AddBuild: Deciding on the Decorations

By the time your project is underway, you’ll probably have some idea of how you’re going to complement the changes you’ve made. For some renovators, these decorating decisions were made before the plans were even drawn up. But for others, design inspiration is harder to come by.

It might sound like a cliché, but inspiration really is everywhere. The hard part is differentiating between what you like, what you really want and, most challenging of all, what you can afford. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the potential choices, it’s best to go back to the basics. AddBuild suggests to stay true to your motivation: do you plan to sell up soon after your project is complete or are you creating a space you’ll never leave?

If it’s the former, then your decorating decisions should be guided by the bottom line of your budget. Seriously, keep it simple. This means streamlined and subtle. You want prospective buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, not distracted by your choices. However, if you’re decorating your forever home, then by all means, go as crazy as your taste and imagination (budget permitting) allows!

But where to start?

First off, consider the top three; the walls, the floor and the window treatments. Because these are the biggest areas you need to cover, they have the potential to dictate the tone of the room. Sometimes a particular piece will dictate your direction. It might be a painting you’ve never hung, a rug you’ve coveted or a couch you can’t afford to replace just yet. If this is the case, try to imagine where in the room that ‘hero’ piece will be placed and how you’d like it to relate to the colour of the wall, floor and windows. If the solution isn’t immediately obvious or you don’t have a particular element to focus on, you’ll need to do a bit of research. This is where it gets fun!

Rooms that work don’t just happen by magic. They come together when colour, texture and pattern collide in a harmonious manner. Whilst not many of us have an interior designer on speed dial, it doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. Check out your favourite magazines, go to the library, visit your local home-maker centre and roam the internet. The following are links to design sites that might help you out:

http://www.completehome.com.au
http://www.designattractor.com/
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/
http://theinteriorsaddict.com/
http://www.absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com.au/
http://www.remodelista.com/
http://www.designsponge.com/
http://thedesignfiles.net/

Once you’ve identified a style you’d like to emulate, try to figure out which elements appeal and why. Be honest about whether the look you like would really suit your lifestyle. (Minimalism, for example, rarely works out for the committed clutterbug!) Take notes and take photos, make diagrams and be sure to keep all your ideas in the one place. If you’d rather not crack out the glue stick, check out Pinterest, which is a social site that allows you to collect images you like but also peruse the pinboards of others, which can be an invaluable resource.

Usually, the purpose of the room will create a natural focal point, therefore identifying what this should be will also guide your research. In considering your options, be sensible! There’s no point in choosing a completely out-there colour scheme, if you can’t afford to replace your furniture to match.

Consider inexpensive ways to update your existing pieces, whether it be a coat of paint for your tired dining room chairs, new scatter cushions, or a cosy throw rug or bedspread. Additionally, if budget permits, reupholstering or re-dying slip covers quickly give older pieces a fresher look. Think about whether indoor plants and window boxes would work for you. Not only do they purify the air, but bringing the outside can help smooth hard edges and soften your space.

Whichever way you feather your nest, we hope that when your project is completed your space is everything you’d dreamt it would be. Home is where the heart is, so be true to your instincts when decorating and you’ll be sure to create a space you love.

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