Starting an interior design project can be incredibly daunting. If you’ve never done any significant redecorating before, you may not know where to start. Plus, with interior design, there’s often a fine line between nailing it and failing it.
Here’s how to avoid a décor disaster and make sure that you come in on budget.
What to ask before you start an interior design project
Before starting, make sure you are absolutely clear on the following questions.
- Will you hire professionals or DIY everything?
- Who will use the space, and how will they use it?
- What are the problems and opportunities of the space as it is now?
- What is your budget?
- When do you want to complete the project?
- What are the risks that might stop you from completing the project on time or within your budget?
- Have you allocated extra money for unforeseen expenses?
- What resources (including people) will you need for the project?
Create a mood board
Now you can move on to the fun part of starting an interior design project. Mood boards help you to visualize how your ideas will come together.
A popular way to create a mood board is by using an online app such as Pinterest. You can also make one by pasting images on canvas or stiff cardboard. Many designers like to pin items to corkboard so they can move things around.
Your mood board can include magazine images, paint swatches, and textures like fabric or carpet.
The best thing about using a mood board is that it costs very little. It should actually save you money by helping you make smart design choices.
Decide if you will hire an interior designer
An interior designer can help you with the following tasks.
- Choosing color schemes and layouts
- Visualizing the end result
- Sourcing materials and furniture (often at a discounted rate)
- Communicating with tradespeople
- Scheduling the activities needed to complete the project
- Lighting design
If you decide to hire a designer, your next job is to choose one. Ask people whose homes you admire for references or stalk local style gurus on Instagram.
A good designer will ask similar questions to the ones we covered earlier. You also need to love their previous work and feel comfortable talking to them.
Avoid common interior design mistakes
Starting an interior design project without a professional shouldn’t mean flying blind. Some common pitfalls that DIY designers often make include:
- Choosing rugs that are too small for the designated space
- Installing lighting that is too dim or too bright or only having one source of light
- Hanging artwork at the wrong height
- Going overboard on a theme
- Not defining a clear focal point in a room
Fundamental advice to help you nail your interior design
Lastly, we’ll cover the two most important things you need to know.
First, cut the clutter! Most of us have far too many things. Getting rid of items you don’t need or love will make the single biggest impact on your home. It will also make it far easier to redecorate.
Second, have fun—even if redecorating seems like a huge challenge. Starting an interior design project in the right frame of mind will make everything easier.