Room Makeover Success!

By Anna Hastings
The day has finally come to makeover that certain room in your house.  So, where do you begin?  First and foremost, you need to ask yourself a few important questions so you know what needs to go in the room.  Some questions you might ask would be:
·         What is the purpose of the room?  (Watching TV, playing games, reading, visiting, etc.)
·         Who will use the room?  (Primarily adults, children, animals)
·         What are all of the activities that will take place in the room?
These questions will help you to determine what type of furniture, equipment or accent pieces should or should not go into the room.
Once you have defined the purpose and use of the room, you should do a floor plan.  One of the mistakes people most often make is buying too much furniture for the space they have.  Furniture looks much smaller in a 10,000sf building with high ceilings than it will when placed in a 12’x14’ room in your home.  This is why a floor plan is vital to a successful room design.
The simplest way to do a floor plan is to measure and draw out the perimeter of the room on graph paper.  Be sure to mark all of the windows, doors and openings to other rooms, along with any other architectural elements such as bookshelves and fireplaces.  Once this is done you can cut out furniture pieces from an additional piece of graph paper in simple shapes, making them to scale (i.e., an 84” sofa or a 75” loveseat).  Then, you can move the pieces around until you get the ideal layout for the room, making sure that you have plenty of room for all of your main traffic areas.
So, now that you know what items you need in the room, it’s time to get creative.  If you don’t already have a vision for how you want to decorate the room, start looking for an inspiration piece.  You will know it when you see it.  It might be a great area rug, piece of artwork, or a fabulous fabric.  This will help to give your design some direction and cohesiveness.  Now, you are ready to start selecting the specific items for your room.
I usually start by selecting the items for which there are the fewest choices and then work my way out to the items or accents which offer the most choices, such as paint.  Since there are an infinite number of paint colors, I recommend letting this be the last decision you make for your design even though it might be one of the first things you need to do when you actually put the room together.  If your design calls for an area rug, you might want to start with this selection and then move to fabrics for your upholstered furniture, bedding, window treatments and accessories.  Be sure to keep your inspiration piece in mind, and preferably in front of you, as you make your selections.
Once the major pieces are selected, it is time to put the “jewelry” on.  Now, you can choose the style and hardware for your window treatments and determine what accessories (lamps, artwork, throw pillows, etc) you want to place in the room.  And, last but certainly not least, choose your paint color for your walls if that is part of your plan.  It should be an easy decision to make once you have your inspiration piece and all of your fabrics laid out before you.
But, most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process.  It makes the end result that much sweeter!
For more decorating tips, please visit my website at
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