The first and the most important step when considering home renovations of any kind is to consider your family’s needs and tastes. If you are making major changes your children will soon tell you if a planned redesign of their bedrooms is not to their requirements. This also applies to the kitchen of course – make changes here without full consultation at your peril! I made that mistake once and it still occasionally comes up in conversation.
When the full consultations have been undertaken the next step is to plan how to proceed. There are five basic areas to consider when redecorating to make your home feel warm and inviting: lighting, flooring, color, furnishings and accessories. Your family’s needs and preferences will direct how you handle each element.
Lighting is a key factor in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in the home. Use ambient light whenever possible. Install window blinds that can be adjusted to allow the maximum amount of sun into the room, or sheer curtains rather than heavy, dusty drapes that shut out the light. Track lighting or spotlighting can be used to create dramatic pools of light that emphasize certain features or areas of a room. Plenty of light invites people in, and creates warmth.
Flooring is the next consideration. There’s nothing better for improving the whole look of a room, and increasing the value of your home, like quality flooring. Beveled hardwood flooring offers options that range from the simple elegance of fine-grained maple to the rugged old-world look of rustic oak. For smaller rooms, consider the lighter finishes to give the room a warm, welcoming look. Larger rooms can achieve a sophisticated look with darker flooring.
Wall colors can complement the flooring and enhance the overall look of the room. Choose lighter colors, especially in smaller spaces, to make the room seem larger and more open. Colors like cream and white, or paler hues of browns, greens and yellows reflect the light and create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Consider a traditional white for the ceiling to make it appear higher, making the room appear more open and spacious.
Furnishings should be functional and should earn the space they take up by being useful. Obvious choices are sofas and chairs in a family room and the table in a dining room, but bookshelves, ottomans and benches all have their place too. Consider dual-purpose furniture, like ottomans with hidden storage space for blankets and throws, or using a bookshelf to divide a larger room into manageable areas. Often, the furniture you already have can be put to good use. Sturdy wood furniture can be refinished, and couches can get a whole new look with a slip cover, saving the cost of new furnishings and keeping money in your pocket.
Finally, accessories such as wall art complete the look of the room. Consider up-cycling, creating art projects from re-claimed items, or shopping at a local thrift store for interesting and beautiful picture frames to display family photos or children’s artwork. Mirrors make excellent wall-hangings. They reflect light and make the room seem larger and more inviting. Wall graphics and murals are also increasingly popular. Let your creativity and personal sense of style loose as you choose accessories for your room. Consider a theme, like angels or wildlife, and build your decorating style around that look. Making a room inviting is a matter of adding your personal stamp to your space, and making your home uniquely your own.