Have you every watched the show, “What Not To Wear” on the TLC network? Please forgive me for being redundant, if you have already benefitted from the viewing the sartorial stylings of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. This series features unsuspecting individuals, who have been turned in to the fashion police for not living up to their personal best or potential. It’s not that these individuals don’t have a closet full of clothes . . . far from it! They usually have a huge mix or mishmash of items - ill-fitting, worn-out, outdated, overly eclectic, or over-the-top stuff. On occasion, there have been a few individuals who steered themselves in the opposite direction by wearing the same things over and over again, because the idea of putting together outfits caused a bit of paralysis. Stacy and Clinton seemingly pop out of nowhere, yielding a credit card for a shopping tour and total makeover in NYC. In the end, the participant walks away with a whole new wardrobe, as well as having experienced an amazing transformation. What on earth, might you ask, does this have to do with interior design and “Designing a Room at at Time”?
Please read on . . .
(I have to hand it to Stacy and Clinton. This was one of their “Wow” moments! Don’t you deserve for your home to offer the same experience?)
In a previous post, Christmas in July, I promised a gift of timely interior design pointers would be coming your way. Christmas has arrived and it’s time to open your present! Unlike Stacy and Clinton, I may not be peeking from just around the corner, but I know there are plenty of rooms out there, deserving some TLC from ICBW.
(Looks as if Santa has delivered the whole house!) Photo Credits – Ludwig Design & A Gift Wrapped Life
What will be inside of my virtual gift box? In the spirit of “What Not To Wear”, I’ll be your design expert, and I’ll share different examples of rooms, design issues, and some methods for creating a better project focus. Like Stacy and Clinton, I may offer a little bit of “tough love”, but please do know it’s being given with the spirit of allowing you to thrive in an environment where you can and should experience your personal best. Plan to have “aha” moments as to why your surroundings have such a profound influence on how you live, emotionally and physically, in each room.
(A peek inside of my “Designer’s Toolbox” . . . Did you know I carry all of these with me?.)
While many home and garden shows, (or books), may coax you towards do-it-yourself options, keep in mind it takes thousands of hours to become an expert in any given field. I’m able to share but a tip of the iceberg as to how I create rooms for my clients. The purpose of this series is create a comfort zone, as you move forward in deciding how to approach each of your project(s). . . be it on your own or with assistance.
Why did I choose to address “Designing A Room At A Time”? Here are my top five reasons:
1. It’s easier to focus on priorities and deadlines. While a few of my clients have been able to handle multiple room projects, some experience burn-out because they have too much information to process. It also depends on the scope of the project. Remodeling? Please – only one room at a time! Especially if it’s a bathroom or kitchen and you have a low tolerance for upheaval.
2. There is a higher likelihood of a finished project, due to the availability of time, resources, and the budget. Okay - I used the “B” word. Some think I should say “investment”, but the reality is, we all have a method for planning our “investments”. It doesn’t mean you are limited to a set figure, as it’s a parameter or a guideline. It’s important to create a realistic one, based on your wish list or the criteria set for a specific area. While there are some varied ranges of material costs, keep in mind - labor, and a designer’s time should also be factored in, if you are asking for expert assistance. (We’ll chat about that, a little later.)
3. Based on reason # 2, there is a tangible level of satisfaction when you can walk into a room, totally finished. If you’re trying to spread your dollars across too many areas, there will be a sense of resentment about seeing the checkbook balance diminished, and nothing has been truly completed. A sense of accomplishment is a great thing. Allow for it to be part of the reward!
4. Slowing down the process allows for a more thoughtful approach to your design. You’ll be better equipped to answer questions about important priorities. You can decide items which may be repurposed or those which require replacement. You can better analyze your design and comfort needs. What might have worked, in the past, may not reflect your current lifestyle or life’s stage.
5. You’ll have the inspiration to move forward to other rooms! Once you’ve seen the outcome of a well-designed room, it will be easier to carry forward many of the design concepts and ideas you’ve gained from the experience. If you decide to work with a designer, the relationship will have been forged and your preferences will be more easily translated to the next space. Designing a home is like creating any long-range plan with goals. You have to reach the short-term versions before the big one can be checked off.
(Just as in this little “blue box”, each of you has a signature style, waiting to be unwrapped.)
Now, doesn’t that sound like a more relaxed, practical, and rewarding approach to the interior design process? Think of each space being like an empty box, just waiting for a special gift to be placed inside and wrapped up with a beautiful bow, for you to share with others!
Coming next – “A Room at a Time - Where to Start”