Design 101: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Revamping Your Space

It’s always exciting to update the look and feel of a space. You get to explore different color palettes, go to furniture stores and buy something, and of course, enjoy a “brand-new home.” But, as much as it’s fun, it’s also challenging. In fact, when you start getting serious about the project, you may find yourself clueless as to where to start.

Here’s an unconventional proposition for a good starting point: ask yourself questions. With these, you can jumpstart planning and orient your creative efforts towards meaningful results:

What’s the room’s function?

Before going into the aesthetics of the space, you should be able to decide first on function. There’s no use to having the most breathtaking focal point or beautiful color palettes if the room isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. Make sure to home in on the purpose of the space — and mind you, a single area can have many.

For instance, a bedroom may not just be a sleeping environment, but can also have a reading nook or a yoga zone. A kitchen may not just be a food preparation hub, but also an entertainment area for guests or a homework spot for kids. When determining the function of the room, ask yourself, “How do I envision using this space? What will my needs be when I am here? Who will use it?” The bottom line is you want function to precede aesthetics, with any and every room in the house.

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What do you like (or dislike) about the room?

From there, assess the current condition of the room. List what you admire about it and what you like to improve on it. Apart from function, pay special attention to the flow of the room, the furniture and accessories, and the color scheme. Be specific, especially on the ones you dislike.

For instance, if it’s fixtures like window treatments, write why you want to get rid of it. Is it the outdated feel? Is it the worn-out look? Is it not functional anymore? It’s tempting not to make a list and just have a mental picture of what you want to change in the space, but that strategy won’t help. You’ll only find yourself either paying for things you could’ve just saved or upcycled or doing the same design mistakes. If you don’t want your old, sheer curtains anymore because of their insufficient light control, then go for the blinds or shutters Fair Haven, NJ-based interior designers recommend.

Do you have a particular style in mind?

This is the fun part: the aesthetics of the space. It’s best if you can gather inspiration for the style of your home. Pinterest and Instagram provide many ideas. Go scroll. Knock yourself out. Once you’ve collected all the images you liked, look at them again and ask yourself what common themes they share. Is it the color scheme? Is it the use of natural materials? Is it the soft textures? From the common denominator, you’ll be able to determine what style you’re leaning more into.

If you’re inclined to the elegance and sophistication of the space, you most likely prefer the traditional style. If you’re more into toned-down, neat pieces, you’ll probably enjoy minimalist and contemporary styles. If your Pinterest boards are outdoorsy and nature-ish, perhaps rustic is for you. Again, the principle is to know the common theme in the images you like.

It’s worth reflecting carefully your creative project before taking a full plunge into it. Ask yourself these questions so you can better plan this makeover.