6 Tips to Overcome a Design Dilemma
Whether you’re starting from scratch, tired of a space and looking to refresh it, or simply looking for something new – dilemmas always occur! From looks to feel and function, there are many challenges that can pop up but are easily overcome with a few of my tips below.
1. Edit First
With any design dilemma, simply start by editing. It’s a similar mindset to purging, take a step back and identify and remove the things you don’t like. This will provide instant relief, open up the space and allow you to identify the real problem. You may discover that it’s simply a mirror taking up a wall or lamp that was overpowering the space! Often times we try to hang on to pieces because we spent money on them, but hanging on is just that. Try to repurpose in another space or sell on Facebook Marketplace to free up cash for something new.
2. Focus on the Feel
Now that you’ve edited and thought about the items you need and like, focus on the feel of your space. Of course, we all want it to look good, but it is so easy to get caught up in imposter syndrome and what everyone else is doing. At the end of the day it is YOUR home and should have a feeling that makes you happy when you walk into the space. Jot down descriptive words – cozy, inviting, formal, sleek – to then move into how it will look without worrying about a label of style to fit within.
3. Consider Function
You may subconsciously thought about this by now, but since you’ve edited the space and identified the feel, you are now opened up to plan and consider the function. From the layout of the space to placement of utilitarian items, really consider the traffic, flow and usage of the space. This will make everything feel right, as it will be in the right place.
4. Identify Inspiration
This is often a recommended first step which leads to mistakes. Now that you’ve edited and identified feeling & function, you’re ready to choose an inspiration piece or source external inspiration. It can be a piece you have that you love the color palette of, an element of a texture you want to bring in or heading to good ole Pinterest/Instagram to source similar photos. I recommend one piece you love, often a rug, to set the tone (literally). It helps everything trickle down from furniture to accessories to feel as cohesive or eclectic as you’d like them to be, especially if you have open concept spaces that are within view of one another.
5. Establish a Budget
Following the steps in the provided order allows for budgeting to be easier and realistic. You’ve been able to take a step back, identify what you have, want and need + exactly where it will go. You can first try to mix old and new, with existing pieces or refinishing some hand-me-downs. Mixing them in can provide a charm to the space and reflect your personal style. Spaces take time, so you can also plan to swap down the road! From there, make a list of everything in the space and the costs associated with either refinishing or purchasing. If the total feels like too much, edit! That simple. Budgets can be overwhelming, but mostly because the prep work has not been done.
6. Walk Away
This is a great piece of advice I even offer when it comes to your career. When trying to solve a problem and feeling frustrated or not right, just walk away from it. Take a step back, give it time and come back to it with a fresh mind. This is especially important when it comes to the home as these changes create an entirely different feeling. Letting things sit for a day can give you a lot of insight! It doesn’t have to be solved today – something I need to remind myself of often! The beauty of our homes is that we get to make them what we want and it takes time. Give yourself some grace and have fun with it!
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