Design advice for 2014…

You may have noticed more commercials for furniture sales this month. Companies that sell furniture know your spending a great deal of time in your home during these long, cold winter months (just heard there is another storm on its way!). They also know people are watching more TV now than during the summer months resulting in a captive audience. So, if you’ve found yourself looking at that chair in your family room or the table in your kitchen (whose seen a better day), they’re targeting you! But before you succumb to the advertising, here’s what you should do:

  1. Vision. Take a broad view of the interior of your home.  Do the rooms have continuity and flow?  Does your home feel warm and inviting?  Does it have a common color palette and design elements integrated throughout the home? You may be asking, where am I going with this? Did you ever see a magazine spread and just love everything about the rooms pictured, or visit a home where the layout and design just seem to have a flow and inviting feeling? That’s what you should feel like in your own home. So how do you get there?

  2. Prioritize. Even with the most extensive budgets, by no means should you expect your home to magically transform overnight. If you are fortunate enough to identify what elements your home is missing, you can begin to prioritize what should be done, and determine what it will take. Every purchase, upgrade or change to your home should be part of a master plan. Otherwise you’re purchasing a chair to replace a chair and not a piece of furniture to complement the living space.

  3. Set expectations. Unless you have the coin to buy it all at once (good for you if you do), think of your home as a marathon rather than a sprint. You need to pace yourself, think long term and budget accordingly. But honestly, even with a large budget, creating a truly magnificient space is a process and takes time.  Just like they say “ if it sounds too good to be true, then it is”.  Take the time to do it right, the first time!

  4. Determine a budget and then add 20%.  If you’re an HGTV fan, you’ll notice more often than not, the projects rarely come in on budget. It helps to provide a financial cushion for those “incidentals” that seemingly always appear out of nowhere.  Most people don’t take into consideration all the little things that tend to add up… remember the old saying “the devil’s in the details”.  I recently heard a homeowner actually coin the phrase while installing a toilet.

In future blogs, I’ll go into more detail on these points and provide some examples of my experiences..

Good luck with your next home project and should you consider some professional help, feel free to contact me. At the end of the day, it will end up saving you time, energy… and more than a few gray hairs (which will then need to be colored, further adding to your costs!).