10 Things to Know Before Renovating or Redecorating Your Home Interior

10 Things to Know Before Renovating or Redecorating Your Home Interior

Once you’ve decided to take on a home remodeling project, you’ll probably want to begin renovating and decorating as soon as possible. If you consider these 10 simple questions before jumping in, you’ll avoid unnecessary purchases and you'll end up in a space you love.


Very few things are more exciting than home renovation and redecorating. Whether you’re tearing down walls, painting cabinets, or re-arranging furniture, a change to your home is like a change to yourself—it makes you feel fresh and new. That’s because the things we surround ourselves with day by day find a way to become part of us. 


But before you grab your credit card or begin looking for an interior designer, here are 10 questions to help you make the best possible use of your resources. Your answers to these questions will serve as a roadmap to success on your home improvement journey and will help you communicate your preferences to your interior designer, should you choose to use one.


1. What hobbies or leisure activities do you dedicate your time to?

If you love to watch TV shows and movies, consider investing in a comfortable, lounge-worthy sofa or sectional and a large screen. If exercising is your passion, you might enjoy dedicating a portion of your space to gym equipment so you can break a sweat without leaving the house. Whatever your hobbies or leisure activities may be, don’t forget to plan storage space for the tools and equipment they require. This will make it easy to keep your space tidy, organized, and suitable for a variety of activities. Purchasing a media console, for example, should be a priority if you watch TV in the same area where you receive visitors as it will provide much-needed storage space to hide controllers, cables, and other media equipment. The bottom line is to make sure your home makes it easy to do what you love.


2. How often do you entertain guests in your home?

Investing in a large dining table with ample seating is a great idea for those who entertain often, but it wouldn’t be of much use in a more private household. Small, round dining tables, on the other hand, are an especially charming option for households that normally prefer quiet evenings with a special few or dining out. If you do love to entertain, creating an open-concept living space on the main level of your home will keep it feeling airy and spacious even when you’re hosting. Be sure to prioritize comfortable seating—and plenty of it—in your main living space and arrange it in a way that encourages face-to-face conversation. Considering how often you entertain guests will make hosting as fun and relaxing as possible or help you conserve space and money for things that are more compatible with your private lifestyle.


3. What would you like to spend more time doing in your home?

Think about what you would like to start doing more of. For example, if your goal is to cook more often, consider finding a way to add more counter space in your kitchen or to use your current counter space more efficiently. Passion for spending time in the kitchen may be sparked by investing in kitchen tools and decor that will make your experience more enjoyable.

If you would like to spend more time reading, create quiet corners or a place on the front porch where you can curl up with a book. There are endless pursuits—such as crafting, gardening, and exercise, to name a few—that are made easier to achieve by thoughtfully planning your home to make space for them. Do make sure, however, that you are dedicated to these pursuits before making such investments.


4. Besides your home, where are some of your favorite places to be?

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a few of your favorite hotels, restaurants, and stores, and consider how you feel when you are there. You may like those places because they emanate excitement, peace, or refinement, for example. Then, analyze what about the design of those spaces is helping to evoke those enjoyable feelings or vibes. It may be worth your time to pay another visit to those hotels, restaurants, or stores simply to identify specific design elements you can replicate in your own home in order to recreate the feelings that make you enjoy spending time there. As a designer, I know how various design elements—such as the use of line, color, lighting, and texture—have power to dramatically influence the way a person feels when they walk into a space. Your home should be your very favorite place to be—and you can make it such by discovering what turns an ordinary space into a place you love.


5. What style of interior did you grow up in? Do you want to replicate elements of that style?

Your personal idea of home may be closely connected to the home you grew up in. If a particular design style evokes pleasant memories, you may be very happy including elements of that style in one or more of your spaces. Elements of any design style can be thoughtfully added to a space without taking it over. A traditional sofa, for example, can be paired with a modern coffee table in an otherwise modern living room to create a dynamic space with a gentle reminder of the home you grew up in. If you don’t feel attached to the interior style of your childhood home or you had many different childhood homes, that is not a problem either. Many people find that they are happiest steering clear of their childhood home’s interior style and exploring new design horizons.


Man with tattoo in his for arm holds bucket of paint and paint roller


6. Do you prefer bold colors or neutral tones?

Color is energy. Some people feel overwhelmed by bold colors and favor neutrals, but others feel neutrals aren’t enough to keep them feeling energized. Before breaking out paint cans and picking out fabrics, it’s important to have an idea of what balance of colored and neutral tones you prefer. You may find it helpful to use what I call the 60–30–10 rule for color palettes. Based on the golden ratio often found in nature, the guideline is to choose three colors or tones. One color should occupy 60 percent of the space, a second color should occupy 30 percent of the space, and a third color should occupy the remaining 10 percent of the space. Choosing a bolder tone for that final 10 percent is a genius way to create your room’s focal point. This can be done with a couple of throw pillows, a window treatment, or a well-placed statement sofa. Choosing and incorporating the right colors can be difficult. If you’re interested in getting some help, contact us to take advantage of our free online interior design service.


7. Do you prefer a more modern or rustic environment?

Modern and rustic are broader than other design styles; in fact, most design styles are a unique blend of modern, or new-feeling; and rustic, or old-feeling. Modern design elements will generally feature clean lines, smooth surfaces, or a minimalistic aesthetic. Lean into modern elements in your home if your goal is make your space feel cutting-edge, bold, and minimalistic. Rustic design elements are typically described as having “character” and generally feature unfinished textures, interesting history, and materials found in nature. Lean into rustic elements in your home if your goal is to make your space feel warm, comfortable, and relaxed. Keep in mind that there’s no need to choose just one or the other; in fact, doing so could result in a space that feels one-toned and predictable. My preferred design style is called Organic Modern, which strikes a pleasing balance between rustic and modern and creates a dynamic exchange between old and new.


8. What kind of wood and finish do you like?

Wood is a heavily-used material in most homes, and for good reason. It’s long-lasting, neutral, and provides nearly limitless options when you consider all varieties of lumber, color, and finish. Decide if you prefer light-colored wood such as white oak or ash, or dark-colored wood such as walnut or mahogany. Each will have a different effect on the way a room is perceived. A light-colored wood bed, for example, will make your bedroom feel newer and more spacious, while a dark-colored wood bed will make your bedroom feel more traditional and established. Once you have decided what color of wood you are drawn to, think about whether you like wood furniture to be glossy, seemingly unfinished, or somewhere in-between. Try to stick with woods that are similar in color and finish throughout the majority of your home, but feel free to include a few of your other favorite styles to add variety and contrast.


9. What kinds of textures do you like?

Interior spaces are tactile as well as visual, so texture heavily influences the way you experience your home. Think about the textures you would enjoy feeling on a daily basis. Do you really enjoy feeling soft textures under your feet? If so, It may be important to invest in high-quality area rugs and bath mats that are comfortable to walk on. Accenting a sofa or sectional with down-filled throw pillows is another one of my favorite ways to add depth and softness to a space. If you love running your fingers over smooth surfaces, consider choosing glossier finishes for your furniture and countertops—or if you’re more interested in rough textures, choose more natural finishes and accent your home with rustic decor. 


10. How do you want guests to feel when they come into your home?

Chances are that if you invite someone into your home, you want them to have a good experience there. Consider your guests’ experience from start to finish—from the moment they enter the front door, to when they sit down at the dining table, to when they lie down to sleep if they’re staying the night. A furnished guest room is sure to treat your visitors, but small, thoughtful details can also make guests feel special. For example, I find that my guests really enjoy having finger foods to snack on that are served on charcuterie boards—which, when not in use, are perfect for displaying in the kitchen. A few other tips are to design your entryway with a place to store coats and shoes, equip the bathroom your guests will use with extra of the essentials, and be sure to have plenty of comfortable throw blankets around for movie nights. With just a little extra thought, you can make sure your guests feel at home in your home.


One last thought

A renovated or redecorated home interior shouldn’t just look beautiful—it should work for you. Your home is the backdrop for some of your most important memories, so it’s worth taking the time to get right. Remember: No matter how small or large, how temporary or permanent, your home can be a place of refuge; a place of peace; a place you love. At Madelynn Ave, we help you bring out the best in your home, so your home can bring out the best in you. Best of luck with your next project!

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