**You can download the worksheets here and here to follow along with this project.**
When working on a design project I usually tell you to focus.
Focus on one room. Finish it.
Then — and only then — should you move onto the next room.
But I understand we can’t always do that.
Maybe you jumped in head first and started redesigning your whole home…
Or maybe you just don’t have the patience to go room by room.
The problem with doing multiple rooms at once is it often leaves the designer feeling scattered or overwhelmed.
You spot one thing that can work in one room…
And then another piece jumps out at you for another completely unrelated part of your home.
It’s a crazy dance toggling back and forth.
Even as a professional, I face the same dilemma.
Because I rarely get to work on only one room at a time.
So how do you juggle it all, without losing your mind?
The first secret is, you have to make your design book.
This will become your “must have” book for the next year, so learn to love it!
To start, measure each of the rooms that you’re working on and make a drawing for that room.
I know what you’re thinking, “I have to measure it all out? This is going to take forever!”
Don’t focus on how much time it takes to measure and write it down…
Focus on the gorgeous home that’s just a few steps away.
This might seem like it will take forever, but you can get it done in one or two evenings.
I’ve done these on scrap paper before – it doesn’t have to be professionally done to be useful.
Next, draw in 3 layouts of furniture that could work in your home.
Why 3? Because your best idea is usually not your first idea.
Go ahead, try it — I promise it’s fun!
Once you decide on the layout that you like,fill in the worksheet.
Write down the max and min dimensions that will fit in your project.
You should include the max width, the min width, the max depth, the min depth, the max height and the min height.
Are you starting to see why this is so valuable?
If not, let me explain.
Recently, I was looking for an antique crystal chandelier to go above my kitchen island.
I had very specific dimensions that would work. So when I came across a jaw dropping piece, I referred to my drawing and my dimension guide to help me know if it would fit.
And when I started doubting my decision, I just took a quick look at my book and confirmed that everything would work like it should.
After Room #1 is complete, repeat the exercise for every single room that I you’re working on in your house.
Does it take a little time? YES.
But this is a book you will be able to use until your entire home is complete.
And the time upfront will save you tons of headaches down the road.
The second secret is my color blocking exercise.
So now you’ve used your design book to make sure that amazing piece will fit.
But now you have another problem.
Will it “match” your existing decor?
To answer that question, work through this exercise below.
It only takes a few minutes, so don’t panic.
Look around your room and take note of the finishes you’re already working with. Pay attention to your floor rugs, your chair’s fabric, and the sofa, pillows, artwork, countertops, and flooring. Examine the colors and tones of these objects and get a sense of what they all have in common.
You will start to see similarities and common tones such as grays, yellows, beiges, or pink. Let those hues guide you, or as I like to say: “Let your hues be your cues.” Focusing on just a few tones will tremendously help you narrow down your choices.
Decide if you like bold contrast or subtle contrast. Don’t follow the trends, follow you. What do you like?
After you decide on the saturation or depth of color, it’s time to think about how you want to use color to enhance your room: monochromatic or contrasting.
How to achieve a monochromatic look: If you’re using beige, you could select a lighter beige, or a darker, richer, deeper beige, or even brown. The key is to choose a color that is still in the same color palette.
How to achieve a contrasting look: If you’re working with beige tones, you can use a contrasting color such as a deep red, burgundy, or even black. Take cues from your hues to decide which contrasting color to pull from. When you start examining your décor you’ll see that you probably have certain secondary colors that appear over and over again. Use those tones to help guide you in selecting a contrast.
I also keep a photo album of each room in my smartphone for fast and easy reference.
I use this technique constantly.
Like when I was recently in France.
I found an incredible 18th century desk to use as a side table in my living room – where I already have a lot of different finishes.
So I wasn’t sure if it would work.
So I quickly ran through this exercise.
I decided I wanted a little bit of contrast (not a lot).
And I was able to look at my photo to see that the colors would contrast beautifully with the colors that I already had without introducing too many more.
I know this is a lot.
So to help you process all this information I have three amazing, FREE downloadable worksheets for you.
You can get the design worksheet here.
The dimension spreadsheet here.
Download these, work on them, and I promise that you will start seeing amazing results in your home.
So what do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!
Oh and don’t forget — we always appreciate it if you can share this blog post with three of your friends!
I can’t wait to see your projects..
But ‘till the next time we meet…
Keep using your design gifts to make your home amazing!
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