I know we’ve been in our homes a great deal more than usual. Looking at the same walls day after day, maybe you’ve been thinking, “it’s time to give this room a refresh.” You get online and find lots of inspiration (and go down a couple of rabbit holes) and yet the space stays the same.

I want to share with you some simple steps to go from “what” to “wow.”

get inspired

photo by charles deluvio

I know you’ve been pinning like crazy, but don’t stop.  Make a board and collect as many pictures as you can of the things you love.  You don’t even have to know why you love them.  Something in the photo just speaks to you.  I promise you, that when you’re finished, you know more than you think you do.  When looking at all the pics together, usually a story starts to be written.  You find that you love light colored upholstery—or that you hate white sofas.  Whatever the common thread is, it does reveal itself in the process.  This information is so good to know so that you have an idea of the look you like.

measure the space

photo by William Warby

This is such a simple step but so essential to getting things done. I normally measure the length and width of the floor and then I make a drawing of every wall. Then I put down the measurements of every window and door opening. Knowing where you have limitations enables you to know where to maximize your space.

scale and flow

photo by hannah busing

Scale—How big should the individual pieces be in the room.  If they’re too big or too small, even if you love them, they’ll never feel right in the space.  The best way to do this is measure and lay them out on your computer.  While there are plenty of apps for your ipad and your phone, I just find I have a little more control on my laptop.  A simple free site is planyourroom.com.  Once you have the room in, play with the sizes of the larger pieces first and see how they work in the space.

Flow—this is simply how a person interacts with the space.  Is there enough room between the pieces and can a person move easily in the room?  I normally leave 36” square for personal space around a person.  Once seated, I usually use 18” from the sofa to the coffee table.  If you’re not sure, move some of your furniture around until you feel “comfortable” and measure the distance. 

wrap up

Once you’ve got all these steps in place, you’re ready to go. Take your layout that you’ve done and you have a list of all the pieces (and their sizes) that you’ll need in the space. It’s now time to take that inspiration and start shopping that list. Before you know it, you’re ready to buy and install.

I know it’s easier said than done, but I find if you put in the work here, you really are free to make that dream space a reality!