Now that we have the intro out of the way, I thought it would be a good idea for me to share some pointers that I think will be helpful to any of you either embarking on a project of your own or daydreaming about the future. I'm intentionally calling these "pointers" because I want to help point you in the right direction. Take it for what it is and realize that I have zero formal training in home decorating and design. These are just some things I've learned along the way and I will probably refer to them more than anyone as I continue throughout this process. For all you Type A's out there (like me who is a Type A+), this is especially for you! For all you non-Type A's, please teach me your ways!
Pointer #1: Don't overwhelm yourself with too many ideas.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge in trying to complete a full room transformation is sorting through the sea of endless possibilities to develop a clear, yet flexible, plan for the room. For me, the hardest part is compiling everything I like, then discarding about 50-75% of it, so I don't overwhelm myself with trying to incorporate every single element or feature that I like in all my inspiration rooms. It is impossible to do it all so pull out a few pictures that you like and save the rest for another room or for later in the process when you might need a few more ideas.
Here are two (note, TWO) pictures that I have chosen for my office inspiration:
It helps me to have a starting point, or one stand-out element that I can use to inspire the rest of the room. It really could be anything, a piece of art, a rug, a fabric swatch...It just has to be something that you like enough to use as your compass when designing the room. In this room, for me, it's the chair. If you can't narrow it down to one thing, two or three things are fine. Just make sure they go together and make sure that you know which of the two or three items you could live without if if comes to that. I was able to find a picture of the chair fabric on Pinterest which I also included in my inspiration file:
Pointer #3: Start with a blank (and clean) slate.
As I mentioned above, I took the time to remove all the clutter from the room and give it a good cleaning before I did anything else. There's nothing like a pile of junk or a colony of dust bunnies hopping along the floor to kill the inspirational mood. You will be able to think clearer and envision better while looking at a completely blank slate. And since this just came to my brain, also try not to fill the empty room with anything for a day or so (ideally a week). Take a look at the empty space during the day and then at night. I have a hard time doing this, but it is really helpful to get a feel for the space throughout the day. Perfect example, I had one color that I planned to use in the room this whole time so I painted a swatch of it with a brighter color next to it. The original color looked completely depressing and dreary on a rainy, dark day last weekend while the brighter color that I thought might be too bright, remained cheerful and happy. I'm glad I figured that out now rather than 10 hours of painting later. This leads me to my last pointer for today:
Pointer #4: Put that paintbrush DOWN!
Resisting the urge to paint is the hardest thing I've had to do in this room. I allowed myself two swatches which satisfied the craving to paint right away, but I'm not allowing any more painting until I'm further along in the process. The thing is, it's so easy to throw up some paint and feel like you've made progress. But then you've really locked yourself in to a color scheme, and when you come across that perfect "something" that is going to pull the whole room together and realize it doesn't exactly match those salmon-colored walls that looked so good when the room was bare, you are going to be a sad, sad panda. So do yourself the favor, as I have done now but have not done in the past, and hold off on painting until you are sure (and I mean SURE) that the color you've chosen is going to harmonize with the room and not fight against it. Paint color can really be a shining element in the room. I'm all about color and I am very anti-neutral. But just make sure that the color you are committing to is the long term kind of paint color and not the one night stand kind of paint color.
On that note, I think I'm done with the pointers for today. Happy weekend ya'll!