We all know what happens. We have such high hopes for what we will accomplish in the new year only to be disappointed with what we have to show for the past 365 days. As Scarlet said “… tomorrow is another day!” and the new year is a way to shake off the old disappointments. So let’s start fresh with the proper preparation for your next design project.
1. Don’t wait for January 1st to make your list of desired design projects. Survey your situation now so that you can have a running start in January. Maybe you need a bathroom remodel because your house was built when everything including the toilet and tub is pink, or you started to work from home but you still need a proper home office.
2. Figure out a project budget for the year. You may not know how much things cost at the moment, but you can figure out how much you can invest in some type of project without overextending yourself. Put that money aside in a separate account.
3. Prioritize your projects. One way to prioritize your projects is to write down all of the benefits of getting each design project completed and then compare. What project will have the greatest positive impact on your life? What needs to be done sooner rather than later because of something that does not work or is in need of repair and you can’t function the way you want to without it?
4. Write down the scope of the project. After you have chosen which project is your #1 priority, figure out what it will take to complete the project. If you chose the home office, you will need a desk, a desk chair, file storage, appropriate lighting and so on. Will you need an electrician, a painter, or even an Interior Designer? Are you willing and able to pay for everything to be done for you? Or are you willing and need to do some of the work yourself to help stay in the budget?
5. Write down everyone you would need to contact. If you are not going to do everything yourself, keep a list of people you would need to interview to get the work done.
6. Research what you like and what they cost. This will be eye opening. Your taste and desire for a certain quality level versus your budget. This information will show you where you may need to compromise. Choose a higher end desk that will last many many years because it is a higher quality product, and choose a chair side table for under $100 that will serve its purpose.
7. Put it on the calendar. Write down when you would like or need to have the design project completed and count back 3 – 6 months. Depending on the project you chose, the size of it, and the scope involved, give yourself a realistic and forgiving time frame. If there is major construction, definitely give yourself 6 months to a year.
8. Contact your people and schedule appointments. During your interviews, be honest about your needs, expectations and budget constraints. Ask for proof of insurance and referrals. Also share your calendar to make sure they will be available when you need them to be. Doing this before you have to start will give everyone flexibility, rather than asking if someone can start as soon as next week.
9. Prepare your home. Get ready for any inconveniences the project may cause. Find alternative ways or areas to do what you need to do. Get things out of the way. And take deep breaths.
10. Celebrate! Take the time and give yourself a pat on the back for accomplishing what you set out to do. You can look back at 2014 with pride and start planning your next projects for 2015!
Thank you for being a Lenore Frances Interiors Blog Reader. If you have projects in mind for 2013 and would like to DIY, give us a call and ask us about our Design Coaching Service. Having a Design Coach will give you the confidence you need to make good design decisions and be happy with a great result for a lot less than hiring a designer to do the entire project for you. Realtors: Click here to download this article for your clients.