house designs

The unsexy part of design

Bell Ave Floor Plan.jpg

I'll admit when I first thought about doing interior design I imagined fabric swatches and paint samples, hunting down treasures at antique stores and going shopping with clients. 

The reality is that you have to do the hard parts first before you can start playing with fabric samples. The rest of the design falls apart if you do not have a solid base. 

I'm working with a fabulous couple and they have done what I usually recommend-which is to live in the home for awhile so they could decide what they wanted to do. That and they've set a budget.  The home has a kitchen with a dining area and a living area in the back of the house. The front living room and dining room, would generally be more formal, but they decided they don't want a formal dining room. They have a record player and love to listen to records but beyond that they just want a space to entertain and hang out in. 

I'm a pretty intuitive and empathetic person, which I feel helps me suss out people's design styles pretty easily. I also have my clients fill out a questionnaire, share a Houzz or Pinterest board with me and I take a look at the rest of the house. 

The very first thing I do when I meet with a client is to measure their space. We do also talk about their design style, living needs and color preferences. Then I'll pull together a first draft of a mood board. Here's a sample of some of the pins I pulled. 

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Sometimes, I rely on pinterest for a little inspiration, but in this case I already knew what the style was and I needed some layout ideas. My clients definitely have a mid-century modern clean vibe with a color palette of blues and greens. Since we were nixing the dining room I needed a way to pull the two rooms together and create separate spaces without the room feeling like a bowling alley or disconnected. The core request was for a space for the record player and records, and I started pinning ideas.

The floor plan and searching for furniture sometimes happen simultaneously. In this case I mapped out a first draft of a floor plan. A general idea of where things are going to go. 

RoomSketcher 2D Floor Plan.jpg

I liked the general direction this was going but I didn't quite like how it was flowing. Plus the window behind the couch has a low ledge and the couch was blocking some of the light. 

I pivoted the couch which made a huge difference and it felt like the rooms were a little more connected. Once I get the core furniture placement down then I hone in on how I want the room to feel. I'll start to pull furniture based on their style and color and adjust the furniture layout with those measurements in mind.

While a floor plan is extremely helpful to get an idea of how the room is going to look, it's also helpful to mark out where the furniture is going to be on the floor. This room is a little tricky because the entryway is right behind the chairs, there is a hallway through to the back of the house, a staircase and a bar. When I met with the clients to present the plan, I measured out and taped off where the furniture would be. At that point I realized that while there was physically enough clearance between the chair and the entryway, it just wasn't enough. I shifted everything a little closer to the window and that opened up the space a bit. 

Next up is choosing the furniture and wallpaper. 

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Cohesive Home Design

A mood board with fabric, flowers, and paint swatches for interior design

How to Make it Work.

It's challenging enough to figure out colors and furniture and design a room, let alone make the whole house flow together. But it is possible to do. I'll admit that when I first started designing my home I didn't really focus on this. Gradually over time I'm seeing how I can make the rooms talk together and not feel jarring when you go from space to space. There have been a couple of small tweaks I've made that have made a big difference. 

I'm talking on the podcast this week about how to a create cohesive design style throughout your home. I'll go into greater detail about it on the podcast, but I wanted to give you a few ideas to get you started. 
 

  1. Find your interior design style. When  you hone in on your style and create a mood board that gives you the overall design plan for your home it means making decisions become so much easier. You have a plan to guide you. The picture above is a mood board I created for a Scandinavian inspired home. It is full of natural materials, handmade items, and muted colors with a splash of something bold. That mood board guides all of the furniture and accessory choices for the home. If you need help finding your interior design style then check out my class. Use the code JustForYou for 20% off the class. 
  2. Use color to create cohesion. You don't have to pick one color and use it on everything throughout the home, but I recommend picking a palette of colors. For example, my living room colors are green and pink (I'm actually in the middle of changing things up!), the dining room has a bit of green, green/blue and hints of pink and the kitchen is green/blue with an orange rug that also has some pink in it. There are touches of the color palette in every room. 
  3. Use furniture styles or accessories to create cohesion. For example, I have an Eames plywood molded chair in my living room and an Eames plywood molded leg splint from World War II hanging as art in my dining room. I also have Scandinavian pottery and glass pieces throughout my house that have a very distinct style. 
  4. Finally use what nature gave you. Use rocks, birds nests, feathers, wood and antlers throughout your home. A bit of nature is always a good thing. 

I hope that inspires you to see what you can do to create some cohesion in your home. Tie things together through style, color and materials. 

Have fun designing!! 

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