How do I personalize, decorate and finish my new home with style and
panache? What is my style? And, oh yes, which pieces should I bring
with me from Minnesota, Chicago, New York, Canada, or England?
Should I remodel the kitchen completely or just change the awful
countertops and backsplash? The baths look more dated than I
remember when I toured with the realtor. Should I replace the carpet
throughout or in just a few of the areas? What should I choose for the
family room flooring: tile or wood? What colors or finishes should I
select for the walls, the furnishings, the fabrics? Questions, and more
questions, decisions and more decisions that will have to be made.
How could there be so many possibilities to be considered! Who knew?
Many questions and decisions! Where to start? How to start? How long
will it all take? How do I fit my furniture in and how many new pieces
do I need? How much will it all cost? It feels like a laundry list of items. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone; most people feel overwhelmed with the ‘moving’ or ‘move in’ experience.
The best place to start is where all good stories do, at the beginning. The first thing is to formulate a solid plan of action. You wouldn’t dream of building a home without an architectural plan, layouts and specifications for each and every item. It could never come together or be built. The same applies to your interiors.
Hire professional design help. It will save you a great deal of time, effort, sleepless nights, and costly mistakes. The results will be vastly superior, and it will help you to enjoy the process. The designer is an extension of your needs and desires, and can take you much further than you can take yourself. Designers can work out a wonderful plan for the entire residence that takes into consideration all of the elements that you want to include, and probably many that you did not consider.
Obtain a scaled architectural plan from your architect, builder, or realtor. If one is not available, have your designer measure your residence and draw up a floor plan and give you furniture layout options for the various rooms. Have your designer employ the latest technology and product innovations into your designs, conscious of the future of our global environment.
Establish a realistic budget for your interiors, just as you did when you built or purchased your residence. If your budget seems to be too low, then consider phasing your project over time for the best results; no need to compromise on what you love.
Take photos and measurements of those loved or treasured pieces you may want to reuse. It may help you to know that the insurance industry says that many items of furnishings (except antiques) in your possession for more than seven years have little or no cash value. Wow, that is a surprise! Based on this information, give yourself permission to reupholster, repaint, recolor, sell, donate to charity, give to family and friends, or simply toss out items that no longer can be used effectively.
Clip pictures out of that vast pile of magazines that is crowding or falling off your cocktail or bedside table and put them in a folder. Mark each one with comments about what appeals to you. This will assist you and your designer to understand what your preferences are. It is amazing how consistent we all are in our own personal likes and dislikes. Visit model homes to see the latest in ideas, but don’t overdo it before it becomes more confusing than helpful.
In future columns I will be deal with many of the phases of design that relate to your home. Also, I will include many helpful suggestions, trends in color and furnishings, ‘how to’ hints, green living, and many more interesting topics to assist you in making your home a wonderful place to enjoy.
Remember, don’t be in a rush; take your time. Remember to plan, plan, plan. Then execute your plan with confidence and you will enjoy a successful ‘moving’ experience.