Plan to Succeed - Jessica's Design Plan
Last week I shared with you the gorgeous great room my friend Jessica designed. This week I’m giving you a step by step outline for planning a room like this and getting a stunning end result!
Step One: Get Organized!
I always ask my clients for pictures. Pictures of rooms they LOVE, pieces they love, colors they love, finishes they love. Notice I didn’t say “LIKE”. “Like” will lead you to mediocrity. “Love” leads you to the best design possible for you, your family, your home. Go on Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV and other websites to find pictures of completed rooms. Set up a digital file that you can get to easily on your phone or tablet. You will notice that your style will emerge. This keeps you on track as you go out looking for items.
Design the room before you go out looking! There are many online tools to help you do this, Floor plan programs are available on many furniture manufacturer’s website. I’m partial to Lazboy’s Room Planner! Know how big or small your main pieces need to be. An 80” sofa may fit beautifully, but a 96” sofa may not. How many chairs and end tables do you need? What size should the rugs be? How many lamps are required?
Step Two: Follow an Ordered List
Start with the most unchangeable elements first. Most people have existing flooring, but if you are changing your flooring, make this decision first. Paint color decisions need to come last based on your color scheme. This is a big mistake many homeowners make. They choose paint color first, then try to find fabrics and finishes that coordinate. Keep in mind that paint can be tinted to ANY color, but you may only like three or four fabrics for your upholstery.
Go from the largest items to the smallest. Choose upholstery fabrics next. These pieces will be the longest lasting elements in a room. Rugs come next, then tables, then lamps, then art and wall decor. The exception to this would be if you have an inspiration piece, like a great work of art or an amazing rug. These types of items launch your color scheme.
Step Three: Do a scaled Floor Plan
Again, there are many easy to use floor planner programs online or you can do this the old-fashioned way using graph paper and a ruler. Try this scale: 1” = 1’. So if your wall is 8 ft long, you would draw an 8” wall. Mark in windows, doors, and doorways. Floor Plans never lie! They will tell you exactly what will fit in your room.
Step 4: Make a Mood Board
Remember in grade school when we used to make collages using pictures of things we liked? Find your inner child and make a collage of room pictures, color samples, fabric swatches, and design elements, pictures of lamps, tables, art, and accessories. You can also do this digitally with a power point program.
Step 5: Shop Online First
Do your homework! The web is a great tool for finding specific items with pricing and options. It will save you SO much time! We have clients who visit our La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery store who want to look at three sofas, 10 fabrics, two chairs, etc. They have done their homework. They looked at styles and fabrics and got an idea of pricing.
Step 6: Be Patient!
A customized room takes time! Special order upholstery and rugs take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to get! Keep in mind that you will have most of these pieces for years, so waiting to get the perfect piece is well worth it. Don’t settle! Do take your time to find what you really love!
Step 7: Get Help if you Need It!
Find a good designer if you need help or are short on time. An experienced designer has a wealth of knowledge and information to help you bring together a beautiful design plan. She/he will guide you along in making the 20 plus decisions you have to make in designing one room. Your end result will be great! Many furniture stores offer complimentary design service, including La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries. All of our designers are design educated and accredited.