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Old 01-28-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


My wife and I just bought a movein-ready home, and we are at a loss as to where to start redecorating. Walls are blank, plantation shutters (that scream for some kind of drapery), ceramic tile. As a minimum, we'd like to install mostly w/t/w carpet, and one room will likely get a large area rug.

We have no clue where to start. I've started watching a few of the TV shoys on DIY, etc., but their clients seem to have definitive ideas on what they want to do.

Should we break down & hire an ID? I've heard horror stories on some of them.

Some ideas for this clueless couple would be appreciated.

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Old 01-28-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


I love working with good interior designers (different than decorators) on projects and think you and your wife will really enjoy the experience as well. Good ones will have access to things you will never find on your own and generally speaking they can get some great deals, high quality furnishings and so forth with just what you want for fabrics and things.

I like working with those that are not attached to furniture stores but do not know what the options are in your area. The American Society of Interior Designer website might be one starting point. If you know your neighbors or others in the hood, you might ask around to see who they used. Often, architectural firms have interior designers on staff. It may take some digging but you will find a good one. Don't do a cattle call, but do invite a few out to chat so you find a good match.

Do be sure and ask about fees and things. Often, a lot of what an interior designer makes comes from commissions they get from things they buy on your behalf. Best to know what to expect up front though!


Last edited by user1007; 01-28-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


First things first, don't feel bad that you don't have any 'grand' ideas right off the bat. It takes me a least a year in a new place to get the feel and decide what direction i'm going to go.

I think you're doing the right thing and starting in on your own free research. If you have an Ikea nearby you might want to check it out... our Seattle store has really neat rooms set up and they do some creative stuff (and no high-pressure salespeople will attack you!).

As for an ID, check with your neighbors/friends and see if anyone knows of someone. Heck, you might have a spectacular resource at your fingertips that would only need to be fed dinner!
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post


Do be sure and ask about fees and things. Often, a lot of what an interior designer makes comes from commissions they get from things they buy on your behalf. Best to know what to expect up front though!
Yes, be sure to get full disclosure on fees, commissions up front. Don't ask how I know that.

I would go hang out at a Chapters book store or the library (do they have
Chapters in the US?).

Spend sometime flipping through magazines and design books looking at different photos. See what things you like and those you don't. Maybe you find the exact look you want and don't need a designer. Even so, sharing those photos with a designer help them understand your tastes.

Remember to come back here and post some photos.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:13 PM   #5
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


I'm getting a few ideas from the home tv shows (although I don't have $10-25K to spend,like some).

We are looking at wall-wall carpet in 2 rooms + hallway...trying to decide on color. Problem is, we spent 16 years in our old place,which had neutral (brown/biege pattern) and we'd like to do something different.Like a blue freize (sp?).

The thing I'm learning about is window dressings, wall attachments (sconces & modling), plus trying to learn about colors, and "focus walls".

Wow...much more to do than just set up the dining room table & chaits (which now I hear can be re-covered).
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


Another suggestion is to search the internet for blogs on decorating too. There are tons of pictures/ideas/how to's on some of them and hopefully you'll find your style. Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


Don't forget the oft-forgotten resource: the library. Go checkout some books on interior design/decorating/painting, etc. It's nice to get a stack and flip through them. You'll find a few things that you'll like and end up incorporating some together into your own creation. I can't tell you how many ideas I've got for other parts of my house by flipping through books and magazines for a completely different room.


I'm sure interior decorators and designers do a great job, but I have a hard time coming to grips with paying someone else to tell me what they think will look good in MY house. (note, this is different if you were trying to recreate a time-appropriate style or something).
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


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Originally Posted by hotBlinds View Post
Another suggestion is to search the internet for blogs on decorating too. There are tons of pictures/ideas/how to's on some of them and hopefully you'll find your style. Good luck!

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ that's one of my favorites. i actually have it set up in my RSS reader. it covers 5 (?) major cities in the US so it is updated quite often during the day.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


How about finding a focal point and moving on from there...A favorite picture or piece of furniture could invoke ideas from within. I don't agree with paying someone either...Give it time then if you are totally stumped turn to friends, neighbors and even family for ideas/help...Save the big $ for extras to add as you progress.

Take it slow and good luck!!
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


First I sit down and think about what type of feel you want. Contempory, traditional, southwestern, rustic, open and airie or cozy and warm. Knowing this will help everything else fall into place.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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Blank Pallette here - where to start?


Don't completely discount the value of a designer. It depends on the situation.

We are using a designer because my wife and I can't agree on anything, so nothing gets done. The designer is our "facilitator".

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