Once you have planned your decorating project with a specific focus and set a budget, you'll want to begin the actual design process -- finding inspiration and ideas for your room. Here you will select your color scheme and theme -- as well as work out the basics of your space.
â™¦ Finding Your Inspiration
If you don't already have a color scheme or theme in mind, it's time to find your inspiration. Design centers, furniture stores, magazines and internet home decor sites can be fantastic resources to help you pick a theme or a color scheme.
If you find a picture of a living room you like -- let it be your inspiration and starting point. Or maybe you found a fabulous piece of art that has a theme and color palette you love -- you can use that as the center of your design, too.
With a stated purpose, a collection of ideas and a basic budget, you're ready to start. Continuing with the example from my article entitled, How to Plan Your Next Home Decor Project, this article will use an example for working a living room project.
â™¦ Working Out the Basics
Working out the basics means deciding what you need and how to get. Decide on the basic elements required and draw a couple of quick sketches of how the room could look for furniture placement. You can also find room planning software for this purpose. Don't over think the plan -- just try to get some ideas together. Your goal is to fulfill the purpose of the room within your budget in a look you will enjoy.
If possible, clear the room. A blank slate allows you to move away from your current design. Use what you have available and build from there. In this example, we'll begin with a great geometric area rug found at a garage sale for $50, an existing neutral tan color sofa and the family TV. Around the rug, we'll place seating, tables and the TV.
The area rug is the inspiration for the room -- it has a geometric pattern in brown, red and tan. Picking a multi-color piece like an area rug or piece of artwork is a fantastic "center" to the room and if you pick all of the colors for everything else from that piece, you're guaranteed to have a coordinated color palette. And, in this example, since the pattern of the area rug is geometric, it sets a contemporary or geometric design theme.
Let's further define the project plan -- moving the $150 saved on the area rug to the furniture budget.
The Living Room Project -- Total Budget: $1,000
Purpose: Create a living room for family/friends to socialize and watch TV
Color Palette: Brown, red and tan
Theme: Contemporary or geometric design
$50 Wall Coverings; Plan: Paint
$50 Flooring; Plan: Brown, tan and red geometric area rug
$550 Furniture; Plan: Seating for 6 people (existing tan sofa 3; additional seating 3), 2side tables, coffee table, TV table
$150 Lighting; Plan: Ceiling fixture, 2 table lamps
$200 Accessories; Plan: To be purchased after furniture placement
â™¦ What's Next?
Using a budget plan as guidance for your project will help you to not sabotage your own efforts. In this example, it's easy to see that with a $1,000 budget, buying an $850 floor covering would leave you without funds to complete your room. Try to work within your budget â€“ moving allotted amounts from one category to another as you go along. Remember, if you find a perfect area rug for $50 at a garage sale, you can move $150 to your furniture allowance, etc.
Now it's all laid out for you. You've got a budget, a plan, a theme, a color scheme and a list of everything you need with target prices for each purchase category. It's time for the fun part -- it's time to start shopping. It's usually best to purchase your larger items (like furniture) first and accessories last. You're ready to go on to the next phase of your project.
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This article is part of my Home DÃ©cor series. To read them in the order of a typical home dÃ©cor project start with How to Plan Your Next Home DÃ©cor Project and progress through Finding Inspiration and Ideas for Your Home Decorating Project, Furniture for Sale â€“ How to Find the Perfect Pieces for Your Room, Lighting for Sale â€“ How to Find the Perfect Pieces for Your Room, Shopping for Low Cost Accessories and Selecting the Right Artwork for Your Room.
You'll get a wealth of ideas on how to put it all together and be well on your way to successfully completing your project.
Check back for my coming mini-series with quick decorating tips and projects you can work over a weekend.