Finally, you’re about to move into your own place – At long last! You thought this day of freedom would never come! But then reality sets in, all of the decisions you have to make and how to decide? You begin to gather ideas of all of the options that surrounding you; be it on-line via friends, blogs, and magazines or in-store. Here are 5 key things to do before you make any decisions.
Think Peace and Comfort
Start by asking yourself: what gives you the most peace and comfort? This is your home; so make sure your preferences are foremost. Not those of friends and family. Make a list of the answer to these questions:
- What inspires you?
- What do you like to do to relax?
- How often do you entertain?
- How many people do you usually invite if you have friends over?
- Are you into reading or gaming?
- Do you enjoy gardening?
- Is your favourite relaxing activity watching a movie?
For instance, If you like to have lots of friends and family over, but are tight on space, you may want to think about having seating that can be moved around and incorporated into other rooms when you’re not entertaining. Or, if you have pets, you need to consider their needs.
Another example: you really like to read, so you’ll want to have an upholstered chair or sofa where you can maximize both natural and indoor lighting available. As well as having your cozy place to curl up and read, always keeping your comfort in mind.
Sketch Out Your Space
With a list of your favourite activities in hand; sketch out your space, room by room. Create a floor plan using graph paper or one of the many on-line apps available. Room Sketcher is a good one to start with.
As you do this, be sure to allow for flow between the separate spaces of your home. One of the most common mistakes is to place too many things in your space, which only makes things feel crowded or cluttered. Another common mistake is using furniture that is too large (or too small) for your room.
For instance, the ideal space between your kitchen counter and dining room table should be at least 4 feet so that people can walk between the two (and guests have room to pull out chairs). But an entry door in the path and/or a larger scaled space will need more space — 6 feet or more. Don’t let ‘paths of travel’ be an afterthought. Think about how to move from one room to the next. Typically, doorways and stairs require ample room for circulation. You’ll need at least 3 feet of room for paths of travel.
Measure to Be Sure
You’ll want to measure larger pieces of furniture like a sofa or a sectional in both length and width, to make sure that they will fit through doorways. At the same time double check stairways, especially in older homes, and elevators in condos and apartments buildings.
Plan for Multiple Uses for Your Rooms
If you incorporate a sofa bed in your living room, you’ll be able to easily accommodate an overnight guest. Or, as previously suggested, have some chairs or ottomans that can be used in your living room for game night. Layout your kitchen or dining area for those ‘work at home days’. Buy decorative storage containers to hide some of the clutter when you’re using the room for its primary function.
Make It Your Own
Choose colours that make you happy and comfortable. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and bring out your personality. Use accents (tables, chairs, ottomans, consoles and more) and accessories (including wall art, mirrors, vases, decorative containers, lamp, rugs, throws, toss pillows, poufs and more) to add interest, creativity and change the entire look of your home. Don’t forget to change things around seasonally, so you don’t get bored and are always having fun.
Lastly, don’t be overwhelmed; have fun and do a little at a time … Rome wasn’t built in one day!