You don’t have to be an interior designer to style your space – but taking advice from one doesn’t hurt! HGTV and Food Network stylist and personality Taniya Nayak shares her start-to-finish process around renovating and decorating a new space.
Perhaps the most intimidating thing for people is knowing how and where to start, especially with a blank canvas. Taniya began with mood boards and picked pieces she loves, keeping the look and vision clear. With this particular space, the look was mid-century, so she worked with the space and maintained the integrity of the original style and unique architecture.
Vision boards or mood boards are a great way to keep the focus on what you’re going for. For those unfamiliar with the process, how do you start?
“I went to Hayneedle, and I started to pull pieces that fit the space, fit the budget, and fit the look – but not in that order,” Taniya said. “When you create a vision board, it’s helpful to loosely browse and have an open mind.”
Conceptualizing, whether it’s on Pinterest or with a vision board, is Taniya’s favorite part of the process.
“You can be as creative as you want. It’s such a fun, liberating experience,” Taniya said.
Taniya said it can be difficult for people who aren’t as familiar with different styles, so starting with a simple search online and refining as you go is helpful.
“I always knew I wanted to keep the mid-century modern vibe, so it was in every search that I did,” Taniya said. “I actually looked up ‘mid-century beach condo white’ – those were the words I looked up, and I kept narrowing from there.”
As far as starting with styling, whether it’s one room or the whole space at once, Taniya said it’s best to not be too specific and don’t overthink it. Finding your style first is key, and simply browsing online or flipping through magazines, picking out things you love, is a great first step.
“If there’s something you like, even if you don’t know what it is, just rip that page out and put it in a pile – or take a Sharpie and circle it. You don’t have to know why, you know? Make it an exercise. Then you’ll start to hone in on what your style is.”
The same goes with picking a color palette: Choose what feels good to you, whether it’s a favorite color or what you want the vibe to be. For her beachside home, Taniya wanted the interior to complement the dreamy exterior. She went with white walls (something she hadn’t done before) and only relied on color from the view.
“I kept having urges to add pops of colors, and I had to hold myself back! I wanted to add in some colorful pillows.”
While picking pieces that suit your style and color palette, Taniya reminds us that keeping your budget in mind and accounting for everything is a must.
“A lot of people forget to factor in every detail. It always adds up,” she said. “It’s really important to make a spreadsheet or list, and in every single room you figure out every last detail that you need down to silverware, hardware, a First-Aid kit, furniture movers – try to think through every detail so that when you’re putting numbers to it, it’s realistic.”
Taniya went on to explain the importance of having a budget and sticking to a number. Tally up each estimated cost per room with your spreadsheet to give yourself an idea of what you need to allocate. When you come across a piece you can’t live without that may be more than what you anticipated, Taniya says make sacrifices elsewhere.
“Let’s say you find a backsplash you love, but it’s three times the cost of what you estimated. Now you know you have to give on something else, so maybe my dining chairs will cost a little less. Or maybe I can’t get the table I wanted if I get this backsplash.”
For those who aren’t completely renovating their space but love Taniya’s look and want a stylish refresh, there are plenty of quick tips, tricks, and updates she recommends.
“The best thing to do to change an old space and make it feel fresh again is with paint. Also, changing hardware on your doors, cabinets, closets, switch plate covers, and outlets – if you’re handy enough. If your windows are kind of beat up, do a sheer drapery to allow the light to come through and hide the window. Believe it or not, those things make a ginormous difference.”