Designing or redesigning a space can be an overwhelming project. Where does one begin? If you are taking on such a project, start with the basics. Determining what matters is the first step.

What matters most when you are designing a room? Is it the color or the shape of the room? Both of these things are important for sure, but they are not the first thing to consider at the beginning of the design process. Let’s take a look at what you want to accomplish with your space first.

Function

What is the purpose of the space? Knowing what will occur in the room is essential to designing it in the proper way. Most rooms will have more than one function. For instance, a kitchen is for cooking but it is also for eating and socializing. A lot of activity goes on in this part of the house so the dynamics of the room have to meet that need.

What about the bedroom? It is a place to sleep but also to relax. For most couples, it is a sanctuary, and a place for romance. So all choices that go into the room need to reflect those functions.

What about a living room. This usually starts with a place for good conversation, perhaps enjoying a fireplace and a place to read and or listen to music. It just depends on who you are and how you choose to use this area of your home. Maybe you have decided to use your living room as the dining room or as an office because you also have a nearby family room.

So, before changing any one thing in a room, you must first determine the overall function of the room.

Mood and Feeling

A home is a house with feelings attached. Knowing how each room of the house makes you feel is essential to knowing what types of design styles will work best in the space. Let’s take the family room for instance. Overall, it is a happy room that makes the entire family comfortable and gives a sense of fun and safety.

Have you ever walked into someone’s family or living room and immediately felt unwelcome? That’s because the furniture, color and accents and or layout may not be  inviting for conversation and laughter. The color choices, position of the furniture as well as the type of furnishings (including artwork) all play a vital role in keeping the room comfortable weather modern, contemporary, traditional, transitional or ecclectic. If it’s inviting, it will make people want to be there!

Harmony

Harmony is achieved when all rooms are integrated. The bathroom is still the bathroom, but there is an underlying continuity to the patterns and design in your home. The bathroom is not an island that sticks out in the rest of the house.

Here is an example. Your  style is country living. Everything has a simple elegance from the gently distressed farmhouse table in the breakfast nook to the wagon wheel on the porch to the wooden sleigh bed in your room. Now, you walk in the bathroom and it has white walls, a modern square sink and a glass shower. See what I mean? The continuity may be broken. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a modern bathroom, you should consider some elements of the style you love and have chosen for the rest of your home, to also be reflected in your bath.

In design, it’s important (even if doing it yourself) that the design style flows from room to room. So even if starting with one room at a time, make sure that there is a cohesive design style direction to take into your entire home. This will help transform your house into your home.