to a happy place and therefore become instantly relaxed.
4. Look to your favorite hotel. Do you have a favorite little getaway that screams romance and relaxation? Use photos from the hotel brochure or from your own family photo album to “borrow” design ideas, colors and textures for your own romantic getaway right at home. And don’t worry about the hotel’s designer getting upset about snitching ideas from him or her. Copying is the highest form of flattery after all.
5. Shop your own home. Look around you. We all have castoffs from friends and family around our home. Hate that Victorian bureau your husband dragged home but love the streamlined dresser that mom gave you? Then you most certainly are leaning more towards the contemporary look and should design your home with streamlined, no frills products.
6. Head to your local big box hardware or paint store. Start by grabbing every paint chip that catches your eye and makes you say, “Wow!”. Bring these home and spread them out on a neutral colored table in a room full of natural sunlight. Now begin playing with them. Love the blue one against the green one but think that the blue could be a bit overwhelming in the room? Use the green as your main color and the blue as a complimenting color. Have the colors before you changed since you got them home? Don’t worry, you are still perfectly sane. Colors tend to change depending on the light in which you have them. Should you have a normal home you will be using a combination of natural light and regular light bulbs not those ugly florescent overheads that your store has.
7. Want a little extra pizazz but have no clue how to do faux painting? Call your local big box store, paint store or even your local senior center or college to find faux painting classes in your area. Some are even offered free of charge. No time to attend a class? Check out articles on faux painting by Doc or head to your library to take out books on the subject. I myself didn’t get brilliant overnight when it came to faux paint techniques and they surely never taught that class to me in design school. I had to learn the same way you will, through good old fashioned hard work and trial and error. Not to mention a few pieces of colorful language and a lot of tears! Hey, if I can do it then anyone can.
8. Have no money in the budget for fancy curtains or upholstery? Do the same thing you did with faux painting. Search out classes and books on the subject. Still unsure? Try asking a seamstress to barter with you in such places as Craigslist. Some designers, such as Doc, are even willing to barter for their multi-talented services. Just don’t be afraid to ask because this is one element of successful design that is intimidating for even seasoned designers, like Doc. To be honest, I’ve upholstered dining room chairs and sewn enough pillows, bedspreads, quilts and curtains to blanket the world but I’ve never upholstered a couch in my life. I always use slipcovers or send the job out to seamstresses such as my mother-in-law or grandmother. For the actual material try yard sales, thrift stores and clearance racks. You would be surprised at the deals you can get. I’ve scored beautiful fabric for as low as $.50 a yard in the past. If you are really talented at sewing then buy cheap prefabricated curtains and rework them for a custom look.
9. Dare to try anything, no matter how ridiculous it seems at the time. The most common thing that any designer hears from a client is, “I rather play it safe and do all neutrals because I’d hate to mess up my room.” That is pure hogwash to be quite frank with you. Who cares if you mess up? Walls can be re-painted and curtains can be taken down just as easily as they went up. Besides, if you don’t take the plunge how will you ever find your true design self? I myself am always experimenting, much to my husband’s chagrin, with my own home’s design. Just keep in mind the few things that should be safe and neutral, such as flooring and light fixtures. For these make sure you have something that works with any wall and curtain color and is timeless in design. My mother is a fine example of a trying client who had to be forced out of her comfort zone. She kept everything in her home white because that was safe in her eyes. I got a hold of the house and began painting. She was horrified at first and I had to keep reassuring her all was fine. However, when everything was tied together, she was beyond delighted. I see no more white in her future and shouldn’t see any in your future either should you take my advice.
As usual, should you have any questions feel free to leave me a message along with a way to respond to your question. I’m always happy to help.