In my do-it-yourself decorating work book, I advise everyone to make a plan – and a plan. The first plan is the “wish” and “needs” list to get you where you want to be. The second is an actual to-scale floor plan of your room. The first plan will help you budget wisely. The second will allow you to see the space as it can be, rather than what is existing. Each has an important function in reaching your goals and both are necessary.
Now you need to contact the people who will help you achieve your goals – interior designer, architect, contractor, banker, etc. Budget estimates and advice along with a viable time frame are essential. Check references, and don’t necessarily go with the lowest bidder. Remember how long it took to get to this re-do. You don’t want to have a “do-over” redo any time soon!
Check out magazines and the internet to find the look you like – but be realistic. The high backs on sofas and chairs and huge window treatments in Architectural Digest will definitely not make it in your normal living room with its 8’ high ceiling. In other words, look to your own lifestyle and home to find the décor that works best for you.
Think classic – meaning whatever style(s) you choose, make sure it doesn’t “say” 2015! Some color trends and styles are not fashion, just fads, and are too expensive to dabble with. Think a decade down the road. Will you still be happy with your choices? Will it still be the home you are proud to invite guests to share with you? Will you feel it might need some tweaking, then, but not a major re-do? Styles change (to some degree) and your taste might, but if the basics are good and of good quality, your home will transcend the test of time.
So look for “the look”. Get the best price – but don’t compromise quality. A bargain is not something cheap. A bargain is something worth more that you got for less. Make your plan(s) and create your budget but most of all – get started! Clean up the clutter and organize. Give away, donate, or consign what might still be good, but not for you. Make room for the new and don’t work around that white elephant in the room. Pick up the old rugs (there might even be a wood floor under them). Try a “new” neutral paint color and open up the spaces so they can breathe – and so can you!
Most of all – remind yourself how important your home is to you and your family. Take care of it and it will give you years of comfort and pleasure as well as an example for your children to follow in the years to come.
Note – want to learn more? Pick up Natalie’s Design Pro On The Go at Uniquely Natalie, 176 Second St. in St. James, or arrange for an in-home 2 hour consultation and you will receive a free copy.