Now that I finally have my forever house (well, for the next 20 years or so) I have had (and have) lots of planning to do to make it right for my family. I am a planner, and want the rooms to flow from one to the next, but also have their own look and purpose. I research and plan, then design, often over thinking (ok obsessing!) about each step.
So what are these steps? Since hearing that our offer was accepted (a glorious moment!) here are the steps I have taken to plan our home:
Inspirational Photos: Before placing our offer, we spent about 10 minutes in the house, literally! It was in the location we wanted, had all the rooms we wanted (and more), and from the pictures online it looked like it could be the perfect house. Best of all, it was the right price. We had been looking at houses for over 2 years, and seriously shopping for about 1 year, so we had a good idea of what we were looking for. Since it was a foreclosure, we wanted to make sure we got our offer in right away, so we saw the house early in the morning the day it was listed and made an offer immediately….kinda scary because we barely spent any time in the house we now wanted to purchase.
Once our offer was accepted, the design planning process needed to begin, although I spent all of 10 minutes in the house. Luckily over the next month or so, we were able to get in a few times to meet with contractors, and I was able to measure each room.
My first step is always to put together ideas for each room. For many rooms I had a vision of how I wanted it to look, but for some others I needed inspiration. To be inspired I’ll go to stores that I admire, look through shelter magazines and design books, and search the internet. I’ll review this more in detail and advise my favorite places for inspiration in future posts.
List Of Our Furniture and Dimensions: The next step was to create floor plans, but before laying out the plans for each room I needed to make sure all of our existing furniture had a home. More than half of our furniture was in storage and I didn’t have a list of all these pieces, so I had to do it by memory. I thought about each room and the pieces that were in it, and estimated dimensions for the pieces that were in storage. I then created a list so that I can check off each piece as I placed them on a floor plan.
Floor Plans: In my opinion, not creating a floor plan is the #1 mistake people make when designing rooms. I can’t tell you how many homes I visited when searching for our house, and the scale of the furniture was all wrong. Either very small furniture for a big room, massive furniture for a tiny room, or a room that looked empty or too cluttered b/c the furniture was not planned ahead of time. Did you ever buy furniture for your home, and it looked so much bigger in your home than in the store…I have, and definitely learned from that experience. Most stores have high ceilings, and open floor plans so the furniture appears a lot smaller in the store (well unless you also have massive rooms!)
Mood Boards: My favorite part of planning! Now that I know the layout for each room I’ll create mood boards with furniture, paint colors and accessories. I’ll visit stores, shop the internet and start visually putting the pieces together.
Elevations or Perspective Drawings: Ideally I would draw an elevation or perspective drawing for every room, but I definitely did not have the time to do this. It is a great way to help visualize the total room…scale, color, accessories. It is often helpful for clients to help them see my vision. I created one for Ben’s room to show to my husband and Ben, but did not create these for the rest of the rooms (just no time!).
Choose Paint Colors: I usually like to do this a little later in the process, once I have purchased all the main pieces for each room, but we wanted the house to be painted before moving in (often clients do with new homes as well), so I needed to choose paint colors before finding everything I needed. Since I created mood boards I had a palette for each room, now I just needed to find the perfect color. I love color samples (although I also had to buy too many quarts, ugh!) The key is to paint a large piece to better understand what the color is going to look like. I usually paint oak tag, so I can move it around the room and see the color in different lighting. Tip: Colors will always appear lighter and brighter when painting a whole room, then your little paint chip.
Flow of color from one room to the next is also important. Once I had an idea for each room, I looked at the colors together to make sure the flow of colors worked from room to room.
Time to shop!: We definitely have had some days that we shopped until we dropped. Like this Saturday, we went to approx 8 stores (one being where we finally registered for the babies although I need to go back again…we lost steam!). I figure since I haven’t been exercising, all the walking must be good for the babies. There are only 3 rooms that we are pretty much starting from scratch: the living room, the nursery, and Howie’s office. For the rest we need finishing touches such as rugs. My last house did not have hardwood floors; we had carpet throughout…now I need approx 10 rugs.
As each room comes together I will post pictures and will also give additional details about each of these steps. If you have any questions about planning your home, please post a comment and I will answer it as quickly as possible. If you want to hire Lisa Fero Interiors to plan your room or home, fill out the information on the contact page and I will get back to you to schedule a consultation (in person, or by phone or email).