In case you missed our first article, I recently started a new interior design series in partnership with Living Spaces here on Fab Everyday. I’m working with some of their interior designers to bring you tips and trends for home design and decorating your space. You’ll definitely want to catch up on the first article on 2021 color trends and what it means for interior design trends for 2021 if you haven’t seen it yet. Today we’re sharing the next article in our #FabLiving collaboration, brought to you once again by Living Spaces Interior Designer Brynna Evans. Today’s article is on how to start an interior design project, full of advice from professional designers to kick off your design project to set yourself up for success. Did you know that Living Spaces offers complimentary design services, and a number of other resources to help you take on design projects in your home (big or small)? Click here to book a Virtual Video Appointment or In-Store Personal Shopping Appointment, and check out the Inspiration section of their website for lots of interior design resources (including a 3D room designer!).
With us all spending so much more time at home this year, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been inspired to update at least one part of your home with some refreshed decor. While this kind of creative project can be a lot of fun (and will yield lovely results for your living space), it can also feel a little daunting to kick it all off. Getting yourself organized at the start is a great way to manage it all, along with taking advantage of professional help when you can! Here are 10 things you’ll need for a successful design appointment, or to organize and begin any home decor update. Stay tuned for more interior design ideas and insights here on Fab Everyday, and follow @livingspaces on Instagram for ongoing home style inspiration.
10 Things You’ll Need for a Successful Design Appointment
By Brynna Evans, Interior Designer, Living Spaces
Throughout my five years with Living Spaces, I have noticed that most customers don’t know what to bring with them to design consultations. There will be customers who show up with their measurements, photos, and idea boards. Whereas other customers come in with just an idea and want you to make it work. There is no right or wrong way to design a home. However, here are ten things you’ll need to make your design appointment a success.
The first step is to consider what rooms you will be working on and the priorities in those rooms. Is the space going to be multifunctional, or only have one purpose? For example, your living room could also be used as a bedroom when you have family or friends in town. The simple solution would be adding a sofa sleeper or a daybed into the design to help assist function and maintain the integrity of the room. Let your designer know your main priorities and other areas you may remodel in the future.
Knowing whether you can wait a couple of months, or if you need everything right away is very important when selecting merchandise for your project. This will help us choose items that fall within the specific time frame you have chosen. It is worth the wait if you want a particular color or style, however. Many things can be customized to your specific needs that are part of our special order collection. Why get something you don’t love when you can wait and get something that will make a statement in the room.
When it comes time to select new furniture, make sure you have a budget in mind for the project. Whether that be for each room you are working on or the home as a whole. This will be one of the critical elements a Designer will need when selecting items. A great way to make the budget stretch is to focus on the main aspects of the space: i.e., mattress, bed, sofa, dining table. Then, with thirty percent of the budget, add the accessories and other elements that add to the overall style. Financing is another way to help stretch the budget further. Most stores will have promotions with their financing company to help the customer make monthly payments. Through Living Spaces, we offer no interest on all purchases through Synchrony Bank with an approved application. This will qualify you for six, twelve, or eighteen months with no interest, depending on the purchase amount.
I know most of us have created many idea boards with room inspiration on Pinterest. This is a great way to help your designer distinguish specific details you are interested in, especially if you are unsure what style you gravitate towards. Bringing in those inspirational pieces makes it easier for us to help you create the room of your dreams. When I look at customers’ boards, there are usually common themes or colors, even if that wasn’t intended. Try and piece together your favorite pieces into one Pinterest board, so you don’t have to go searching through all your pins to find the ones you love. Another tool we have on our website is the wishlist tab. You can shop the website and add items to your wishlist and share them with your designer. That way we know you have looked at some of our products online and can suggest similarities that might work better for your home.
The most important thing to bring to your consultation is dimensions. Make sure to measure all areas of focus. The walls throughout the room are essential but don’t forget the windows, doors, hallways, stairways, and ceiling heights. We want to make sure the pieces you love will fit the space correctly. The doorways are also crucial because some oversized items may not fit in the home’s entrances. You don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “It will fit through my door, no problem!”. Then the person comes back in for a refund due to the item not fitting into the desired location. Apartments and older homes tend to have the most difficulty with this issue. If you are on the second floor or above, make sure the item you have selected is below 88″ in length so your delivery team can stand it up and make the easy transition into your home.
Photos & Videos:
The most common thing I hear is, “Don’t mind the mess” when asking for pictures of the space. Don’t be embarrassed. There is no need to clean and stage the room before taking the photos. Trust me; we’ve seen it all! Visuals are a designer’s best friend. Whether the space is empty or fully furnished, it gives us reference points for your layout. It also comes in handy when using our 3D Room Planning software in our design studio to show you the items with the correct structural elements in place. Videos are also great for us to understand the flow from room to room.
Many people aren’t willing to get rid of all their furniture at once unless you are starting over or just moving. Let your designer know if you plan on keeping any items in the room or if they can be moved elsewhere to another space. This way, we can incorporate existing furniture into the overall design of the room. I have a mixture of antiques in my living and dining rooms. I have chosen to accent these items with a sectional and modern farmhouse decorations. Mixing today’s styles with my grandparents’ Mid-Century wooden furniture pieces. I am lucky these pieces happen to be on-trend right now, making it a little easier to incorporate them into my design. But don’t worry, we will try our best to incorporate your pieces without compromising the integrity of the design.
What type of emotion are you trying to accomplish with this remodel? A zen master bedroom for you and your spouse to unwind in. A brightly colored kids playroom that can hide all the toys and games. A cozy living room for you and your family to binge watch tv in. Helping us gather insight into your lifestyle will help with selecting the right furniture for your home. If you are unsure of the feeling you are trying to accomplish throughout the design, talk to your designer. We will help you understand what functions and furniture items are perfect for your situation.
Once you have an idea in mind, it is important to know what materials you like and dislike. People with children or pets will often avoid fabrics of light colors due to staining that is likely to happen. Glass or metal objects will require more maintenance because they are fragile and easily smudged. Depending on your lifestyle, you may not want to take on those materials. However, if the room is not used often, you may decorate with more fragile materials there, while in the common spaces, decorate with something more durable and resilient to stains.
Style of home:
Knowing the architectural style of the house could make a difference in selecting pieces. For example, Mission-style is known for specific wooden detailing, dark wood tones, and warm color palettes. Knowing this, we wouldn’t choose modern items for the design; they would stand out like a sore thumb. If you are unsure of the home style, bring in pictures of the detailing and architecture so your designer can make suggestions for the specific era. Many architectural details are stationary, which also can impact the design. If there are archways, fireplaces, moldings, wooden beams, or other specific elements, inform us of their location.
Now that we have reviewed the ten pieces of information needed to complete a successful design project, you should be able to make the most of your next design project! If you require design assistance, please go online and set up an appointment to meet with one of our designers at livingspaces.com. We will start our appointments by having you fill in a questionnaire with all of the information we have gathered above to help select a designer perfect for your design needs.
About the Author
My name is Brynna Evans, I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I completed her Interior Design degree. Since then I have moved to Southern California with my boyfriend Joshua and our two dogs, Milo and Mazie. I started working in flooring, but quickly moved on to work for Living Spaces Furniture as an Interior Designer. Where I have been there for the last five years helping guests complete their home design projects. Recently I have been working on a design coalition creating courses for team members to become designers throughout the company. My personal designs are inspired by my love for nature, which I use to create unique and colorful spaces.
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