Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Five Steps to Decorating Any Room: An Introduction

Sorry the blog has gone silent these past ten days. The day after I posted the last ORC post, I came down with a whopper of cold. It is still with me, but all is well as long as I don't speak. I highly recommend fresh minced ginger and honey in hot water as a soothing drink.

I have been decorating since forever.

But it has only been in the last year or so that I've begun to notice that there is a definite way to go about it, a process, if you will. I have gone through this process a lot recently and it is more or less the same each time. I had planned to blog about each step and how it pertained to my ORC project as we went along, but time got away from me as it tends to do during the tight timeline of a One Room Challenge. So, now that we have some time, I can take a more leisurely approach and do a complete series on how to decorate--or make over--any room in the house. Today, the broad strokes.

There are five stages or steps.

1. Create a Vision

 A cohesive room starts with a cohesive vision. I love combing through Pinterest and Houzz and getting inspired. You can use magazines, too, of course. You can even use three dimensional objects and fabrics, if you prefer, and create a style tray. Whenever I start a new project, usually I start a new Pinterest board to put all my inspiration pictures in one spot.  The most important part of this process is to have the feel of the room figured out. Here, we're looking at Big Picture details like is there a lot of contrast--or a little? What are the textures like? Knowing how to analyse your inspiration is crucial to the process. Once you've done that, then you can make a mood board (or, as I've done many times, throw up a blog post) to capture the feel for the room.

This is the moodboard I put together for my Mom's powder room. 

2. Assess Your Needs

This is your why. There's not much point in making over a room unless it isn't meeting your needs at the moment. When I made over the living room, I was looking to bring a sense of style to the room. I wanted it cohesive and somewhat polished--I was tired of it being a a rag tag collection of unfinished projects and motley things. When I redid the dining room, I wanted a place for a lounge chair and a calming space capable of seating six comfortably for dinner.

one of the many floor plans I made for the Dining Room

3. Create Your Style

This is where we get into the nitty gritty. What will you walls be like? Will you change the colour? Will you panel them? Stencil them? Put up a gallery wall? What about your lighting? Do you have enough? What about your windows? Are you getting the best style statement you can from them? Does your room have oomph? Will there be Something that makes you sit up and take notice?

Hard to tell which makes more of a statement: that awesome stencil on the soffit or the fabulous colour of the cabinets.

4. Do the Work

For me, this almost always begins with decluttering. Especially if you are changing or modifying the purpose of the room, you will have to move out the old to make room for the new. As for the rest, your scope of work will depend upon what you're doing. This is also the time to talk about the budget.

a member of my wonderful "crew", my son Ben.

5. Add Accessories

Now, we can layer in the art, put the books on the bookshelves, and figure out the most attractive way to look after those things you need to keep by the sink, the coffee table, your nightstand, or what have you.

Fall Mantle

This process works. Although, of course, sometimes it's linear--and I do all the steps in order as I've outlined. But sometimes, it's more organic and I go back and forth between the steps in no particular order, figuring out things as I go. Nonetheless, this is the process and I plan to expand upon each of the steps in the next few months, so that by the next ORC (October 8, 2016) anyone planning on decorating a room will be more than ready to go.

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