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Interiors: Five steps to refresh your rooms for spring

It’s time to bring in the spring. . . Cambridge interior designer Emma Downie shares five failsafe steps to give your rooms a fresh look

Ready for a spring refresh and just don’t know where to start? These five stages of interior design help to break the work down into bite-sized chunks, stop the overwhelm and ensure you end up with the space of your dreams. This is a simplified version of the process I follow with clients. See if they work for you, and if you need more guidance an interior designer can help you see the way forward to a gorgeous space that works for all your needs.

Showcasing spring/summer neutrals at Furniture Village
Showcasing spring/summer neutrals at Furniture Village

Step 1: Research - Ask yourself lots of questions about what you want and need from this space. Consider functionality - what storage do you need? Who uses the room? What styles are you drawn to? Which pieces can you keep or upcycle? What’s your budget and timelines? Lastly, how do you want the space to make you feel?

Step 2: Concept - Creating a moodboard is the best way to focus your ideas into a scheme that makes your heart sing! Gather inspiration from magazines, online and spaces that make you happy, e.g. your favourite hotel room/restaurant. Establish your colour palette with main colours and accent ones. Gather fabric, paint and flooring samples and images that fit your vision. Arrange them on a physical or virtual board and edit until you are satisfied. This is one of my favourite parts of the job.

Step 3: Layout - Sketch a floor plan of the space with the furniture in to make sure it flows properly, there’s sufficient storage and enough space for people to walk around comfortably. This avoids costly mistakes of ordering the wrong size pieces. Consider the optimum location of the lighting and what you need it for. Play around with different layouts until you are happy.

Step 4: Design - Further develop the concept into a specific room design using actual pieces of furniture from the layout plan. Decide on wall, ceiling and skirting colours, window treatments and flooring. Finalise the furniture pieces then move onto a few carefully chosen accessories. Develop a shopping list of pieces that fit the space and the budget - and stick to it! This stage is where an interior designer’s knowledge can be invaluable and I love showing clients all the different possibilities.

Step 5: Implementation - Make the design a reality, whether that’s by yourself or using trusted tradespeople. The result will hopefully be a space that not only comes in on budget and functions well but that makes you happy every time you come home.

About Emma
Emma lives in Cambridge and is the founder of Emma Downie Interiors. She uses a friendly and collaborative approach to creating beautiful spaces that really work for your lifestyle and that you can’t wait to come home to. She understands the effect our surroundings have on our wellbeing and offers several different design packages from simple ideas, which you implement yourself, up to full redesign and procurement. Find out more at emmadownieinteriors.co.uk

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