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Great Interiors Start with a Plan

by Sharon Moore, President, and Kelly Kazmaier, Marketing Director, Creative Design Group, Inc.

The excitement of owning your own brand new home is often overshadowed by the anxiety of decorating it. Your old furniture and the new home just don’t mix. Rest assured, decorating a new space can be fun and easy with the right plan. This is your opportunity to showcase your personal style and create a luxurious lifestyle for the entire household.

Start with a dimensioned floor plan of your home in a 1/4-inch scale. Sketch furniture on the floor plan using a 1/4-inch scale template or a floor plan layout kit (both can be found at your local craft store.) By following the four basic rules of floor plan layout, you will create the ideal furniture design of each room.

Create Balance
Furniture in each room needs to be balanced. The best way to visualize the balance of a room is to divide the floor plan in half vertically and horizontally, creating four equal quadrants. Place the largest piece of furniture on the largest wall. Place beds on walls without windows or other obstructions. Arrange remaining furniture pieces in conversational groups around the large furniture piece. The “visual weight” of each quadrant should be equal. If one area has more furniture than another, move pieces around until each part of the room is balanced.

Determine Traffic Patterns
It’s best to determine the flow of traffic prior to installing furniture, so there is a clear path of travel. Lightly draw a line on your floor plan indicating where people will enter and exit the room. This will allow you to plan enough space between furniture pieces for travel; at least 30" between furniture pieces and 36" at doorways.

Select a focal point – In each room, furniture should be placed around a central focal point. The focal point can be a fireplace, large piece of artwork or a window with a picturesque view.

Maintain Harmony
Once you have created a balanced floor plan layout with efficient travel patterns and a central focal point, it is important to realize the room’s harmony. The scale of furniture in a room, combined with placement and color scheme should create a harmonious effect. All pieces should blend well together to set the tone of the room.

The next step is to find your personal style, and be creative! The best way to determine your style is by flipping through magazines, and selecting pages you like and pages you dislike. During this exercise, don’t pay attention to furniture or color detail, just react from your first instinct. You may find that you prefer melon to sage green and that French Country really isn’t the way your dream kitchen will be decorated. Once you distinguish a consistent pattern in the magazine pages, you’re ready to select a furniture style and color scheme.

Inspiration is necessary, so have fun visiting model homes for ideas.You will find great ideas that can launch your personal style. Another powerful resource is the Internet, many of your favorite furniture stores have room layouts on their websites that can guide your furniture layout and color combinations. The color scheme you select should flow through the entire home, maintaining harmony from room to room.

Paint is the “thread” of interior design that will tie your color combinations together. Paint the new white walls a warm color that coordinates with flooring and wood tones. Add cheerful accent paint colors in each room that compliment fabric colors and patterns. Owning a new home is an opportunity to reinvent your personal style and create a fresh look everyone will enjoy.

Sharon Moore, ASID, MIRM, is the founder and president of Creative Design Group, Inc., the largest design firm in Northern California. Sharon welcomes Kelly Kazmaier as the new Marketing Director. Specializing in design merchandising of model homes, the company has won numerous local and national awards and has consistently been a leader in designing memorable model homes. To contact Creative Design Group, call (925) 866-8007 or email

Prices and terms in the home listings and featured articles on New Homes Online are subject to change
due to the time element between receipt of material and date of publication.

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