Is anyone else swooning over all the all white open floor plans on Pinterest and Instagram?
I can spend entire days dreaming that I come home and our farmhouse is complete with floor to ceiling windows, marble countertops and backsplash, hand-sawn wood plank flooring, and an open floor plan.
But I don’t think I’m the only one am I?
Pinterest creates this deep desire to makeover our space and when the inspiration strikes, what do we all gravitate toward first? Paint colors of course!
It’s cheap, easy, and packs a big punch, which is what we all want!
The trouble comes after the painting is complete and it’s time to choose drapes, flooring, furniture, and fabrics to go with the new color.
So I’m proposing a simpler way to get the result we’re after & a story of how I learned this lesson the hard way.
A Different Approach:
Look around your home for a moment. What items do you love the most?
If your favorite item is a vibrant photo taken during a memorable trip or the leather armchair that’s worn down because you love it so much then your space is probably best suited with at least a bit of color in it!
That doesn’t mean white isn’t an option, it just means colors have their place too!
It is possible to have both a stunning Pinterest worthy home that is also functional for the life you enjoy living!
Try starting out a design process by answering these questions:
1. “What is my vision for this space or what do I want to change?”
A way to figure out what stands out most and either needs changed or altered to achieve the desired style.
2. “What look or feel am I most drawn too?” (comfortable, modern, etc)
This question helps describe likes & dislikes. Be flexible with your answer-it’s not necessary to stick to just one style, question 3 is going to help select the final style.
3. “Which items in my home bring me the most joy or best memories?”
This helps to figure out what colors, textures, and even smells you most enjoy and which style the room will be designed around. It’s the most important question!
Now use the answers to impliment the new design:
- Select your favorite item from the answer #3.
- Look at the style, textures, colors, and feel it evokes.
- Which of the styles under #2 does it fit into? It’s ok if it fits into more than one style or feeling it’s perfectly fine to mix, in fact, the best way to create a custom interior that speaks to you is to mix styles!
- Using your selected style(s) look through the answer to #1 and select the items that are most important to change or update in order to a make this vision a reality.
- Use the item selected from #3 as a compass for your entire design! It will serve as a reference point for the style, fabrics, flooring, paint, and decor.
- I also propose that we choose paint colors last! I know this draws out the process. I’m not good at being patient either but the result will be well worth it and it will mean avoiding that frustrating feeling of being stuck!
- Be Patient!The best interiors are curated slowely and over time. Designers take their time finding the right pieces, fabric, and architectural elements for clients based on their vision of the final look. Filling our space’s with items that we absolutly LOVE and cherish is the best way to go, even if it means saving up for awhile instead of purchasing that will work but isn’t perfect.
Each of us is drawn to different styles, colors, and even smells. No answer is right or wrong, only what fits your lifestyle and likes/dislikes.
Using the ‘Compass Item’
If the compass item is small enough to carry around (like a photo or fabric sample) then the process of choosing drapes, bedding, and even paint color becomes so simple it’s almost foolproof!
If it’s too large to carry around, snap a photo (in natural light) and save it to your phones ‘favorites’ album so it’s readily available to draw from it whenever something comes along that might work!
There are so many beautiful fabrics and furniture pieces that it can be tempting to impulse buy (especially when its a great deal).
Having your inspirational item available makes it easier to turn down items that don’t fit into the final vision & is sure to make it possible for you to create the perfect room!
Let’s Look at an Example
Say you choose this high contrast photo from a trip as your design compass. It matches the modern style with traditional elements you answered for #2, so let’s design our room!
There are a lot of bright colors in this photo but that doesn’t mean they need to be the focal point. You’ll notice there are varied shades of blue, green, and beige to choose from as well.
Fabric Options for Drapery, Upholstery, or throw pillows:
(mixing large, medium, and small prints).
The aqua blue surrounding the area before the remaining dock leads down into a deeper navy, these fabrics pull from those colors while also fitting into a modern style scheme.
A sunset sky provides a stunning option for fabrics and patterns! The orange and coral found along the horizon served as the inspiration for these fabrics.
The more muted and subtle tones to these fabrics draw again from the Aqua area of the photo while also throwing in a dash of creams and whites to break up the color a bit.
The wood under the missing dock has light coloring with visible graining similar to these flooring options.
The furniture & design elements change depending on which fabrics are chosen and how bold of a look is desired.
The coffee table mimics the dock support in the wood color, plank style, and the nailhead trim. The rug incorporates almost all the colors from the photo, and the ottomans bring the modern and classic style together with the table. The Chairs can be either modern or more traditional depending on desired taste. The floor pouf is done in one of the fabrics shown above.
Paint Colors (both bold & muted options):
The photo contains a lot of color variants making almost any paint color possible but since we will be choosing paint color last, looking at the other elements we already selected these are some colors that stick out as appealing based on the other design elements.
Using something you already love to create an interior space is the best way to achieve a space that will make you happy long after the trends have come and gone!
This concept is not something I came up with nor is it new. It’s something that designers and other seasoned home decorators use every day. The best way to create a space like the ones we drool over online is to take your time and use something as inspiration to build around!
If you already use this method or something similar, what do you think? Does it make the design process easier?