Decor, Inspiration

Questions To Ask Before Starting Your Design Project

Interior decorating can be a fulfilling, rewarding process or it can be a total nightmare. So what makes the difference? Well, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually all in the way you approach it. Thinking ahead and preparation are the keys to executing a design project with ease. You might be thinking, “I did prepare. I bought all the necessary things and I got some pictures from Pinterest. Yet it was a total disaster!” Maybe you did prepare to some degree, but what’s more important is the type of preparation you’re doing. Following a process which includes answering several key questions will help to ensure a successful project.

Design experts recommend you start by sitting in each room you plan to redesign. What’s motivating you to make a change? Did you purchase a new home or are you just simply ready for a change? Really examine the room and look at every aspect of it. Think about the features – what you love and what you hate. Then you’ll be able to start in the right headspace and know the direction you’re headed. From there, ask yourself the following questions and you’ll be on your way to designing your dream home!

What Is Your Design Style?

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You may think this is a simple question to answer, but it’s truly not. Often times people have several design styles that fit their personality and overall aesthetic. So it can be difficult to narrow down to just one. You can check out our previous blog post, which breaks down each design style. Understanding what works best for your personality and lifestyle will give you a guide to follow when shopping for new decor.

You may also enjoy a different design style in each room. You might think that this isn’t possible, but it’s completely okay to combine design styles from room to room. This belief that it’s impossible to house multiple design styles is the reason many people stop themselves from redecorating. As long as you are strategic with your decorating, you can absolutely transform each room to have its own unique style. Try to keep colors consistent, don’t overpower any one room with too many elements, and choose shapes that compliment one another from room-to-room. Make a list of colors, patterns and shapes that you love and are drawn to as well as the ones you dislike and want to avoid.

What Is Your Budget?


Okay, this is a big one. It’s also the least fun question to talk about but it is undoubtedly the most important. You can start planning a design project without knowing your budget. Don’t think of your budget as a restriction, but rather an allowance. Your budget is your room to play, so it’s really a positive thing. Make sure you break down your budget into detailed items. For example, you should have a decor budget, a paint budget, a furniture budget, a renovations budget, and a “whoopsie” budget. It’s important to have that last one as you need to have some money set aside in case something goes wrong, especially if you are embarking on renovations. Many people find that during renovations, they come across unexpected costs. If you don’t plan for this, you can end up sacrificing decor you had your heart set on. Save yourself a headache and make sure you get detailed when making your budget.

What Do You Love About The Room? What Do You Hate?

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This might surprise you, but a lot of people never sit down to contemplate what they love or hate about the features in a room before redecorating. It’s such a shame, because we all typically have many things lying around that can be used if we only took the time to give them some TLC. Most people just throw everything out and start from scratch. This method is understandable, but often ineffective and a waste of money. Taking the opportunity to really evaluate what we love and hate about our rooms can not only help in the overall planning, but also save thousands in redecorating costs. For example, just because you don’t love the coffee table doesn’t mean it has no use. Try to really imagine what else can be done with the existing objects in the room. Can you paint it or reupholster it? Can it be used in a different room? How else can you repurpose what you already have? Ask yourself this before trashing pieces, because you’ll be able to properly determine what pieces will need to be purchased.

Another reason to really examine what you love and hate about your room is to establish whether or not renovation is required. If you love a certain nook but it serves no purpose, try adding built-in bookshelves. Additionally, if you want to make room for a certain piece, you may need to consider demolition. Knowing what you love or hate will help you determine if you can DIY your design project or hire professionals.

What Activities Take Place In The Room?


As we all know, each room in your home serves a different purpose. The functionality of each room determines what types of design aspects make the most sense. Before you get to decorating, think about how each room will be used as well as how you want the room to feel. If you have a high traffic area like a kitchen or family room, consider hardwood flooring over carpeted. Areas where there is more likely to be spills or accidents should be easy to clean.

You will also need to consider how the space is going to be used when determining where furniture and decor will be placed. For example, living rooms and high traffic areas need to be accessible. If you can’t utilize your room properly, you won’t be able to enjoy it. Understanding day to day activities will determine what type of storage you need, if any. This can narrow down your decisions for renovation and help you accurately set your budget.

Daily activities have a huge impact on design style as well. The overall setting and feel of the room should directly correlate to how the room is being used. If you want a regal, upscale setting for a room in which you entertain guests, then your design style should match that. It is essential to think about the foot traffic and daily occurrences before you begin any design project.

So there you have it. These four very simple questions will make all the difference in your design project planning. The more you can think ahead, the more prepared you will be. The more prepared you are, the happier you will be with the outcome of your home. Since your home is supposed to be your oasis, there is no reason why your design project should be the source of drama or stress. These questions equip you with the tools necessary to make decisions easily and with confidence. Have fun with your projects and express yourself through your design decisions! You’ll have your ideal living situation in no time.

RESOURCES: Apartment Therapy, Fresh Home, AMA Designs

Mattie Lu made to fit every aspect of your home - from style to size to color to design. At Mattie Lu, our artisan Amish craftsmen make imagination come to life for our customers every day. We are a lifestyle furnishings company owned by a mother and daughter duo. We're ready to help you create the interior furnishings of your dreams.

From the selection of wood to the first cuts to the final touches, every piece from Mattie Lu is lovingly created with your specifications in mind. We know you'll love the end result and will enjoy it for years to come!

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1 Comment

  1. […] for furniture until you know what exactly you’re looking for. As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, breaking down your needs and wants is vital before beginning any redesign project. Look at the […]

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