Frustrated because you can’t figure out how to bring your dream room to reality? Five simple steps are all you need to create a space you’ll love!
*Thanks to La-Z-Boy for partnering with me on this post*
Frustrated with your home because you can’t translate your dream room to reality? I get it. I SO get it. I’ve been avoiding my living room for years because I was just so irritated that I couldn’t seem to get anything right. So I stepped back and created a battle plan. It’s my own personal step-by step for making a dream room come to life. I took a long look at how I created the rooms in my house that I already love, and use that “formula” to apply it to my frustrating spaces. And I narrowed it down to five easy steps that anyone can follow. I used it to create my space in the La-Z-Boy Design Dash, you see all through this post, and it worked like a charm.
FIVE STEPS TO CREATE YOUR DREAM ROOM
STEP ONE: FIND INSPIRATION. No matter if you find it on magazines, or Pinterest, or right here on my blog – find a few ideas that you truly love. Look for things that give you the same feeling you want to create in your own room. Want a lighter space that’s more airy – find white/bright spaces. Want a more cozy look? Drift toward the darker side. For my Design Dash room, I wanted to create a cozy feel, yet still have things light at the same time.
Take notes, make a Pinterest board, or just gather ideas into an actual (paper) folder – just make sure you have all your inspiration together so you can put it all down. Pick out the pieces that work together and create an outline of what you’d like to achieve in your space.
STEP TWO: BUILD YOUR BONES. No matter how many lamps and pillows and rugs you stuff into a room, if you hate your mantel or floors (etc.), you’ll never be 100% happy if you’re trying to create your dream room. Start with the architecture – crown molding, base boards, window trim. Move to the floors – do you want carpet or hardwood or tile? Do you need to tear anything out – like I just ripped out a non-funticional fireplace in my own home. Or do you need to build something in – like a window seat? Hate that light fixture – then change it out.
Look through your inspiration list and figure out how to build up the bones of your room to get a backdrop you love. If you can do that, everything else is just icing on the cupcake. (side note: While people who rent may not be able to apply this, at the very least see if you can find solutions like a faux mantel or light fixtures.)
STEP THREE: INVEST IN ESSENTIALS. I personally believe that the more time you spend using a piece of furniture, the better quality you should buy. Like beds. And sofas. Making a bigger investment means that you will most likely save money in the long run, which is why we buy the best quality we possibly can. For my La-Z-Boy Design Dash room, I chose the Aberdeen sofa because that classic shape will never go out of style.
While I like to take risks on smaller stuff, I tend to pick classic furniture pieces that will transcend whatever style I gravitate towards. When you have good basics, you can change up the accessories and have a whole new room for next to nothing.
If you already have pieces you love, stick with those and fill in the gaps with your investment pieces.(And PS – make sure you read to the bottom to learn how to win $15,000 worth of La-Z-Boy furniture!)
STEP FOUR: DIY YOUR DETAILS. I’m all about some DIY. This is the fun part for me. After we’ve ripped down walls and pulled out floors and put everything back together again, it’s the small pieces where I can get more creative and have fun. Because painting a sign or making an accessory isn’t such a commitment. I try to find ways to use up scrap wood or left over fabric as much as I can, because I believe if you constrain something (like money) then that’s where creativity really shines the most. Who says your dream room has to cost a fortune?
STEP FIVE: DON’T SKIP THE STYLING. This last step is the one most people skip – yet it’s the one that actually brings your room to life. Those tiny details are the barrier between a room you like and a room you love. Accessories are what brings the personality to your home. It’s the most fun, but also can be the most challenging. The best part is: it’s easy to move a lamp or a vase of flowers. If you changed out the accessories above, you could get a completely different room in under an hour. Because walking through steps 1-4 gave you a great canvas to throw all the pretty stuff into. Need a few styling tips?
- Make collections in odd numbers: On the coffee table, there are three “objects” – books, bowl of fruit, tiny planter.
- Create layers: In the back corner, you see a mirror, a plant, a lamp, a typewriter and a cabinet. Each has a different scale, so they don’t look all jumbled up together.
- Add in different textures: the warmth of the wooden bowl, a soft wool rug, the comfy sofa – it’s all different feelings. Touch is an important aspect of design, even if you don’t realize how much of a role it plays.
- Don’t forget contrast. You need soft things & hard things. Classic pieces with quirky accessories. Juxtaposition is a powerful tool in styling a space just right.
- Add in more and more and more: Then take some stuff away – if it seems empty without it, then put it back in. Shop your own home to pull things into a new area to see if they work better in that location.
- Varying heights: Make sure you have taller objects and shorter ones. Stack up items on books or in trays – it helps to create interest.
Want a head start on creating your own dream room? The room shown all throughout this post is the one I created for the Design Dash. And you get to pick the winner! You can vote once per day – and one lucky person will win $15,000 worth of La-Z-Boy furniture to start your own dream room!
Get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek to see how I pulled it all together….