It’s a new season and while many of us are used to refreshing our closets season after season, we don’t often give the same amount of love to our homes. When done well, a designed home can make a world of difference to your mood and well-being – much like your favorite shoes – and you spend much more time enjoying it. These are the five questions to ask yourself before spending a dollar to design your space to get your home fashionably fly and season-ready.
1. How do I want to feel when I get home?
Yes, you read that right. Think about the feeling you want every time you walk into the space you’re designing. Should that living room feel welcoming and intimate or surprising and chic? Do you want an office that feels inspirational and motivating? Or a dining room that feels funky and unpredictable? Once you’ve landed on the feeling you want to create, certain design decisions – like color or decor style – will fall into place.
2. What are the pros and cons of your space?
Just like we do with your own body types, we need to assess what works and doesn’t work for our living spaces. Do you have tall or short ceilings? Are there awkward corners or angles for the bedroom? Do you have dated cabinets you wish would disappear? Lots of natural light or a little? Take note of all of these things so you can find the solutions that work with – not against – the quirks of your home.
3. What is my style in other areas?
Are you trendy or classic? Do you like colors, or do you keep things monochromatic? Are you more June Ambrose or Claire Sulmers? What kind of hotels do you like to stay in? Chances are, these tendencies will complement your interior decor style, and inform some of your decisions.
4. What is my center canvas?
It’s not a hard and fast rule, but picking one main canvas to inform what happens throughout the space is a great way for DIY decorators to keep a project on track. Walls, ceilings, floors or windows: pick the most blank canvas and build from there; everything else should work to complement and/or accentuate it.
5. What inspires me?
I recommend doing this one last. A big interior design mistake people make is adopting someone else’s style entirely. Your home should feel like YOU! By going through the four steps above and then looking for inspiration (i.e. Pinterest or Houzz), your filter is set to look for things that work for you, your life and your home.
With this information on hand, putting together a home shopping list should feel a lot more fun, exciting and doable, knowing that you are creating something specifically for YOU.
Claudia Louise is a Brooklyn-based interior designer and the owner of NW10 Interiors. Born and raised in London, Claudia studied Interior Design at the Harrington College of Design in Chicago. She holds degrees from Duke and Georgetown Universities.