The Importance of Having a Design Plan

October 1, 2013

The Importance of Having a Design Plan

Having a design plan is like having a road map to having the space you envisioned. Prior to becoming an interior designer, I remember purchasing furnishings and home décor items that I loved and even more importantly something that both my husband and I liked. It seemed like the more I spent and accumulated, the more it just did not flow and it seemed like it was not quite right. By having a direction with specifics noted of what you are looking for helps and makes you enjoy the process even more. A list of items at your fingertips with color, size, style, and how much you want to spend ensures that when all the pieces are combined that they will create that one-of-a-kind look you are trying to achieve. This can be used whether you are purchasing everything all at once or if you need to spread things out due to budget constraints.

Nothing is worse than going to a furniture showroom and not being sure if that sofa you just fell in love with will fit in your space. Even if it will fit, will the scale be correct? Large stores can be deceiving and when it gets into your living room, it may be a totally different story. Measure your space and create a space plan so you have a checklist of items you need to look for. Be sure to include pieces you plan on keeping.

Get a color palette and keep swatches with you available to reference. Do not get hung up on items being an exact match. As long as colors are in the same tone, they will go. Be sure to disperse your colors throughout the space. Personal ways I like to use color is keeping major purchases like large upholstery pieces and case goods in neutral hues and then add your pops of color and pattern on lower priced items such as pillows and artwork. This does not mean these neutral items need to be boring. Texture, sheen, or muted patterns that read as a solid from far away keep it interesting.

Choose a style that will work for you and your household. Call me corny, but I still love naming my rooms like I did when I was a kid. My living room is called Artful Fun. For some reason, this keeps you on the right track when shopping. You can find so many beautiful items that appeal to you, but if they do not fit in the look you are trying to get, it may not work. Keeping inspiration photos on your phone or that are printed out remind you of your goal.

Having a budget is a smart thing to have when designing. You can get carried away and you can also go a little too cheap. This also helps eliminate pieces right off the bat when searching in a sea of home décor keeping your eye on the prize. A list of items can also assist is the discussion of money with anyone else in your household that is also responsible for paying the bills. Keeping track of what is needed and what has already been purchased gives you a projection of how much more you will need in your design budget.

Overall, after you create your design plan, take your time in accumulating pieces. My advice would be to steer clear of matching sets of anything. In the long run if you stick to your plan you will save money by not purchasing items that essentially do not enhance your space. Whether you do your plan on your own or involve an interior designer for assistance, you should enjoy the process of making your house a home.

Janeane Pittman
Janeane Pittman Interior Design


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