Tips for designing your home slowly, over time

by HomeDecorBeauty

If a TV show convinces you that you can achieve a magazine-friendly home in no time, a professional designer will quickly get you out of this thinking. “There’s an HGTV-inspired fantasy of walking into a home that’s 100 percent finished—whether it’s you or the decorator—but in reality, that rarely happens,” says Pittsburgh-based designer Colleen Simonds.

And, really, who wants a space that looks like it was assembled at one time, to give a furniture showroom the vibe? Simonds and other designers agree that carefully curating a space over time produces more satisfying results. So don’t treat this process as an item you need to cross off your list. Resist the urge to finish your home—or even your room. Instead, embrace the idea of ​​letting the space evolve gradually, which you might not regret later.

Need help getting started? We spoke with several design professionals about taking the time to decorate, including key pitfalls to avoid.Experts also weighed whether impulse buying ever Do Makes sense – and what to consider before bringing this one-of-a-kind wine home.

make a plan. Karen Rohr, an interior designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors with operations in Phoenix and Portland, Ore., says developing a design strategy is an important part of preparing a space for a potential purchase later. “Planning rather than making hasty decisions is the key to successful interior design aesthetics,” says Rohr. “If you’re doing it yourself, you need to take the project slowly and think about all the little things before you start buying because you’re your own designer.”

That means prioritizing layout, color palette and budget, she says. “When your room is pieced together bit by bit, it starts to feel like it’s a reflection of who you are, and that’s the best room to be well-designed.” Struggling to define your style? Reflecting on your interests and passions may provide valuable insights. Rohr asks clients about their favorite pastimes, travel experiences, music artists, and more to gather inspiration.

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Designers agree that bulky items such as sofas, beds, chairs and rugs should be given priority. “These are often statement pieces with a room because they’re large and focused,” says Symonds, so let their fabrics and textures dictate the direction of the rest of the room.

Ordering samples can be useful for evaluating textiles and may even inspire the creation of mood boards, says Ashley Ross of Muse Noire in Charlotte. Making a spreadsheet with the items you need and their prices (which you can refer to while shopping) can also help you keep track of what you have and what you need.

Explore suppliers. When choosing furniture, designers say to fill your home with furniture from multiple retailers, not from one or two places. “Matching sets are not desirable,” Symonds said. “A room needs a mix of elements to feel alive.”

For example, buy a nightstand from a different retailer from where you bought your headboard, and buy a side chair from a company other than the one that sold you the sofa, she says. Also consider adding a story to each space. “Every room should have at least one vintage piece, reworked or not,” says Symonds.

Plus, exploring different suppliers—rather than filling up an online shopping cart and calling it quits—may be an economically sound approach. “When you have a plan and vision for your home, take the time to save for quality purchases,” says Maggie Stephens, A designer based in Bainbridge Island, Washington. “It’s decades better to invest in a well-made piece than particleboard that will crumble the next time you move.”

Collect accessories thoughtfully. Designers are also interested in buying accessories and other small items. New York designer Isabella Patrick picks up many of her small pieces while traveling. “Pillows, frames, trays, candles and smaller sculptures are so versatile, the correct assortment must be carefully picked over time,” she said. “I would say there is a story behind 90% of our artwork and accessories.”

Symonds agrees that accumulating special items is an ongoing process. “Most people aren’t born with instant collectibles,” she said. It doesn’t have to be an expensive process. Try displaying framed children’s art, books and magazines, she says. “Instead of rushing to buy all the new stuff, think about what you already have that can bring personality to the space.”

Check your impulses. Although designers believe in decorating homes over time, they know that impulse purchases can be tempting, whether you’re browsing real estate sales or visiting your favorite second-hand store. But Patrick said limit yourself to the “somewhat practical” part. A set of chairs can be perfect for a living room or office space. Artwork, on the other hand, is trickier, especially if it’s vibrant or large.

Before you buy homeware on a whim, Patrick says to imagine where the piece will fit in your space—the more possibilities, the better—and determine why it appeals to you. “Is it weird if it’s unusual and appeals to you? Or is it unique and a conversation starter that will bring you joy?”

Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and stylist based in New York. Find her on Instagram: @sarahlyon9.

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We are a team of home decor and beauty enthusiasts who want to help you make your home beautiful and your life easier. We believe that every home should be a reflection of the people who live in it, and we are passionate about helping our readers create a space they love.  We believe that beauty comes from within, and we want to help our readers find their own unique sense of style.



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