Written By Lynn Leake | Photographed By Kaylee Estrada
For most of us, our home is the biggest investment that we make. And by investment, I mean a personal and emotional involvement in our lives like no other. Our homes are our havens and our refuges from the world. They express our personalities and show the way we want to be in the world. I have a Master’s degree in Interior Design as well as a Masters degree in Psychology,and I use them both everyday! I learned in the Psychology department that homes mean different things to the sexes. There are studies that indicate that men see their home as a way of showing other men how well they have done and how successful they are. Women, on the other hand, care more about the interior of the home. They are involved with making the spaces inside the walls a comfortable place to be. It makes sense that women, who have traditionally taken care of the home, care deeply about how it functions, how it looks and how it makes one feel.
We all change and evolve, and so does the way we live. Your home should represent yourself and your style now, not someone you used to be or somewhere you used to live. Looking through magazines and watching HGTV will give you a place to begin the journey of updating your environs. Exploring the options for styles and the colors that are trending for the way you live now, will help guide the conversation you will want to have with a professional as you move forward. Make a board on Pinterest or a file folder with torn out magazine pages of pretty rooms to share with your designer. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Walking into a furniture store can be an intimidating experience. There you are, out of your element, out of your comfort zone, and in need of some direction. The first thing you should know is that the designer you choose to work with will be your “new best friend” for several months if the project involves more than one room. Your designer should be a professional meaning they have a degree in design or years of experience helping create spaces that homeowners can be proud of. Designers have a knack for colors and spatial design, but they also should be good listeners who can ask the right questions. The whole process can be fun and exciting if you are working with the right person who is in tune with your personality.
In the beginning is the floor plan. Everything revolves around the basic dimensions, traffic patterns, windows, and doors of the room. How you live in your home is the key to the pieces that you choose, the fabric you incorporate, and how the furniture is arranged. An interior designer knows these things and has fabrics at her fingertips that can withstand the sun, repel red wine and popsicles, or simply look amazingly elegant. There will be discussions with the designer about who uses the room and what for, and whether everyone needs to see the TV, or if you have lots of cousins and need to seat ten for conversation. A designer will spend hours looking through hundreds of fabrics for the right ones to complete a look, and make the space reflect the lifestyle you live. It’s often like a visit to the eye doctor; which one works better for you,this one or that one?
When a designer sits down with a pencil, or at the computer to make a plan for a particular space, the years of experience he/she brings to the table comes into play. A designer is aware of what it takes to make a room work the way you want it to. It makes a difference whether there are small children with toys to store, or five college fans who want to watch football together. It’s not only the pieces chosen that go into creating a room, but also different colors, fabrics, and choice of furniture arrangement all take part in designing your space. Interior designers are familiar with sources and can make suggestions that you would never think of. With years of experience delving into the pages of catalogs, explorations at Furniture Market viewing their latest products, and not to mention, a passion for HGTV and shelter magazines, an experienced, passionate designer will know how to create your dream space. Find a designer at a store that suits you, and you can save money, avoid making a mistake, create a pleasing personal space, and have the home you have always dreamed of!