Racking your brain for a new interior design idea? Many times homeowners base their redesign on current trends and fashions and they fear deviation. Or they simply leave the entire project in the hands of a professional. While this will most likely build you a well-applauded contemporary new space, it’s also important that your redesign represents you. After all, the most important letter in DIY is Y!
Unfortunately, and truthfully, the idea of solely creating something can put a ton of pressure on anyone. The stress of generating a new idea and seeing it through to fruition, while undoubtedly juggling unexpected catastrophes, can feel near impossible.
Luckily, peace of mind isn’t far. There are many simple techniques that can be applied to unlock your untapped creativity and confidence. And we’ve got you covered with one of our personal favorites: The 5 W’s. It’s an oldie, but more than a goodie.
Applying the Technique
Okay, we all remember the idea of the 5 W’s from English class, right? Well, if you don’t, you might be younger than me. And if you do, bask in your wonderful wisdom! Either way, anyone can apply this simple literary and research technique to help ease their decorating conundrum.
Here’s a quick rundown: in literature, an author incorporates the who, what, when, where, and why into their written piece to insure they’ve delivered all the necessary information for their readers. The W’s are also commonly used in journalism and research projects. Many times how is added to the list, but this can oftentimes be answered within the W’s.
The 5 W’s are also a remarkable tool to unblock your creativity. They can help generate focus and ease in any new endeavor, including your home renovation project.
If you’re struggling to plan the perfect new space for your home, simplify things by asking yourself the 5 W’s:
Who will be enjoying the area during the majority of its use? Will there primarily be adults or children using the space? Will it be for guests, the family or a private place just for yourself?
What is the purpose of the space? Is it for work, artistic creativity, entertainment or relaxation?
When will the area get the majority of its use? Will it mostly be utilized during the day or night or both? Do you need to be mindful of the changes in natural light (sunrise to sunset) when picking your design colors? Will it be a weekend destination? Will it be a year-round or seasonally used area?
Where is the location in conjunction with the rest of your home? Is it indoors or outdoors? Does it need to be weather resistant? Is it attached to any other open areas? Will it need to match another space or can it have its own original look?
Why redecorate your home and create a fun, refreshing and entirely brand new space that represents you? This is by far the easiest W to answer… Why? Why not?!
There are so many more questions you can ask yourself for each W, but these should get you off to a superb start. The more specifics you can include, the better! No detail is too small; write them all down.
Sensory Detail + Visualization = Creative Genius!
Once you have your intentions clearly laid out by the W’s, start working on a strong mental picture. Visualize your future area, fully. Really imagine yourself and others using the new space for its purpose. Use your five senses to unlock your free flowing creativity and induce a vivid image.
Is there a lot of activity and movement in your future area or is it serenely calm? Do you smell home-cooked food or your favorite essential oils defusing your worries away? Is the space well lit or dimmed for ambiance? Do you hear cheerful chatter and clinking glasses or does peaceful silence surround you? Are your feet tapping on elegant hardwood or sinking into luxuriously plush carpet with each step?
Put as much detail into this picture as possible because your image will begin to create a specific mood or feeling within you. And this is the mood that your room will hopefully convey when it’s finished. Once you have your W’s and your clear image, it’s time to get to work.
Here are a just a few ideas that sparked our interest…
Entertaining the Masses
If your room is primarily for mature, nighttime entertaining, spend your time looking for colors, furniture and accent pieces that create smooth energy. Think lounge; the kind of place that entices people to hang a while. Wood tables and floors, rich evening colors and sectional couches that encourage social interaction are a great place to start.
If things are beginning to feel a little too dark for your taste, consider adding some recessed spot lighting and mirrors to brighten the place up in a sleek way. Or simply add a bold patterned rug or brightly contrasting accent pieces that stand out and create conversation.
A Family Affair
If your room is for family time, put your effort into things that define your family. If you have kids who love board games and books, make sure to have plenty on hand. You can even incorporate these into your decorating. I’ve seen family entertainment rooms where removable game boards are lined up to create a colorful and interactive border around the entire room!
Have an artist in the family? Don’t be afraid to boast some framed family originals on to the walls. If you have previously-played musical instruments collecting dust around the house, consider sprucing them up and displaying them as quirky accent pieces. Or you can actually turn them into working fixtures in the room!
Get creative with your family’s individuality and unique story.
Put the “I” in Mine!
If the room is for your own personal stress relief, invest your efforts into colors and furniture that inspire peace and relaxation. Certain colors, like soft blue, lavender or cool green have been known to lessen anxiety and induce feelings of serenity.
You may also want to choose some low sitting sofas, lounge chairs or even floor cushions, as it’s said that being close to the earth can create a rejuvenating energy. Also, try to utilize as much natural light as possible, but be sure to have an efficient way to block it out, for those moments you need a dark respite. Wood shutters or stylish blackout curtains are a great pick.
Most importantly, remember that this place is ultimately for your relaxation. If your mellowing-out occurs best in a dim cave of solitude with a 60 inch flat screen, binge-watching a multitude of series till your eyes dry out, don’t deny yourself! Or if you feel most relaxed on a pillow-drenched, bed-sized sofa, nuzzling your favorite novel next to a mini fridge for chilled wine or something bubbly, do your thing!
Be Open to Change
No matter the purpose of your new room, take the time to identify and clearly visualize, the who, what, when, where, and why of the project.
And remember, it’s okay if your DIY design project takes an unexpected turn or two… or three! You can absolutely incorporate contrary styles into your design without straying too far from your original image. The best thing about using the 5 W’s is that they can be revisited, revised or completely restarted as many times as you need.Keeping the Y in DIY can certainly be challenging. Just give yourself full permission to go with the flow and accept change with positivity. You’ll find that your creative energy isn’t as far away as you thought. And chances are, if you stick to your true intentions and desires, you will undoubtedly create the perfect new space for your home.