Now that March has arrived, I am thinking about SPRING.......warm sunshine, planting flowers and refreshing the inside of Chez Big Daddy. Are y'all with me? It's time for the rain to stop, the weather to warm up and for us to do some home improvement projects!
To help y'all, I am focusing on various aspects of home improvement projects this month, starting with this blog post. My goal is to help each of you create a home that is a reflection of what you love and ensure it is a sanctuary for whom you love. After all, isn't that why we spend time and money on our homes in the first place? I hear from y'all all the time that you don't even know where to start and just figuring out where to start is stressful, let alone the actual project itself. So, let me break it down for you (insert 80s rap lyrics here! Haha!).
1. First things first: pick 1....one....ONE and only ONE space in your home to start. I know y'all want me to wave my magic wand and transform your home into the featured space for an Architectural Digest issue but, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. (how glorious would life be if it DID work that way though?!!!). So, pick 1 space, 1 area or 1 room in which to start. Once that room has a completed new look, then move to the next room. Trying to do an entire house at once, unless you are a professional designer, is guaranteed to result in complete, paralyzing overwhelm.
2. Next, clean, de-clutter and organize the space. I know this step isn't fun or glamorous but you can't refresh or remodel a space when "stuff" mysteriously sits about 30" off the floor, as if suspended by magic (but really you know there's just a table underneath all of the "stuff"). Unless your schedule or personality demands completing this step of the process in 1 massive time chunk (say, like an entire weekend), I recommend cleaning and de-cluttering for 30-6o minutes per day. Set a timer for yourself and when the timer goes off, then stop. I love The Fly Lady and her method of organization/de-cluttering because she makes it simple and easy. Y'all can visit her website here: http://flylady.net/ for a deeper dive into what she teaches.
3. Once your space is de-cluttered, then the fun can really begin! Take a few minutes to dream about what you would do in that space if money were no object. Write everything down and don't edit ANYTHING...just allow yourself to visualize and dream with unedited thoughts until you can't think of anymore "pie in the sky" ideas.
Now, take those ideas and compare them to reality. What can you do NOW? What can you save for and do later? What do you realistically WANT to do and what do you realistically have the energy and time to do? What exactly does a "refresh" for that space really look like? What makes sense and what doesn't? For example, if you know you plan to sell the home in year, spending time and money to gut a space down to the studs for it to simply be "your style" does not make one bit of sense. But, if the plumbing or electrical need to be upgraded before selling, that DOES make sense.
4. With a clear picture of exactly what you want to do, now y'all need a budget. I know...I know...this is what y'all are saying to me right now......
But trust me, k? You will love me and your project SO much more if you know how much you can spend before you spend anything. Make your project fit your budget, not the other way around. The object is to create a space to decompress after a day out in the world, NOT a space that stresses you out because you overspent and are now wondering how to pay for it.
If you decide it's time for a major renovation, you might not even know how much it will cost until you obtain some bids. That is totally understandable however, I do recommend that there is at least a maximum dollar amount determined before y'all start the bid process,. It will enable you to make better decisions throughout the entire project and keep potential contractors more in line with your budget. If y'all want a few more tips on the whole bid process, take a few minutes to watch this video: https://youtu.be/iDXcPmPgDAk You will find that this short clip tells you not only what y'all have read here in the blog post but expands upon the information with more detail. Plus, since it is much easier for me to deliver a message while I dramatically speak with my hands, y'all will be entertained as well as educated.
5. Once y'all have decided on the scope of the project, whether its purchasing a few new accessories or a major renovation, it's time to get started with picking out all of the details. Have fun with this and enjoy the process; embrace the chase for the fabrics, finishes and accessories. After all, creating the "perfect" space is half the fun!
However, if you TRULY feel this just isn't "your thing" and the thought of even shopping for a new throw pillow makes you want to curl up into the fetal position, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the different options for working with me one on one.
6. Finally, share your project with me! I would love for y'all to e-mail me "before" and "after" photos so I can celebrate your fabulous new space!