My first home furnishing experience was when we bought our first house. My husband was kind enough to entrust me with the interior design aspect of our house. I am a self proclaimed interior design enthusiast, I like to watch home renovations like Fixer Upper and my “home design” Pinterest board is filled with beautiful inspirational photos of what I want to achieve. I already knew the style of sofa that I would buy before we even went to the furniture store. My mind was ready and overflowing with ideas of how I wanted my house to look like.
Then finally, the day finally came, we went to a furniture shop (see online furniture shops here) and found a sofa that I had been dreaming about. In fact, we bought two sets that day with no hesitation at all! However, after that, I was suddenly filled with fear. I had to now figure out what other furniture to buy that would compliment the sofa. So we kept looking and looking. Finally, my husband got frustrated with me because I was being too picky. I could not seem to find what I like.
The reason I could not find what I like was not because I was too picky, it was because I wasn’t confident enough with my interior designing skills. It was my first time furnishing a home, so I was feeling a lot of uncertainty with my choices. I just did not want to make a mistake buying things that at the end of the furnishing process, I may end up not liking the result. I knew if that happened, it would be a big waste of money, time and the opportunity to have a living space that I really wanted to have.
So I told my husband that we should try the online interior designer, HAVENLY, to help us furnish our living room. He did not totally agree with my idea because he kept telling me to just trust my design skills, but he eventually agreed.
I immediately contacted the online designer and the designer asked me to take a photo of the living room with our two sofas along with their corresponding dimensions. She also needed the size of the whole living space. The designer also asked me to choose from their website the designs to find a style that I like. This way the designer would know exactly the style that I want. It was a pretty neat process and I would say that hiring the online interior designer was worth it. It gave me an assurance that everything would look good.
Below is the before and after photo of our living room.
The result that I got from hiring the online interior designer gave me the confirmation that I am able to do basic interior design. The accent chairs that I originally considered buying were actually the same style that the interior designer picked for our living room. Plus, I bought a traditional Spanish style coffee table from Pottery Barn which I love.
I took full advantage of the design from the designer and was able to learn something from them. I studied the following to enhance my knowledge of interior design:
- The size of the accent chair, sofa and coffee table with regards to the size of the living room –
By knowing this, it helped me to understand the ideal distance between the coffee table from the sofa and the accent chair. I needed to buy the right size furniture that fit in with our living room. I wanted our living room to look right, not overcrowded (big furniture) or looking empty (size of the furniture is too small with the size of the living room).
- I looked at all the art on the walls, side table, lamp shade, floor shade, TV console, mirror and curtain that the designer recommended to understand why they look good together. I also found out that the color of each of the items were coordinated. Colors do not need to be the same but need to be coordinated.
- I put my personal touches – I did not buy the leaning wall mirrors that the designer suggested because it was so expensive. Instead, I went to Home Goods and found a reasonably priced mirror. I changed the throw pillow cases and bought cases with color that matched with the accent chair. I bought throw pillow cases with solid colors and the other set of throw pillow cases has a busy print. It gave a good contrast and yet still had a cohesive look. I also decided to make my own coffee table centerpiece. I bought a peacock sculpture and flowers that matched with our accent color which was teal. To make it more cohesive and to look organized, I put coasters, candles, flowers and remote controls inside a decorative tray.
After studying the living room that the designer presented to me, I gained the confidence to furnish the rest of the house.
Home furnishing is exciting and intimidating at the same time especially when you have no hands on experience. I thought I was ready to tackle the whole project simply because I like to watch various home improvement shows and my Pinterest board was filled with all the inspirational pictures that I wanted to achieve. Watching home improvement shows and pinning pictures on Pinterest are totally different than actually trying to put those ideas into reality. I had different emotions during the whole home furnishing process; excitement, worry and indecisiveness just because it was my first time doing it. I was grateful that we hired an online interior designer. It really is worth the money plus, it’s very affordable compared with hiring an actual interior designer.