home decorating

How to Plan and Start a Home Decorating Project?

The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time. If you’ve never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don’t know how or where to start. 

If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started. There’s very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first. 

Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because the paint is available in an almost infinite variety of colours, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified. But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love? Have you chosen an elegant wallpaper or luxurious fabric that you want to use? 

You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you start with a plan, an inspiration piece, and a colour scheme. Find your sources of inspiration and work your way through your decorating project. You’ll be happy you spent the time to plan. 

As with any business plan, you should draw up a written statement for your project. Identify your style and then select a colour scheme around your theme. Will you choose a garden style or a sleek contemporary decorating scheme? 

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Put it in writing and stick to it. Not everyone can start with a fresh, empty room and begin decorating. Most of us already have some pieces of furniture, or the home has carpeting, tile floors or countertops, or architectural features that you’re not ready to discard. If there are things you like, focus on them, and make them important. If there are things you don’t like but cannot change, find ways to camouflage or downplay them in your newly decorated space.

Things to Look for When Designing a New Home

  • What are the zoning and building code restrictions? The fun design work doesn’t start until I’ve identified all of the restrictions in place on your lot during the Pre-Design phase. I’ll look at where the zoning will allow the house to be built on the lot, how high it can be, and if there are any environmentally critical areas on the property. We have a project with a bald eagle’s nest nearby (one of several types of environmentally critical areas), and I can’t tell you how complicated that makes things. It’s really important to be aware of these types of challenges from the start. (By the way, you’ll often hear environmentally critical areas referred to by the acronym ECA.)
  • What’s the budget? We maintain an extensive database of past projects and what they cost. We’ll work with the client to identify different scenarios based on size and design complexity to help determine the desired construction budget. While it’s a bit of an educated guess at this point, it helps set the tone for how big and complicated the house should or should not be.
  • Does the client have any particular aesthetic goals? Sometimes, a client will absolutely want a contemporary or a traditional home. Other times they are flexible about style, or unsure. This doesn’t entirely change my thoughts on the initial design but it helps get the gears moving.
  • Where’s the sun? We will do a solar study to determine where the house should sit and where are the shady conditions we have to deal with (or take advantage of, as the case may be). The example below shows which parts of the property will be in sun or shade at different key points of the year, as well as the direction of the prevailing winds, their speed and the typical air temperature. Even if you aren’t designing a super sustainable house, being aware of these types of details about your location (and designing for them) will pay off when you move in and start experiencing what it’s like to live there.
  • What are the sustainability goals? Right now, we are working on a new passive house, another one that has deep sustainability goals, and another one where it isn’t a stated goal but they’re open to ideas. With each one, it helps set initial thinking for siting the house, how thick the walls should be (especially on tight urban lots where this can matter a lot), and what roof forms I should consider if we’re trying to integrate solar panels. (Frustratingly, for instance, shed roofs work best when they are high on the south side to let light into the interior. Unfortunately, this, unfortunately, conflicts with where solar panels want to sit. So, we have to make a call early on about the priorities.)
  • What are the neighbors up to? How private is the lot and where are the adjacent homes? I’ll also look at the style of the adjacent homes and discuss with the clients the value of neighborhood sensitivity. Seattle has a lot of homes with contemporary designs, so this is becoming less of an issue, but we’ll still want to have the discussion about how to make this home blend in, OR how to make it stand out in a special way.
  • What are my goals for this project? Now, this is a bit of a secret. Every architect I know has a collection of ideas rattling around in their head that they’ve thought of or seen over the years. We are just looking for the right site and project to try them out on. Obviously, I can’t force an idea on a site, but it is exciting when I find a match between an idea in my head and a site.

Once this is all collected, then I can start design. We typically start with a meeting with the team to review all of the above parameters and we then start to assess the “rules” of the site. You’d be surprised how often the above parameters can quickly determine where a house should be on the property.

I’ll then take these findings and go off into my office and start sketching and dreaming and tweaking and throwing the ideas out. It is organic and there’s no way to predict how long it will take. Sometimes, an idea comes fast and other times I have to work through a bunch of bad ideas to get to the good ones. It is fun, frustrating, and like nothing else in the world.

5 Tips for Decorating a Whole House

Decorating your house can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a daunting task. How do you maintain personal style without everything looking thrown together or mismatched? Making each room flow into the next might seem difficult, but these interior design secrets will help you achieve the house of your dreams. And yes, you can make a home’s overall design cohesive without every room being identical; we’ll show you how.

1. Choose a Theme

An easy way to make your home design unified is to have a common theme throughout. Is it modern or traditional? Earthy or industrial? Do you love nature motifs? Vintage accessories? The look of farmhouse style? What about nautical pieces? This room perfectly captures a nautical vibe with pale ocean blues, sea glass, and a weathered anchor on the mantel without going (dare we say it) overboard. Pick a look you love and repeat elements of it throughout the rooms of your house. 

2. Match Materials

When shopping for furniture and accessories, consider the materials of the items you’re buying. Use similar materials in each room — wicker, glass, or wood, for example — to unite the spaces. Vary the textures and finishes of these items so the effect is subtle rather than overly matchy or forced. These homeowners used woven baskets for storage in their bedrooms. Baskets make for easy tuck-away storage in any room, but you could also repeat their texture in other ways — as wicker furniture or a rattan rug, for example.

3. Pick a Signature Color

What colours are you drawn to? Find a colour you really love (read: a colour you can live with) and weave it into each room’s design. Mix light and dark shades, and change up the amount of colour in each room, too. Think beyond just painting the walls — a burst of colour can take the form of curtains, rugs, art prints, accent pillows, or even the colour of your bathroom towels. Orange provides bright accents in an otherwise neutral bedroom, but it can be used in more subtle shades in other rooms.

4. Coordinate Wall Colors

Now let’s talk about walls. For maximum visual connectedness, use the same paint colour in open spaces, like this kitchen and living room seating area that flow together. Matching wall colours make separate spaces look as though they were intended to be joined. Here’s a helpful tip: If you can close the door to a room, you can paint it a different colour.

5. Incorporate Focal Features

After all this talk about repetition and unity, let’s return to the most important part of your house: you. Infuse your style into each room by including a surprise element or a conversation piece, such as a distinct framed print above your bed or a unique chandelier in your kitchen. This funky red fixture makes a bold statement against a blue backsplash.

Benefits of Decorating Your Home

It’s essential to decorate your home and redecorate once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you decorate yourself or if you hire a professional interior decorator, the important thing is to improve the overall outlook and atmosphere of your home.

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If you have not considered decorating your home, here are some amazing benefits you are missing out on.

It Increases the Value of Your Home

Whether you plan to sell your property in the near future or not, you need to maintain the value of your home. In the absence of decorations and maintenance, you will see the value of your home reduce with time. The best thing is to redecorate frequently so that you won’t have much work to do whenever you are ready to sell the property.

Improved Hospitality

This benefit is a significant one, especially if you are very social and receive guests frequently. Decorating is not only for personal amusement. You also do it to make your home comfortable for guests to stay. When you decorate your home, you don’t have to be worried about hosting guests as your home will always be ready to receive visitors.

Declutter Your Home

Decorating a cluttered home would be hard for anyone. The first thing you need to do before decorating is to clear up your spaces and arrange your household items. Clutter builds up with time, and eventually, it gets to a point where you may not be able to bring yourself to clear the clutter. However, if you can decide to decorate, you will be able to summon the effort to clear up the confusion.

Energy Efficiency 

Another fantastic benefit of the home decoration is energy efficiency. There is a lot you can do when decorating to make your home more energy-efficient. For starters, furniture is great for insulation as they provide additional thermal barriers. Carpets and rugs help with insulation, while window treatments can reduce the work of air conditioners. All these decorative features can reduce the amount you spend on energy.


Your decor is one of the things that give your home identity. You get to choose what kind of decorations you want, the colours you want, and how you want them arranged. In the evolution of your spaces, you get to choose what purpose a particular space will serve as you decorate.


It is quite hard to believe, but decorations can motivate you as a homeowner. You may have heard some people say that decorating is their hobby. This is because they’re motivated when they decorate and they get so much joy in the process. When you decorate continuously, you will get better, and decorating will become more of a happy task than a requirement.

Improved Mood

The effect interior decoration has on the occupants of a home is quite surprising. A poorly decorated space will have adverse effects on people, while the right decorations have a significant impact on improved mood. Decorating will get your family members interested in spending time at home as your spaces will become more attractive.


Decorations can improve the functionality of both interior and exterior spaces. While decorations can make your home more beautiful, they make it more organised also. You can’t just go ahead and decorate a dirty or disorganised space – you will have to tidy up first. If you have been finding it difficult to put a room to use, you should decorate it. This will make it more ready to serve whatever purpose you want it to.

Decorations Can Hide Design Flaws

It isn’t uncommon to have some design or construction flaws in a home. Just in case these flaws have no remedy, or if it would be too much to correct them, you can use decorations to cover them up. For example, a superficial crack may not be structurally significant. Still, you wouldn’t want the crack defacing your property. You can use simple decorations like paint or wallpaper to cover cracks and other similar faults.

Decorations Can Help Repurpose a Space

Over time, you may have to use rooms in your home for different purposes. Decorations can make these rooms more suitable for specific purposes. For example, a nursery should be repurposed when your children are all grown. Decorations made the space ideal for babies, just like they can also make the room suitable for other uses.

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