Style Theory Part II

Aug 9, 2013 | Interior Design | 0 comments

If you’re in agreement with yesterday’s Style Theory, a logical question follows: how the hell do I overhaul a room and where to even begin? This post will hopefully steer you in the right direction and make the entire process easily digestible and, perhaps, a little fun.

Style– Whether you’re changing one room or every room in the house, deciding on the style is vitally important and will guide all your buying decisions. Among the most popular styles are mod (bold prints/chrome finishes/minimal decor touches), mid-century modern (clean lines/smaller profiles/recognizable pieces from that era) contemporary (usually a collection of whatever is popular at that particular time)/rustic (unfinished wood/animal hides/distressed brown leather)/industrial (metal furniture/Edison bulbs/sparse decorating touches)/luxe (mirrored furniture/velvet upholstery/plush pillows), eclectic (combining pieces from multiple different styles) but there are many many more.

Your room needs a main style as well as a sub-style to avoid looking like a showroom or catalogue. Choosing the style direction is the biggest decision you’ll make in the process and requires the most research and consideration. Give yourself a month, during which time you’ll collect as much visual information as you can. Read design magazines (Elle Decor/House Beautiful/Dwell), immerse yourself in the online design world (, and consider which stylish homes you’ve visited and what you liked about them. If you’re working around a few key pieces already in the room, identify their style and think about proper complementation.

Budget– Entire room overhauls are expensive and most people don’t have the 5-10k* to throw down at once. The advice I give clients and friends is about as common sense as you can get: start saving. Give yourself 6 months to 1 year without buying a single new thing for your home, curb your spending in other areas, and create a separate account specifically for this project.

Priority– Once you have the funds, you must know where to spend what. I advise the following: the larger the piece and the more often it’s used, the more it should cost. Sofas, beds, and rugs will eat up a big chunk of your budget. Side tables, lamps, curtains, throw pillows, ottomans, and art** can all be sourced inexpensively .*** Lounge chairs can be purchased affordably on Craigslist, Etsy, or from a local consignment store and redone for less than they would cost brand new. Dressers are readily available at local antique stores for reasonable prices. Wherever these budget loopholes are available, jump through them! Save the big spending for select items.

*This is rough estimate for a typical room.

**Buying from local artists is good karma and better for the budget.

***A project I recently finished featured end tables from Ikea and poufs from Target. The most expensive item in the entire house was, by far, the couch.


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