How to plan a room makeover the fun way
Do you ever look around your room and think I wish I styled it differently, but you don't know where to start? Have trouble visualising the new decor in your head? Inspired by a recent dolls house purchase I came up with a fun way to plan your next room makeover.
We've been in our new home for just over a year and a half now and every room in the house has had a big makeover. I'm really happy with how the whole house is looking but the living room isn't completely how I envioned it. As you probably know my whole reno was a low budget affair and I didn't buy any new furniture, I made a few new pieces but all the rest are things I had in the old house. And you can really see that in the living room, the sofa is just way to bulky and dark for the much smaller room we have now. It is even so big I had to take one of the arm rests off as otherwise the sofa would block the door! The botanical inspired decor in my living room is lovely though, I painted the walls a beige/olive tone from Annie Sloan called Versailles, my mum made the lovely french linen and Ikea botanical print curtains, I build a low bookcase the width of the room for storage and to keep our tv on and the wall mural of a 19th century Italian landscape is simply stunning. It is just such a shame my furniture doesn't match the decor.
When I was thinking off how to style the room differently I wanted to do the same thing I've been doing since I was a small child which is draw the room out on scale. You then also draw your pieces of furniture out in the same scale, cut them out and you can then move them around the scaled down room and see if I can come up with a better more efficient layout. I used to love doing this and must say I still do it now when planning a redo. But then I thought there must be a more fun way to plan a room makeover, a way that gives you an instant feel of your new layout, your new furniture and maybe even a new decor style. From the corner of my eye I spotted a recent second hand purchase, a gorgeous mid century metal dolls house (watch the video to see it, the decor in the house is fabulous!) and thought why not make a dolls house version of my living room and some scale furniture options and have a proper look at how possible new furniture will look in the space. So that's what I've done, I worked out what scale would work best for me and that came to 1:16 as then I could use A4 pieces of card. 1:16 Means that the whole room has shrunk 16 times, what is 1 meter (100 cm) in real life is 100/16= 6cm in my scale model
I used regular A4 card (160 GSM) to make the walls and painted it with the same paint used in my living room. I found a piece of cardboard the same colour as the floor and used an A4 photo print of my wall mural. I cut out the windows and the door and also made the alcoves and build ins out of card as those are the awkward shapes your furniture has to work around and seeing them in front of you in scale really give you a better feel of the space your are working with. I made some of the plants I have in the living room in mini as well to give my scale model a more homely and real feel. Have a look at my scaled down room vs the real room. Do you think they look a like?
Then it was time to make my dream furniture and for me there is only one shop to go to and that is West Elm. I adore this shop and honestly believe I could live in their London Tottenham court road store. Everything West Elm does is simply stunning from their furniture, to their rugs, bed linens to cereal bowls and designer collaborations to in store events. And I haven't even talked about the beautiful living wall they have in store yet! Everything they do is dipped in the special West Elm aesthetic. A style that is part Brooklyn loft, part mid century chic and a whole lot of originality. Another thing I love about West Elm is that they care about the community, the community of people that buy their products by helping them decorate their homes with their free style advise but also the community of people that make the products. For example in Haiti (where they source papermache products) they have developed a workplace program that teach basic and financial literacy, helping artisans not only in their jobs but in their day-to-day lives. And in their handcrafted range West Elm works with artisan workers from more then 15 different countries, who are learning new skills and can therefor support their families and are empowering themselves through their work. A company with not only a good style ethic but also a great community ethic.
I knew which sofa I wanted to try in my scale room, the Peggy mid-century L-shaped sectional. This is the sofa of dreams, with it's classic retro lines, tufted cushions, feather grey colour and solid wood legs. I really want a sofa on legs as I feel it will look lighter, less heavy, in the room. I thought this stunning sofa would be way to big for my living room, but there was only one way to find out, make it in miniature! I divided all it's measurements by 16 and build the sofa out of card stock, balsa wood for the little legs and a french linen off cut for the upholstery.
Sort of looks like the real thing, doesn't it? Okey the real thing has better looking cushions but on scale this is the best I could do :)
Besides the sofa I wanted to try a few other pieces I have been lusting after for a while which are the Kasbah wool rug, the Carved wood coffee table and the Box frame coffee table, as I love its industrial feel. I made those pieces out of card as well and then it was time to have a play around.
To my very pleasant surprise my dream sofa fits the room! And it make the room looks so much lighter and brighter then the sofa I currently have. The Kasbah rug also looks so much better then the rugs I currently have, it really ties the whole room style together. Have a look at my video to see the whole scale building process and me trying the different tables and rugs
What do you think? Do you agree with my dream table and rug choice? Do you like the Peggy sofa as much as I do?
Making a scale model of your room to plan your design makeover is so much fun! Furniture and especially sofa's are investment pieces you don't want to get it wrong. By seeing your room, although small, in front of your eyes can really help you especially if you struggle visualising what your new room decor might look like. If you have children this is also a great idea of getting them involved in the decor process. Let them shuffle the furniture pieces around and you never know one of your little ones might be a brilliant interior designer! Making the model didn't cost me anything but time, all materials are bits I had lying around the house. I used white card, paint, scissors, glue, sharpies, bits of balsa wood and a piece of linen. The sofa took me a few hours to make (mainly sitting in front of the tv watching a film) and the room probably and hour and a half.
Do you like my new dream room layout? Doesn't that sofa just ask for lazying around with a good book or Netflix? I think it would also be great when we have friends over as it will fit a lot of bums!
You might have never thought of making your room in miniature when deciding in a new style theme but if you have trouble visualising in your head what your new room might look like this is definitaly a great option for you!
I'll be back next week with a new tutorial, see you then! x Hester
My love for West Elm is real this is not a sponsored post but it will compete in the Blogtacular x West Elm competition, besides the West Elm product shots all images and video by Hester van Overbeek for Hester's Handmade Home