When design your home, start with the living room

Furnishing a home from scratch can be daunting and expensive. But proactive research and patience can help you sail through this arduous process and enjoy it along the way. Here are some tips to help you make the home decor process as beautiful as its outcome.
Choose the design before visiting a showroom

Stores that sell furniture may be aplenty, but showrooms that cater to your preferred design theme may only be a handful. First decide on the fundamentals of the décor style — whether it is modern, classic or country — and then look for a vendor that supplies furniture that is in sync with the style.
Look for inspiration
Not everyone can conceive a captivating interior decor or a theme at will. There are several avenues where one can look for inspiration, including specialised decor magazines, your favourite travel destination or it could even be a set of your favourite movie or television show. It is important that the chosen theme is also commercially viable. So, if you draw inspiration from a celebrity home, taking a quick glance at the budget will help keep your new design both stunning and feasible.

Money matters
Budgeting is crucial. While one should steer clear of overspending, it is also important not to compromise on quality to save a few dirhams. Optimum spending is a tricky exercise, but one that is essential. So here are some tips:
* Work out your budget first and then find a showroom that matches it.
* Create a checklist of furnishing requirements and stick to it without giving into impulsive purchases.
* Avoid taking too many recommendations.
An ideal budget varies according to individual needs, type and size of the home, style preferences and whether or not an expert designer is hired. This, coupled with the fact that the UAE offers a plethora of options and stores to shop from, can put the price tag for a complete interior decor exercise from Dh25,000 to north of Dh200,000.
Do your homework
There are some key considerations before you turn your home into a canvas, and this includes legal aspects. Do you need a permit from the developer before altering the property’s interiors? Furthermore, what are the dimensions of your home? This information will determine which furniture pieces and how many of them can be accommodated.
Be your own designer or hire an expert?
This decision will affect several aspects, including the budget and the amount of time it takes to complete the home décor from scratch. You can skip an expert’s services if:
* The process only entails picking the soft furniture.
* Your preferred theme and colour scheme results from extensive research.
* Your home layout is simple and easy to furnish.
Many home furnishing stores in the UAE have an in-house team of interior designers who can guide customers through the process at no extra cost. The My Design service at IDdesign and Chattels & More in the UAE is an example. That said, there are situations when hiring an expert to design the home has merit. Assuming that there are no budgetary constraints, one can bring a specialist on board if the process involves sophisticated interior fit outs like wooden decorations, intricate carvings and ceiling designs.
A customer’s lifestyle and schedule also determine how many pairs of eyes need to go over the plan. It is always better to hire a dedicated resource if work commitments get in the way of giving your home decor undivided attention.
Living room first
Pick furniture for the living room before covering other parts of the home. This is typically the nucleus of your sanctuary that is most frequented by family members and guests. Naturally, this is also the space that will host a higher number of valuable furniture pieces that form a great first impression on anyone who walks through the main door.
Once the living room is in order, the rest of the rooms can adopt the theme and take shape around it.
Access the catalogue at the outlet
The digital catalogue on a store’s website may have numerous pictures and furniture pieces, but few may be available. One is better off with a catalogue that is provided at the physical outlet of the vendor so items that are out of stock or cannot be shipped to the UAE can be ignored at the outset. Also, shop from an outlet that is renowned for its knowledge and amiable staff who can explain the products in great depth.

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