Do It Like A Designer

 10 Easy Steps

to A Successful Interior Design Project

 Too many people are disappointed in their do-it-yourself design projects, mainly because they miss some basic steps at the very beginning. Here are 10 Easy Steps to take at the start and get that project going the right way!

Step 1:   De- Clutter:  This is the big first start to getting your great interior design project into shape.   Throw or give away everything you really don’t need and probably never use! Then live with the results for a week and do it again. Start with as clean a space a possible.

Step 2:  Think Flow:  All spaces in your project are connected and flow together so fixing just one room may not fix your problem.  Even if you only have enough money to do one room right now, work on a plan for the entire project.  Your design will only be complete when you achieve an overall flow and theme throughout.

Step 3: Set your Scope:  Now you have to decide which room or rooms come first.  Get that straight and you are almost ready to plunge in!

Step 4:  Do-It-Like a Designer.  Designers plan everything before they actually do anything. They draw every built-in, spec all moldings, measure all furniture, select all fabrics and lay it all on a floor plan before they ever buy anything.  Know what everything is, where it goes and how it fits into your budget before you buy.

Step 5: Don’t forget the ‘backgrounds’. You can redo everything, but without good backgrounds you won’t feel like you accomplished much.  Countertops, cabinetry, paint colors, flooring, shelving and more, all have a huge impact on your design. If they look shabby, outdated, or cluttered everything else is a waste of time.

Step 6:  Set your budget.  Budgets aren’t just for small projects.  Even the most elaborate homes have budgets.  If you are re-doing everything from scratch, here are some rules-of-thumb for budgets.  Furniture should be about 40% of your budget, Window Coverings 12%, Artwork 8%, Accessories 8%, Freight 7%, Decorative Lighting and Lamps 7%, Plants 5%, Wallpaper and Paint 2%, Backgrounds 10% , though that can vary wildly. 

Step 7: Plants and Artwork. For many who are new to interior design, these two areas tend to get the axe in the final budget process.  Big Mistake! Plants and Artwork make a room complete and are critical to the finished look. Don’t skimp here!

Step 8: Say No to Jabot! Use Simple Window Treatments. Trash the old heavy treatments immediately. Your room will get a much needed boost of light and energy. Simple, inexpensive panels or cornice can be purchased in many different fabrics from lots of online retailers. They will even send you a fabric swatch (Step 5).

Step 9: Don’t waste money. If you are on a tight budget, then spend it where you need it.  Take baby’s rooms – they are oh-so cute, but an expensive baby’s room can be a waste on a tight budget.  Re-think that super expensive living room sofa if you won’t be using it often and cut back in guest areas.

Step 10: Make it usable. Don’t put a fussy sofa and two chairs in your living room because you ‘have’ to. If you won’t use it like that, then don’t do it. How about 4 club chairs and library shelving?  Be creative. Think of what you need, make it presentable and make it work.

If you get all this, then you are off to a great start. Congratulations!   Keep these basics in mind throughout and you will have a successful design project.