Interior design isn’t exactly known for being cheap. Especially if they’re going to charge for you for all items they purchase which includes a hefty markup on top of their fee’s and the designer will probably get a percentage of the sale from those manufacturers. If you won the lottery then you can skip all of this because it doesn’t really matter if the designer wants to sell you a French colonial dining room table that costs $25,000. Yeowza!

I’ve seen designer sales pitches in action and it’s an interesting lesson in confusion and lack of details. I wonder if they change their accent depending on the budget their given. However, to be fair, I’ve seen what a really good designer can do and it was a jaw-dropping thing of beauty when it was finished. Interior designers are people with ‘you can have it all now’ fantasy genie that when you rub the lamp your dreams come true. Immediately. Most people are on a budget and have to make sacrifices and learn patience. I’ve already learned these things because of budget constraints so I have that going for me.

This is where our story begins because I feel that I could have obtained the same looks on my own without the expense.

Go with what you love!

My wife’s favorite saying when it comes to our home, and I have learned over the years that she is 100% correct. If you love it and it makes you happy then there’s always a way to make it fit in your home.  The problem with this train of thought is what if what you love is junk? Or, outdated? Or, not showing very good taste? All good questions. Would people come into our home and walk away cringing? I don’t think so but you have to wonder just a little bit about that.  There are too many ways to define a look in a home these days to worry about it.  Is the look you’re going for French Colonial, modern traditional, or transitional or is it just plain old country?  Who can keep track of all that? The answer to that problem is research and believing that if your items are coming from Restoration Hardware then you’re probably on the right track with no matter what you choose.  That is one cool store!

Our home is not big by any means but all the pieces in our home are things we love. The round slate top coffee table. The farm style dining room table, to the beautiful dining room chairs from Roughing it In Style, to the industrial looking chandelier from Madison Lighting above the table, to the art on the walls. Love them all!

Take your time

Time is the key here. Take your time and have some fun when you go looking for a piece to put in your home. Do some research and look around the Internet for ideas and be open to something different. Have a vision for how it will look in your home and then think about it for a little while. Do you need to paint your walls? This is a major step when deciding how to set up the rest of your home furnishings. I always lean toward neutral colors for paint that more or less makes you not give the wall a second thought so your artwork becomes the focal point.  Plus, I can grow tired quickly of trendy wall colors that I want to change after a few years.

Can you have more than one focal point?

Yes, but with conditions! Decorating a room is like painting a picture. You want to draw the viewers eye to one particular area of the room and then scan the room after that. This happens instinctively and it’s why you like a room and why you don’t is where you don’t even realize it. Some rooms are cluttered where too many things are going on for you to focus in on and you squint or turn away because something is bothering you where other rooms are bare and appear cold and even lonely. In rooms like this, there’s often an echo which your brain is not happy about especially with wood flooring. Most people feel uncomfortable in a room like that. I’ve gone into rooms where the paint was so shockingly bright it forced me to leave and not go back into it. The paint color was all I noticed.

Find a piece that you really love and build around that with other things you love that may not be as profound or dynamic. Sometimes, even the floor can be a focal point. Beautiful wood floors with a striking rug can set up a room beautifully. Just find a way to be creative around that. Simple and easy, right?

Do you have a good design eye?

Most people say they don’t but I would challenge that belief and just add that you probably are just untrained or unfamiliar with the process. With a little guidance, you can get the basic concepts of space, order, and design.

For the most obvious questions you need answered, you can, of course, look to the internet. The last few years have resulted in a proliferation of online services that package interior design into affordable bundles (think: anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for consultations and design schemes). But the services have limits—at even the highest level, you’re going to end up with a shopping list and setup plan that you’ll have to manage and see through yourself. And what if you really just want an interior designer by your side for every step of the way? The good news: Decorators know you feel this way.

Can a kitchen designer help you with adding interesting items for your kitchen?  Yes!  All of us at Dream House Dream Kitchens have a great eye for design and functionality.  Space planning is a hugely important quality when determining how you live and what to add to your home to improve your life and make you happy.  This is what we do.  Our goal is to make you happy.