By Amy Falkofske
Does your home need a fresh look? Have the kids outgrown their bedroom décor? If so, then it’s time to
think about redecorating. There is so much to consider when taking on a redecorating project in your home, but we’ve got advice and tips to help you get started.
Where to Start
The experts all seem to agree that the first thing to take into consideration is budget.
“Budget, budget, budget. This is what most people tend to overlook when starting a design project. How much do you want to spend?” asks Diego El-Amin, loyalty manager with IKEA.
Rita Miller and Philip J. Rowe, both interior designers at Green Front Furniture, agree that budget is a top consideration when taking on an interior design project. The next thing you need to do is decide what you want the finished product to look like. Sean Porter, owner of Loveless Porter Architects, LLC says, “Just go online and search images of a style you like to get inspiration for your own interior. Begin to create a scrapbook of ideas.”
Rowe and Miller agree, saying that you should look in magazines to see what you like as far as style. “I actually would love it if someone would tear stuff out of magazines and bring it to me and show me,” says Rowe.
“If you pick up a magazine and you like what’s on the cover, you’ll like what’s on the inside, and chances are, that’s the style you’re going to go with,” says Miller.
Porter and El-Amin both suggest meeting with an interior designer, as well. “If you’re looking for a large remodel, I would say enlist an interior designer. They’re more in the know of common trends, common palates, colors of the year and would be a good starting point at least to get some ideas,” Porter says.
“Don’t underestimate getting professional assistance with your redesign project. A professional can help you navigate through many challenges you might face in redesigning your space, like understanding the relationship between space and its occupants, health, safety and welfare issues associated with creating a space that will contribute to your sense of well-being,” says El-Amin.
Dave Funk of David Funk Painting gives guidance on whether you should tackle a project alone or hire a professional. If painting is part of your redecorating plan, your choice really depends on time and money. “I think that if somebody has the time and the energy and the desire, there’s nothing wrong with trying it for yourself, and certainly a little bit of research on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet will go a long way and it will pay off. I think where it pays off to hire somebody is when someone has more expendable
money than they have time,” Funk says.
If you do decide to undertake the painting yourself, it’s important to prepare. “The very first thing is to make sure that you get the proper tools and to slow down and take your time for all the preparation that goes into painting a room and just to make sure that you allow enough time,” he says. “If somebody thought to
themselves, hey, this is going to take me one day, I would plan for two.”
Another big consideration, according to El-Amin, is the depth of your project. “Give some serious thought to whether your project is a major remodel. For example, if you have plumbing or electrical involved, then it may be a major remodel,” he says.
He also says to consider those resources you may need such as a contractor, a plumber or an electrician if you plan to do something such as open up a wall.
El-Amin believes interior design is really about “functional, safe and beautiful spaces that consider lifestyle and style preferences. For example, if you are a young family, you’ll want to take into consideration things like sharp edges and having protected corners on your furniture, having durable flooring and sofa finishes, and having enough storage.”
He points out that two adults without children who entertain often will have different needs, and a young single adult will want to live in a space that is multi-functional for both comfortable living and entertaining.
If you haven’t redecorated in a while, you might be wondering what styles, colors, etc. are popular right now. Like Porter says, looking online is a good start, or like Miller and Rowe suggest, current interior design magazines will give you lots of design styles to choose from. But they also offer some specific things that are popular right now.
“The trends that we are seeing in design are more Earth tones and more rustic design as far as applications and details,” says Porter.
Rowe echoes Porter. He says that gray, cool tones are popular right now, and colors like warm red are only used if a person’s interior art dictates it. “People who are starting fresh tend to be leaning toward gray, cool tones and blue tones and things like that,” he says.
“In terms of color, grays are incredibly popular if you’re trying to sell your home, or if you’re trying to buy a home, people are picking a lot of grays,” says Funk.
As far as furniture goes, Miller and Rowe say the traditional look and matching furniture has fallen by the wayside. “We see less and less traditional, rolled-arm sofa people. There are definitely clean lines. I attribute that to people having busy lifestyles and wanting simpler, cleaner interiors,” says Rowe.
“We still see some reclaimed shabby chic, type of slip cover look, so you’ve got a little bit of a farmhouse look still going on,” says Miller.
Rowe says that customers are picking more statement or iconic pieces these days, meaning impressive pieces with a “wow” factor that you can build a room around. “I think everyone is trying to gain a collection at home, meaning they’re not picking suited (matching) pieces any longer; they’re picking more pieces that they might want to carry with them regardless of the current home,” he says.
El-Amin has a different take on trends entirely. “Personally, I tend to shy away from design trends when it comes to redesigning or redecorating my home, as they tend to change from year to year. What I recommend is updating things like textiles such as rugs, curtains, cushion covers and throws. That will give you an updated look and the selection of these items can be based on trends, because it’s going to be less expensive to make a fresh new look.”
If redecorating is not on the immediate horizon, but you want to know what to be on the lookout for, our experts shared where they think the design trends are headed from here.
Porter says he thinks people are still going to want a lot of clean lines and contemporary designs in the future, but according to Funk, there could be a change in what people are looking for in terms of color.
“I would say that we’re going to see the grays and the whites stick around for quite a while before they fizzle out. I think that people who buy homes a few years down the road, the bolder colors are going to come back,” says Funk. “Wallpaper seems to be making a comeback, too. That’s been a little bit more popular in recent years,” he said. “And I’m willing to bet, that maybe 10 years out, I bet decorative (or faux) finishing makes a comeback too.”
Miller and Rowe say they expect to continue to see customers buying iconic pieces.
El-Amin’s thoughts on future design trends are not so much about colors and furniture, but how the spaces in our homes will be used. “In the near future, I see rooms not being used in the way they traditionally have been used in the past. People are starting to consider sustainability and healthy living a lot more than they
used to,” he said. “Consumers are now making more conscious decisions and asking questions such as, ‘How was the product made?’, ‘Is it recyclable?’ and ‘Does it contribute to a negative carbon footprint?’” He also thinks the internet and the emergence of smart homes will influence home design in the future.
Tips for Redecorating
According to El-Amin, there are some dos and don’ts of redecorating your home.
- Do make sure whatever you do works for your lifestyle.
- Do be realistic about your budget and your time. He uses the example of wanting to redecorate his own bedroom in one day and making it a surprise for his wife. He wanted to change all of the furniture in the room and that couldn’t be done in one day. In the end he decided to forgo the surprise and give himself time to do the project the way he wanted to.
- Do write down some of the challenges you face in your current space and how you hope redesigning the room will address those issues (i.e., the need for more storage).
- Do write a list of activities you want to do in each of the rooms you plan to redesign.
- Do consider maintenance issues when selecting fabric, wall and floor finishes, especially depending on whether or not you have children.
- Don’t forget about storage. “One of the biggest needs in our market is storage. Most people do not have enough space for the number of things that they own,” said El-Amin.
The key to taking on a redecoration project in your home is, ultimately, preparation. Prepare your budget, decide what look you are going for and acquire examples of what you want online or in magazines, then make a plan. Give yourself enough time to complete your project, and make sure you have all the tools you
need before you get started. And remember, there are a wealth of professionals in our area just waiting to help if you need it.
Amy Falkfoske ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and photographer. She has a Master’s degree in Film-TV with a concentration in screenwriting. She lives in Bristow with her husband, two boys and two Beagle dogs.