A question I get asked a lot. Do I start with the furniture? The flooring? Paint colours? It's all a bit overwhelming isn't it? So what to do?
How to choose a starting point for a room design
Is there something that you already have that you absolutely love? Or have you seen something online that you keep going back to again and again? Then that is probably the catalyst for everything else. Quite often I find something in a client's house like a vase, a picture, or a cushion that tells me something about that client's style and taste and that will give me my colour palette for the room. The example I'm using is from a recent project. It was a new extension that was in need of an injection of colour and this painting was my starting point.
How many colours should I choose for one room?
This is a whole blog on its own so I'll try and keep it short for now. It depends what room it is and what kind of ambience you're trying to create but there's a rule of thumb in interior design which is 60/30/10: 60% the main colour (i.e. the walls), 30% a secondary colour (usually furniture/bedding depending on the room), and 10% an accent colour (plant pots/vases/cushions etc.). Personally I like to use 2 accent colours so 4 colours in total. But here's the secret: if you want a room to look relaxed and comfortable, use different shades of all of your chosen colours to avoid it looking matchy matchy.
How to create a moodboard
I always start the process by saving ideas for a room in one folder so you have everything in one place. I take screenshots on my phone and I snip stuff from websites on my laptop and save them all into one folder. You could always do this the old fashioned way and cut stuff out of magazines and stick them onto a piece of card. Whatever works for you. The point is that you're looking at all the elements at the same time. You'll find that you repeatedly go for the same style of furniture, the same colours etc. and that's when you know that that's what you want.
How to edit a moodboard
Once you've saved everything you need (colour palette, flooring, furniture ideas, curtain/blind ideas, accessory ideas) make sure that these items are represented on your moodboard proportionally, i.e. the wall colour and the flooring are quite large sections of the room so should be represented as such on your moodboard. If you do this it gives you an idea of whether you've achieved a balance with the colours, and with the textures. You can assess whether you've got too much of one thing, or not enough of something else.
What do I buy first?
I'd say don't buy anything in isolation. Make sure you're happy with the ideas on your moodboard before you start buying things left, right, and centre. There needs to be a plan. I find that rugs and curtains are always the trickiest items to source mainly down to sizing. They are also sometimes the most expensive items (bar the furniture) so you want to get them right. You need to choose whether you want to make a feature of the rug, or the curtains otherwise they may be fighting for attention and the room will look too busy.
NOTE: It's important to get the right size furniture for your room so measure the space before you start looking for the furniture - this will save on heartbreak later on when the sofa you've fallen in love with is too big for the room!
What if I change my mind about something?
Quite often during the process you change your mind about something, or you see something you like better. That's absolutely fine and all part of the process. Your moodboard will evolve as you go and may change several times until you get it to where it needs to be. That's why it's worth doing, to visualise everything before you start spending money and taking delivery of things. It's a lot easier to visualise the room if you have everything on one page in front of you.
So there you go. Make a moodboard - it's actually a lot of fun and will save you several headaches further down the line. And if the above sounds too much like hard work then drop me a line. I do this kind of thing for fun!