With all the talk lately about green design and environmentally responsible living – you may wonder how those ideas fit into your home decorating. You should consider interior redesign as an economical solution that uses the concept of recycling and repurposing. Interior redesign IS green design! The idea is to work with the furniture, art and accessories that you already own, arranging them in new and exciting ways.
A blank canvas
To get started, it is important to clear the space you are working in. By removing everything from the room, you create a blank canvas and a clear view of the room for its own merits. Now you can study the space to determine its focal points and to access any architectural features or problem areas.
Once the focal point or points are determined, it is time to start rebuilding the room. Bring in the largest piece of furniture and try different placements until you feel it is in the best position. There may be more than one focal point in the room. For example, a lovely fireplace and a great window view. Consider placing the largest piece at an angle to address both focal points.
If your room has no obvious focal point, then you can create one with a large piece of furniture or an interesting collage of artwork on one wall.
Get the basics
Continue filling in the room with all the major pieces of furniture including side tables. Make certain that each seat has a place nearby to set a drink or a book. Your goal is to create conversation areas with seating no more than 8 feet apart. If you have a very large room, then try to make several smaller areas within the space. Think outside of the box by looking around your home with an objective eye and trying pieces from other rooms. Mix it up and keep it interesting by using a piece for a different purpose.
Light it up
If your furniture is arranged optimally, your lighting will naturally fall into a triangular pattern. You want the light to be evenly distributed around the room with a minimum of 3 lights but you don’t always need to have matching lamps in a room. If you have one on either side of the sofa, you might place the smaller one on a stack of books to elevate it to approximately the same height. You should always consider how a room needs to function to insure that lighting is adequate for specific needs.
Deck the walls
Before hanging any artwork, begin with the focal wall and work clockwise around the room by setting artwork where you might hang it. Try pieces in different areas until you have an arrangement that feels right. Remember to leave at least one wall blank for you eye to rest.
I suggest grouping smaller framed items together to give the illusion of one big piece when you are trying to fill a large wall. When grouping smaller pieces, make sure that the frames are of the same material (all black or all metal, etc.) and the subject of the artwork is related. An arrangement of black and white family photos or a collection of still life paintings will have a cohesive look.
It’s all in the details
Finally it is time to accessorize. This adds the finishing touch to any room and adds personality to the space. Gather your collections and use them to fill in some of the blank spaces such as tabletops, mantel or bookcases. Be sure to edit your things and use only what you really love.
It is important to combine small pieces in an interesting grouping rather than spreading them throughout the room. Create vignettes that tell a story – a bird figurine sitting on top of a stack of nature books with a nest or binoculars nearby.
Don’t overcrowd your room with accessories. If you have several collections, rotate them seasonally to keep the room feeling fresh.
Do a trial run
When the room feels complete, take several walkthroughs and view the room from each entry point and every seat. Study how it looks and functions from every angle and make adjustments as necessary. The best part of redesign is that nothing is permanent so you can move things around to your hearts content.
Interior redesign IS green design
Now you have a new room without buying anything. You are using the pieces that are meaningful to you and you are repurposing furniture to make your room function better. Interior redesign is recycling at its best and makes green design something that anyone can do.