Entering a person’s home should be reminiscent of walking straight into their memoir (if they had one, of course). You should be surrounded by tales of their travels, the faces of those in their inner circle, the books and movies and music that speak to them, and decor uniquely-suited to their personality.
Don’t get me wrong, to craft a beautiful space, you need more than just a compilation of souvenirs and photos of smiling faces. You need an interior design plan and someone with an eye for aesthetics that can balance the sophisticated look you’re seeking with the personal touches that make it YOUR home. Amirite?!
Furnishing (and decorating) an entire home can be a designer’s best friend, because we can look at (and work with) the whole picture all at once! In fact, we just started this process with a client in San Antonio… but I’ll save that for a future reveal. ;)
Want to know how to furnish a whole home? Well, good news, I’m about to show you...
What are DPI’s suggested steps for furnishing a whole home?
Sometimes, just sometimes, what can seem like an overwhelming task (like furnishing an entire vacant or sparsely decorated home), can actually be broken down into just 3 simple steps. (Well, alright, simple might be a slight understatement).
Anyhoo… here’s my tried-and-true process for a cohesively-furnished home:
1. Determine the purpose for each room
In a new (or new-to-you) home sitch, the possibilities are endless. Other than the obvious, like the kitchen and the bathroom layouts (which really can’t be reinvented, other than with an extensive - and expensive - renovation), for living areas and bedrooms, you are free to dream up any furnishings layout you desire.
Just because a room was staged as a dining room or family room doesn’t mean that’s what it has to be. Allow your mind to wander and your heart to dream… walk through your space. How do you picture living in it? How do the rooms relate to one another? What does the flow feel like?
If you’re already living in your home and looking to completely re-do your space, this might seem like a silly question. But work with me here… just because that small upstairs room has always been an office doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. After all, it might make a better kid’s room (how much space do they really need anyway?!), therefore allowing you to take over their larger (and more windowed) room as your at-home workspace. Sounds amazing, right?!
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t stifle your creativity. Your home is a blank slate and the rooms within it can function as anything you can imagine them to be. And don’t be afraid to take your time with this step...it lays a very important foundation for the next phase of the furnishing process.
2. Map out a cohesive color story
Once you have the layout of your space etched in your mind, it’s time to do some serious soul-searching and begin the color selection process. Daunting? A little bit, but I have a secret weapon to share with you...undertones, my friend. Get to know them. Learn to love them. Never forget them. Seriously! They will be your best friends in no time.
Everyone is different when it comes to color selection… some people know they NEED to have a garnet red kitchen. Others simply can’t live without a stylish greige living room. If you have a room in mind that needs to be a particular color, I suggest you start there.
Room by room, you’ll walk through your home selecting paint colors for each space. Once you’ve determined what’s what, you’ll need to do another walk-through (or multiple) and make sure that the color story your home is telling is cohesive. You don’t want to walk abruptly from a green-undertoned gray in the bathroom to a pink-undertoned beige in the hallway...it will just feel off. Make sure the undertones are singing harmoniously together before you ever pull out that paint brush.
Better yet, hire a pro who really knows what they’re doing and get it right the first time!
3. Furnish accordingly
As tempting as it may be to start shopping for that perfect sofa, those jaw-dropping accent chairs, or that kitchen table that will inspire envy in all of your guests… furniture is actually the last step of the process. You need to know exactly how your rooms will be used, what color you’ll adorn them with, and then, and only then, should you start cruising the ‘gram for furniture inspo or visiting a local showroom.
Just like paint colors, you’ll want the furniture in your home to flow from one room to the next. It is easy to pick out an armchair, but it can be more of a challenge to select furniture for a whole home that makes sense together.
If you’re feeling more than a tad overwhelmed by this process, take a deep breath and release the stress. Then pick up the phone and give me a call. After all, this is what my team does and we love every detailed second of it! You’re not alone in this complex process...I’ve got your back.
What are the biggest designer challenges of furnishing an entire home?
What? You haven’t heard?! Designers are challenged by interior choices as well?! Whodathunkit?!
Even with our design knowledge and vast experience, making sure every piece of furniture in a home works cohesively can prove difficult. But it isn’t a task we shy away from. In fact, we LURVE that kind of challenge. Dreaming alongside you and designing for you is what we do best… taking seemingly contrasting pieces and making them work in a balanced and beautiful way.
Other than juggling colors, textures, shapes, sizes, and styles, the most common challenge a designer faces is the logistics (read that as everything BEYOND our control). Making sure each item arrives in one piece, in the color ordered, the correct size...whew, that can be a tall order. (Little known fact - a large percentage of items ordered WILL arrive damaged and need replacing, but guess what?! As your designer, I handle all of that...no stress on your part required!)
Overall Look & Feel
And of course once installed in a home, we need to do our final walk-through and punch list, making sure that everything is in top shape, and that you, the homeowner, are head over heels for each and every detail of your new space. After all, we’d never want to leave you with anything less than absolute perfection. ;)
How does DPI make furnishing a home easier?
It’s the key to every great relationship, designer-client included. We make your life easier by becoming a part of it. We want to get to know you and your home well enough that we can personalize the space for you while also creating a stunning home you’ll be eager to show off to family and friends.
We always start any process with a sit-down homeowner interview. We want to know who you are, how you live, and what ideas you already have for the space.
Together, we discuss the budget - you tell us how much you have to spend, and we tell you how much that budget can get you. We will help inform your low, middle, and high-end expectations. And we will have you answer some honest, straightforward questions (i.e. Do you want a sofa that lasts 2 years or 10? Are there any colors or patterns you absolutely can’t stand?)
Functional Floor Plan & Irresistible Style
Understanding you, your home, and your dreams, we will then get to work… laying out your home in a way that works for you, selecting paint colors that are soothing, stimulating, or somewhere in between, and then furnishing the space with pieces you’ll love to live with.
We just started this process with a client in San Antonio… via a good ol’ Zoom interview, we learned how she lives, what’s a priority for her budget, and the design styles she adores. We were honest about what is achievable within the amount allotted for her project (no smoke blown on our end… EVER!), and she is excited to see what our team comes up with. (Stay tuned for that mid-century modern glam reveal at a later date!)
Whether you’ve just moved to a new home, are ready for a fresh start in your current space, or are in the process of building, furnishing a whole home can be daunting. Our team would love to help you create a space that tells your story, reflects who you are, and brings you joy every single day… not just after 5 o’clock. ;)
P.s. Furnishing a home? Don’t forget to download our guide to budgeting your home furnishings below. It’s essential to success! ;)