Interior Design Styles: Furnishings
It is quite possible, if you have the money and the time, to plan the furnishings of a room from scratch and, within a few weeks or months, have the room exactly as you originally envisaged it. The result, however, may have all the impersonality of a hotel room or a store advertisement. It may be comfortable, workable and well designed — even lush — but it will have nothing of your own particular character and individuality.
If you have considerable experience of decorating, either because you are a professional or because you have moved frequently, you can get round this problem, but on the whole the most interesting, idiosyncratic and memorable rooms evolve. People change. Their minds. It may be that they have to change them through lack of funds or simply because they cannot find what they originally conceived. Alternatively, though, some different arrangement or juxtaposition might suddenly present itself through a chance happening — perhaps someone gives you a good piece of furniture or a painting, the inclusion of which will affect the design of your room. For whatever reason, half the fun of decorating is living through the gradual changes — the interesting evolution — of a room.
This is by no means to say that you cannot or should not plan the furnishing of a room from the beginning, or have any idea for its eventual style based on your particular needs and preferences as well as the overall ‘feeling’ you wish to create. It is important to get the framework — the bare bones — right from the start, and to go about the arrangement of a room in such a way that at every stage it looks finished, even if it has yet to reach the ideal you envisage for it in the long term. Doing this is not difficult if you make a practice of always buying compromise ‘fill-in’ furniture, with an eye to recycling it to other rooms as and when you can afford what you really want. For example, inexpensive canvas, cane or wicker chairs can be used in the living room in the meantime and then later they can be moved to a bedroom or a porch.
It has to be repeated emphatically that you should be prepared to change your mind if necessary — to add here and subtract there. Above all you must be flexible, because your tastes and ideas may change, as may your financial status (or lack of it). Happily, even if money is at a premium, imagination need not be.