I am happy to share that we are the proud owners of a new home! A 1900 early Victorian house, in a small town that is still close to family and friends. I shared some of my design sketches with you when we were pending sale. Well, closing day came and went, so now I am in full design mode sketching away, brainstorming ideas, planning how to maximize the space and flow of each room. I want to share with you my tips on how to design your home, so you can maximize the potential of your space.
There are specific steps I take when designing a home.
Step 1. Identify Problems
The very first thing I do is walk through and identify problems of the home. There are some things that just need to change right away for your new home to be ready for you. Plumbing, Heating, and electrical repairs are the basics that need to be in working order. Besides the basics, you may be wanting to make some changes with room layout and decor. Take a walk through the home and make a list. Here are some specific questions to ask. Are there broken outlets? Do all the switches work? Does the plumbing leak? Where are the main traffic areas in the rooms? Will my furniture fit the space? Is there enough storage? Are there signs of pest problems? Here is what I noticed about our home:
- Back yard has no privacy
- Broken water softener
- Way too much wallpaper!
- Awkward fridge location
- Very dirty air ducts!
- Crumbling shingles on roof
- Damp basement, and necessary for storage
- Mice getting in kitchen cabinets.
- No mailbox
Step 2. Make a list of repairs
After you have identified the areas that need work. It is time to make an action plan of repairing those problems. List the most urgent first, and then the things you'd like to see happen in 6months to 1yr. Having a list keeps a clear vision of where to start and where you are heading. Here is what my Repair list looks like:
- Fence in the back yard
- Get new mailbox
- Have water rust remover unit installed
- Have Air ducts cleaned
- Remove wallpaper everywhere but start in the kitchen and entryway
- Tear out kitchen cabinets and replace with new. Seal wall behind.
- Relocate refrigerator by tearing out pantry.
- Put a dehumidifier in basement
- New roof on second story
Step 4. Identify your unique needs
You need to plan how you are going to use each room in the house. What are your unique needs? Not everyone needs a home office space. Maybe you need a craft room, or a music room. Maybe you homeschool. Maybe you are a collector and a display room would suit your needs. Write down what is is you do and like to do so you can plan on having a space for it. Here are our unique needs for our home:
- 3 bedrooms
- home office
- Art studio
- homeshcool area
- breakfast nook
- gardening area
- outdoor entertaining area
Step 3. Sketch your ideas
This is helpful when planning your decor and furniture placement. I like to do simple watercolor pencil sketches to bring to life my imagined spaces.
Make sure you:
- Research the period of your home and include decor that is unique to your homes character.
Our home was built in 1900. The decor of that period featured wood work, brass and bronze, Tiffany glass lamps, woven natural textiles, large windows attributing to a love of nature and natural light.
- Don't limit yourself to the furniture you already have. Plan on getting some new pieces that will fit your new space perfectly.
I will be looking for a large dining room table, that in our previous home we had no space for. Also, my living room furniture I will need to update, it just doesn't go with this house.
- Choose a color scheme that makes sense. Remember the color wheel and choose a complimentary, split complimentary, or analogous color scheme. There is also tetrad and triad color schemes.
I will be going with cool toned neutrals and blues and greens. This is an analogous color scheme: colors next to each other on the color wheel.
Here are some sketches I've made: