Room Refresh 2016: Your Guide

Tired of the same colors or decor in your living room?  Have you had the same wall art since you got married 14 years ago?  Nothing wrong with the same wall art, because maybe you still like it!  Maybe it's time for a change?  Big change doesn't have to mean getting rid of ALL the things in a room!   Small changes can have a big impact and may be just what your room needs! With the new year underway, it's a great time for a room refresh!  This post provides you a framework to use when planning and executing any room re-fresh. I've also included steps that I personally consider when planning and re-designing a room.  Giving an entire room a new look doesn't have to be complicated, time consuming, or require ALL new items!  In fact, some of the most beautiful, well-planned rooms I've seen have involved super simple tips and tricks, a few without having to spend a dime.  

Even though a room re-design doesn't have to be complicated, some planning is still necessary. Before designing a room, it is important to think about how you want (or need) the room to function.  Does the room need to be better utilized?  Maybe the room is going to change its role entirely (example: from a bedroom to a den or study).  Once you know HOW the room needs to function, you can look at its current state and better determine what needs to change.  Then, you are ready to  start formulating your ideas and inspiration for the new space.  But how do you do that? Where do you start?  

A room refresh is largely about creating a space that communicates who your are and what you love, and simply making you feel good.   When I tackle a room re-design, I collect all of this essential information. Then I am ready to start envisioning the possibilities and my search to find (or make!) the necessary pieces begins.   Here are 4 vital pieces to a room that I consider when assessing a room and drafting a plan....

1. Color   2.  Furniture   3. Accessories/decor,  and  4.  Mood/feeling.   I start with an immediate action plan for each of these four areas, and then I begin drafting up a detailed plan.   These are guidelines I use regularly, and may be of help to you in your own room refresh endeavor:    

1.   Color scheme or lack of color    

Immediate Action Plan: Change color scheme, add additional color to complete a color scheme, or develop color scheme if needed 

Detailed Action Plan: I usually narrow color schemes to 4 different colors in a single space. One or two of those colors will be the base colors, or colors that you would notice right away in a room.  Examples might include furniture, rugs, walls, or window treatments. Additional colors serve as the accents, complimenting and enhancing the base colors. These are usually colors that are "trickled" into the room, in smaller doses.  They are colors that are noticed, but don't always take center stage (although they certainly could if that is your goal!).  Developing a color plan is important.  If you are unsure where to start, I suggest finding a fabric you love.  Using a fabric containing colors you love can help guide you with developing your color scheme.   Try browsing the fabric aisles at any craft store and see where your eye takes you.  What colors pull you in?  What do your favorite fabric samples have in common in terms of colors?  Last week I wrote about a specific color scheme I'm currently working on....but whether you use that specific example or not, that post also included additional tips on how to develop a color scheme.  You can click on this link to view that post:   Try This Bold Color Scheme in 2016

2. Furniture pieces and placement, or lack of  

Immediate Action Plan:  Re-arrange furniture, eliminate pieces if needed, determine whether pieces from other rooms can be used in the room, identify what key pieces the room needs, and/or locate and refurbish those key pieces!  

Detailed Plan:  I think about what pieces I have on hand, or what pieces need to be found for a room.  Some pieces may need refurbishing, and others might not.  I prefer an eclectic furniture mix.  Though I do love painted furniture, some pieces are best left untouched!  And, the mix of painted and natural woods gives a room character.   If you are stumped on how to furnish your room, look around your house for other pieces that aren't being utilized.  Look in storage.  Do you have any un-used pieces that could be used in your "new" space.  When I do this in my own home, I realize how little a piece was actually being used, and how much more functional and well-suited it is in its new space.  I also consider what can be done to the current pieces to update the room.  If you have a piece and aren't sure of its potential I can help.  I will assess your piece, offer recommendations, or transform your piece (s) as you like.   To contact me with questions, or if you would like me to assess your piece, click HERE

3.  Accessories (wall art, and other decor); excessive or lack of?

Immediate Action Plan:  Determine what current accessories can stay, and what accessories need to be eliminated.  Determine the need for and locations of additional wall art (are the walls bear, are the wall large/small?), and determine where the color scheme can be added in the decor/accessories (like pillows, shelf decor, throw blankets, lamps, window treatments, and rugs).  

Detailed Plan:  Using accessories to incorporate your color scheme is key.  Try considering the tips in #1 above.  It is important not to over-do any one color in your accessories.  For example if red is your predominant accent color, instead of having 10 red accent pillows, try 6 red pillows, 2 pillows in another accent color, and 2 pillows of a third accent color.   When considering your wall art, remember it doesn't have to match your color scheme perfectly!    While having touches of your key colors in your art is great, it's also good to incorporate a variety of other colors in the wall art.  This helps avoid the "matchy-matchy" look, and also adds variety and dimension to the room. 

4.  Mood/feeling of the room

Immediate Action Plan:  Identify how the room makes you feel.  What is missing from the room?  Bare walls, lack of color, and lack of "coziness", can all impact how a room makes you feel.  Similarily, a crowded or busy room can also impact your emotions.  Identify what is no longer needed (or liked!) in the space, and eliminate it.  De-cluttering might be the first step in your room refresh.  It is difficult to develop ideas for a room when it is cluttered and overcrowded!   De-cluttering might not be the most fun part of the decorating process,  but in some cases it is the most necessary step in the transformation of a room!

Detailed Plan:  Rooms that lack color are in need of it! Even a monochromatic look needs a bit of color (in my opinion!).  Monochromatic means a room has a predominantly neutral base (like grays, whites, or creams).  It is known that color can evoke emotion.  For that reason, I think color is necessary in any room.  Try googling "color" or the "psychology of color".  It is amazing how many different emotions colors can evoke.   But color isn't the only thing that sets the mood of a room.  Decor and accessories can communicate your interests, or your story.  Whether it is your favorite things,  a collection you have, or items that hold meaning to you, a room can and should be used to display these things!   How do you feel when you are in your favorite room?   What about that room makes you feel that way?  Now, how can you create that feeling in your targeted room or space?  

A room re-fresh is a great way to change the entire look and feel of a space.  Some rooms are more challenging than others, and it isn't a quick process.  In fact, taking the time to look for items and finding what you love over time is a good rule of thumb for approaching a room refresh.  Using these guidelines will hopefully give you some ideas and a little confidence boost when it comes to developing your plan.   And remember,  tastes and styles evolve over time; therefore so do our rooms!   You might not get it right the first time (and believe me neither do I!), but eventually your space will be just right!  Rooms evolve, just like we do!   Then our styles change....and the process repeats, but that is what makes it fun!  

Are you considering a room re-fresh this year?  Once the Christmas decorations are down, it is not unusual for me to begin tackling one of my own rooms!   I have a new color scheme in mind for our living room....and so the fun begins; finding and restoring items for the "new" space.  I know it will not be a process that happens overnight, and I am at peace with that!

Browse my website (Blog) and you'll find more posts on room "re-do's" and "how-to's" in 2016. In fact, I'm excited to kick off 2016 with a room re-fresh this week......with detailed posts and photos soon to follow.   I hope you check it out and as always, I'd LOVE to hear any feedback you have!  

Cheers to "new" rooms that pack a punch of personality and look great too!