A year has passed since the night the wildfires ravaged our neighborhoods, and many Sonoma County lives have taken on new dimensions, shaped and scheduled around building permits and therapy sessions, rental agreements and family crises. We are rebuilding homes while we rebuild our lives.

Despite this weight, life marches on.

A new day dawns, creating space full of promise and possibility. Resilience demands a fresh start, a release of the old. As you approach your new space, do you welcome the opportunity of starting with a clean slate? Or are all the furnishing options and decisions daunting?

Grab your blueprints, and get ready to sketch out a plan for your new room. These 6 tips will make the task of starting over a bit easier, maybe even refreshing.

  1. Pinpoint the Purpose

Begin by making a list of the functions of the room. By narrowing down the space’s basic purpose – watching TV, entertaining, storing books – you’ll be creating a guide for all your future planning. Bonus tip: Referring back to this list every time you come to a decorating roadblock will provide perspective.

McDonald Remodel

2. Zero In

When we enter a room, our eyes instinctively want to land somewhere. What are the architectural features – mantel, built-in bookcase, large windows – of your room that might act as a focal point? Is there a prominent blank wall on which you could create a primary element of interest? Pull your room together by developing a focal point, or two, that commands attention, and build your seating area around it. Bonus tip: Fireplaces are one of the most common focal points of living rooms.

  1. Start Simple

Perhaps the most overwhelming part of decorating a room is knowing where to start. We recommend you begin with a rug and work your way up. 8 x 10 is a standard size that comfortably accommodates seating clusters no matter how large your room. Bonus tip: Sofa and chairs should be placed with the front two legs on the rug and the back legs off.

4. Spend Strategically

Trends come and go, so invest in a few quality pieces of neutral colored furniture that will stay with you. Once you have your sofa and reading chair picked out, splash some color and texture across your palette with throws and pillows, items that can easily be swapped out as styles change. Bonus tip: Dining room tables make excellent investment pieces.

5. Instill Symmetry

Our eyes naturally look for symmetry in designs and seek out balance in a room. So choose a center point in your space and double up from there, designing two matching halves. Be sure to throw the symmetry off just a bit with a throw or sculptural object. Bonus Tip: Duplicating to create balance can cut down on the number of decisions that need to be made!

6. Hire a Pro!

If you’ve worked through these steps and still find yourself stumbling along uninspired and weary, our designer team is excited to create for you a cohesive look that represents your style. For those rebuilding after the fires, just bring in your blueprints and our trained designers will mold your tastes and ideas into designs that suit the needs of your space. Contact us today for further assistance.