2. Lay It Out. You need a floor plan of the space so that you can determine the best way to arrange your furniture. This is one of the first things I do for clients. Then, you know what size sofa or rug you need, etc.
This is a preliminary floor plan for a young couple with a toddler and a baby on the way.
3. A Good Night's Sleep. Your bedroom can be a second priority but make sure you have a good mattress. A headboard can wait.
Westin Heavenly Mattress. Has anyone else tried it?
4. Paint, if necessary. If you are renting, your landlord shouldn't object to a fresh neutral and if you own it, consider ways to put your stamp on your space (test colors though).
This is the plan for the couple with the toddler and baby on the way (their floor plan is above). They wanted neutrals, too, and a little mid-century modern. They may wait to buy the leather swivel chair but the television console is from IKEA.
6. In With The Old. You can find great new items at Target, West Elm, IKEA, Etsy, etc... but also look for vintage furnishings at garage sales, thrift stores and family hand-me-downs so that you can mix in items with age and patina. Remember our daughter, Alexandra's collected feel...
What about black and white photos of your grandparents? Or maps of cities/towns you have visited or want to visit? I like boxes, design books, white Portuguese pottery, vintage books, tiny bowls, antique French and Italian prints and designer PILLOWS, of course. What do you like?
A filament bulb may easily update an existing pendant.
9. Take Your Time. You don't have to fill the space all at once. Start with a sofa, a table and some chairs. And when in doubt...tape off the furniture to see how you like the scale in the room...here we are testing three different sized sectionals.
10. Entertain in Your Space. It doesn't have to be "finished" to have a party. Invite your friends over while there is more room to dance! (better invite/warn the neighbors).
At your party, how about serving Watermelon Mojitos while it's still summer. Turn down the lights (oh, yes, and get dimmer switches) and turn up the music!