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A clean slate is best. It may be best to clear out the room if it isn't already done. Take note of things like wall outlets, cable and phone lines etc. These all will play a key part in space assignment and definition. Once the room is clear you will notice the large expanses of individual surfaces like the ceiling, floor, and walls. These large surfaces have to tie in together to create a unified design. When choosing paints, or flooring, window treatments etc. remember that they will be the background for the room entirely. Creating too many colors, and varying window treatments or flooring will make the room feel disjointed. There are far better ways to create definition for a large space. If you live in South Carolina and would like to have a local contractor help in your renovation or remodel, see the * link at the bottom of this article for more information.
Ideas and potential problems
Ideas are free, so this is perhaps the easiest part of your project. Start off by writing down a list of ideas based on need vs. want and cost vs. budget to get a good idea what you are in for. After you've gotten a list going, it is time to take a look at the space and survey it in these key areas: ceiling, floor, walls, windows, entrance and exit. Assess if you space needs a new ceiling, flooring, walls removed or added, windows or lack thereof, and adequate accessibility. Not all large spaces were designed to be something else and in the case of attics and basement areas, having proper entrance and exits may need to be looked at. By going down this list you can write down your thoughts on how to improve them, as well as in what order. Most people who have done renovation work will tell you these broad surfaces have to be addressed in a certain order especially if the room requires painting. Ceilings should be installed and painted first, then walls painted, added, or removed, Windows can be installed next, and finally flooring. Flooring is best do to last so that paint drips, damage from wall and debris, etc wont destroy it's finish.
Here are a few common ways to utilize wasted space in your home
home office/study area
If you lack a home office, this large space may be just the place to create a home office, study area for the kids, or even a small library to read in.
Need media room/ game room
Many homes being built today are incorporating into their design media rooms and home owners are also requesting game room/play room space. Why? Well it may be due to the fact more Americans are feeling the pinch economically and spend more recreational time at home.
If your home has cramped storage, having a partition built may be a clever way to create storage. In most cases, it would involve installing a wall framed in 2 X 4's spaced every 16 inches from the stud's center point to the center point of the next stud, a few pieces of sheet rock, molding, and joint compound. Creating a hidden area or large walk in closet in a large space is a great way to add storage that may be lacking in other areas of your home.
Define and unify
Once you have chosen the right details for the large surfaces of your multipurpose room, it is time to designate space allocation. Work on the room as a whole so that you don't end up with a disjointed space. Example: If you are adding a home office, you may want to take care to make sure that the finishes you use in choice of materials is one that can be carried out into the rest of the space. Cherry cabinetry in your home office area needs to be repeated elsewhere in the space to create a cohesive feel. The same applies to fabrics. Whether it is window treatments, throw pillows, furniture coverings, they need to have one common among them all. This should be in color, texture, pattern. Try to keep it simple by choosing three main colors to work off of. Similar textures, shapes and patterns with like colors will give your space a unified feel without compromising each rooms defined purpose.