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Here’s a few basics that might, I hope, help you to make the necessary decisions when you’re ready to made a change. Whether it’s just one room at a time, or a complete re-do, settling on a few things at the beginning will simplify the process and help you to create a harmonious whole, that flows easily from one room to the other.
One thing I will say, is take your time. We are going to gut our kitchen in the summer of 2014 and have already begun the process of having a floor plan and elevations done, selecting the cabinet style and colour and choosing flooring. A kitchen re-do requires a lot of sourcing of finishes and fixtures and I like to take my time making choices (not saying I’m a perfectionist!) Luckily, the other rooms have been done, so my choices regarding style and colour scheme have been made.
Let the fun begin! You can do it! Start going through those decorating magazines and Just remember to breathe!
No matter what room you are doing, a few things need to be taken into consideration.
1. Who will be using the space and what is the function/purpose of the space going to be?
2. The mood or atmosphere you wish to create?
- Formal, semi-formal, casual, or functional?
3. What style are you selecting? The Style Guide I have put together will assist with your choice.
- Traditional, country, modern or eclectic (the use of one style within a dwelling creates harmony and the illusion of space.) The furniture you’re keeping will help in selecting your style. If you are tossing everything, you get to start all over with a clean slate! Aren’t you the lucky one!
4. Choosing what the focal point will be?
- Focal points are chosen to bring “interest” to the space. For instance, the dining room table would generally be the focal point in a dining room. A great view is an example of a focal point. An architectural feature such as a fireplace would be another. For instance if you have a “view” but it is not pretty, then you would be better off to select another focal point such as a fireplace with display cabinets or bookcases or a wall to display beautiful art works.
5. What will your colour scheme be throughout the dwelling? A structured scheme is derived from the colour wheel and it’s a really good idea to carry this tool with you when making purchases.
Monochromatic (the use of 1 colour that is tinted, toned & shaded throughout the dwelling.)
Neutral (the use of beige or grey or taupe throughout the dwelling, with the use of 1 or 2 colours for accent). When choosing either of the previous two schemes, adding rougher textures will create warmth and character.
Analogous (the use of 3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel, varying the intensity & value of the colours).
Complimentary (the use of 2 colours opposite each other on the colour wheel, varying the intensity; one colour should be dominant.
Triad (the use of 3 colours spaced evenly on the colour wheel. This scheme is best suited to a large dwelling).
TIP: in a northern exposure, the natural light is blue tinged, so all colours will appear greyer on the walls than on the paint chip.
A note on choosing paint: make sure you get samples of the actual paint and then apply paint patches on your wall. It will look awful but you won’t be sorry! Trust me…. a couple of years ago, I was painting our living room and hallways and I had 7, count em, samples up on the wall! Patchwork quilt, you say? Even if you put up the paint chips you get from the paint store, the actual paint will look different once up on your wall. Something to Remember: “visual space” is increased by minimal contrast and warm colours advance and cool colours recede.
6. What will your budget be?
- It’s a very good idea to set a “realistic” budget so when you are shopping/sourcing you have a really good handle on what you can or will spend on items.
Once you have determined what your style and colour scheme is going to be it’s very helpful to begin collecting samples and making a sample board on an 8 ½ x 11” piece of construction paper or foam core. This will allow you to carry the sample board with you when you are out selecting furnishings. It also will assist you in editing what you don’t need.
7. What will the flooring be?
It’s a lot easier to decorate from the floor up! Choosing the flooring is a priority as it needs to be in keeping with the colour scheme and the chosen style.
Time for a break! Have a coffee, look at decorating magazines….move on to Part 2 when you have digested the above. I know it seems like a lot but enjoy the process!