Interior Design for the Design Challenged

Image of photo wall with text over lay 'Interior Design for the Design Challenged'

I received a request from my friend Kristi to give some interior design tips for dummies. Well, I don't think you are dummies, but maybe design challenged. So, this week's podcast is going to go through some quick and dirty tips to help you design your space. If you are on iTunes take a listen and make sure you subscribe to receive new podcasts when they go live. Here's a brief synopsis to get you started. 

  1. Start with your style (don't forget to include your partners style too!). This will help you figure out what your plan is, which will make it less overwhelming when you go shopping.
    1. Check last week's podcast for ideas on how to find your style. 
    2. Check out my class. Use the code JustForYou for 20% off the class. 
    3. Sign up for newsletter to get my "How to find your style guide" for free
  2. How do you want the home to feel. This will also help drive your decisions
  3. How do you want the space to function. What do you want to be able to do in the space.
  4. Set your budget. No really!!! What is your budget?
    1. Split up your budget by current needs and long term goals/needs.
    2. I recommend saving up money for what you really want. 
  5. Make a furniture plan
    1. Mock layout your furniture to figure out the best size and where the furniture should go. 
    2. Make sure your measure your entryway and stairwells and anyway the furniture has to enter the house. Make sure it will fit into the house.  
    3. Figure out the best height as well and spatial size for each item. 
  6. Realize that this takes time. Unless you are on an HGTV show it is going to take you some time to hone in on your design style, figure out what your budget and plan is and go shopping. 

Always remember that I am here to help! If you get stuck or aren't sure even where to start feel free to reach out to me.  Also, if you have any questions that you want answered on future podcasts let me know in the comments below! 

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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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How to Work with an Interior Designer on your Home Design

A marble coffee table and navy sofa in a high rise building in Chicago

What It's Like to Work with an Interior Designer

Working with an interior designer is a collaborative experience with a lot of communication. It's a little bit like dating. 

I'm talking more in depth about my process on the podcast today, but here's a peek. 

You reach out to me and say 'hey'. I send you a questionnaire to get an idea of what your style is and to start a conversation. Then we schedule a time to chat. I want to get to know you and, more importantly, you need to make sure that I'm the right fit for you. At that time we decide what plan works best for you. Some people need a little help figuring out the way forward, but they want to be involved in the process and do some of the work themselves. That's awesome and I have a DIY plan that will work for them. Some people just want it done. They want a plan to approve and for the work to be done behind the scenes. I'll admit that as life has gotten busy, I've been looking for some things to be taken off my plate. If that is how you are feeling about design, then I can take care of everything for you as well. 

Next, I come to your house and take pictures and measurements. We talk more about your design style and what you need in your home. I really want to get a sense of who you are, how you want your home to feel and how you want your home to function.  

Then I go to the drawing board and draft a mood board and floor plan. This is the blue print for your home design. This is the first draft and often we make tweaks to the plan to make it just right for you. 

Finally the fun stuff begins and we go shopping. FYI this takes time. There are lead times for furniture and sometimes it takes awhile to find the exact right piece for your home. So, don't expect a tv renovation show turnaround and reveal in 2 days! 

Throughout this whole process I'm checking in to see if things are going as planned and to make sure we are on track with the project. I get lots of great ideas and input from my clients. Sometimes I push their design boundaries and sometimes they push mine, which I thoroughly enjoy. 

 

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Home Decor Style-Why Hiring an Expert Pays Off

Mood Board of fabric, jewelry, dishes, and flowers

Why Should You Hire an Interior Designer?

Before I give you my top three reasons why you should hire an interior designer I'd suggest hopping over to my podcast where I am diving much deeper into this topic. Give it a listen. In the meantime here are three reasons why hiring an expert pays off. 

  1. You are stuck. We've all been there. Either you don't know where to start or you just can't quite get the room over the finish line. I'll freely admit that I've had rooms languish for years because of lack of time, resources or energy. Yet, I can tell you finishing up a room feels good. It makes your home come together. I had a client yesterday say he loves coming home. That is what I strive for. 
  2. You are in transition. You've moved into your very first apartment (yay you) and it's time to jettison your college furniture, you are moving in with someone (congrats) and you need to figure out how to get it all to work together, you are downsizing and you aren't sure how to make it all fit, or you are about to have a baby and need to rearrange somethings in your home to make space for the newest member of your family. An interior designer can help you through the decisions you have to make, on your own or with your partner. I have to admit that getting couples across the design finish line is kind of one of my specialties. Change can be good and it also can be stressful, so don't let your home stress you out. Hire someone to help. 
  3. It just isn't working. I've had some funky rooms in the apartments I've rented over the years that are either too small, too long or there just isn't a good place to put the couch because of all the windows and doorways. I've swapped rooms, moved couches around until I finally feel like the flow is right. Except, I do that after I've done a floor plan and mocked up how everything is going to look, because moving furniture isn't fun and I only want to do it once. If you aren't sure how to make a space work then bring in a professional. 

When I work with clients it is a collaborative process. I am not the type of person that comes in and tells you your furniture is all wrong and you must have this that and the other thing. This is your home, your style and most importantly your budget. If you love your sofa, then keep it, we'll make it work. If you have great-grandma's dining room table and it needs to stay in the family, then yes, keep it. I also believe that interior design should support your life and your lifestyle. A big part of my process is to see how you are living and how you want your home to support your life. Finally, I work within any budget. I offer a DIY option where I give you a floor plan and a mood board to hone in on your style and give you direction, or I can come in and do it all. I'll even hang the art. 

Another reason to hire an interior designer is we can help you avoid any costly mistakes. Laying out a floor plan and taking into account the space and needs of my client are one of the first things I do. I also save people from having to repaint rooms by getting color right the first time. So save yourself the headache and hire an interior designer. 

An Interior Designer should help you with what you need. They should work with you on your home to make it some place you love coming home to. That's my goal and if you need some design assistance please feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help. 

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Kitchen Home Improvement: Figuring out what I need/want

Pinterest board of images for kitchen remodel and kitchen decor

I freely admit that I have fallen behind! I have half of my kitchen cabinets cleaned out and decluttered and I need to do the other half. Here's a little background information on what I'm doing. 

In order to continue to avoid cleaning I'm going to day dream about things I want in my kitchen. I'd love to have a tray right next to the stove with a nice salt and pepper grinder and oil canister. I really need some new lighting in the kitchen, but I also know that the ceiling was painted around the existing fixture so I need to make sure whatever I pick hides that. I'm also on a super tight budget! 

For today, I'm going to keep cleaning and focus on my to do list. 

  • Clean out and declutter all of the cabinets 
  • Hang window film in window
  • Get plants (I'm making a few hanging plant holders in my pottery class). I'll need to figure out what plants will work in little light. 
  • Get new kitchen stoppers (mine are broken)
  • Get a garbage can and recycling bin combo that fit in the space. My garbage can is too big for the kitchen. I can't open the pantry door without moving it and I have to have a brown paper bag for all the recycling items. I'd like to find something smaller that fits the space and can hold both recycling and garbage. 
  • Maybe paint....
  • Get better under the cabinet lights for over the sink. 
  • Look at lighting options (this may be outside of my budget but I'd like to see if I could get more light in this room). 
  • Get a soap dispenser for the dish soap 
  • Style the counters with useful and pretty items
  • Add art to the kitchen

Completed

  • Hem Curtains

Hmmm. I need to get going on that list. 

I'll check in next week. 

If you want to follow along on Instagram you can find me here and tag #meanderingdesignchallenge

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