Plan Your Decor, Then Work Your Plan

Most of us wouldn’t enter into a major home project such as redecorating without at least some kind of a basic plan. However, home designers can vouch for the fact that the more attention you spend on the details of home decorating, the better your final results will be.

These days we have seemly endless resources for planning a new home decor. Books, magazines, videos, Internet articles, even videos on the Internet offer a veritable flood of ideas. Family and friends, especially those who’ve redecorated a room or an entire house, are good sources for suggestions on supplies such as fixtures, fabrics and other materials. And if the do-it-yourself spirit doesn’t capture you, there’s always an interior decorator available to help.

One thing to keep in mind while you plan is the old acronym TTT: Things Take Time. In other words, that epitome of personal style and homey comfort isn’t going to materialize immediately. For better or worse, you’re going to have to learn to live with chaos for a while, so have a plan not only for the work itself, but for how you’re going to live while the work is going on.

Unless you are independently wealthy and can simply move out while your home is being redecorated, it is a bad idea to redo the entire house all at once! Plan on doing one room at a time, for several reasons:

1. You can manage the disruption better, especially if you have young children.2. You can find space elsewhere in the house for temporarily displaced furniture.3. You’ll spend less money and time.4. You will get satisfaction sooner than if you did the entire house.

When engaging professional workers such as painters, carpenters or electricians, try to have them do all their work within a specified time period. You’ll have to do more upfront preparation and deal with an intense time of disruption, but you’ll also save a lot of money. Check your potential contractor’s credentials thoroughly before hiring. If you don’t feel right about the contract, don’t hire that person or firm. There are plenty of candidates available.

Create a family center in one room before the heavy-duty work starts. This might be an extra bedroom, den or the kitchen. Giving the family a quiet place to relax helps maintain some routine amid the chaos, which is especially important for children. You might even consider getting the little ones a new game or bedroom accent, such as an area rug with a puzzle or a roadway scene, in order to give them something to shift their attention away from redecorating work.

In addition, give the family some fun and yourself a break during redecorating or remodeling time by using colorful paper plates and cups for meals. Plain white paper goods on which the children have drawn pictures with non-toxic markers add an element of family contribution and creativity.

Finally, be sure the youngsters – and any spouses lusting after the power tool – understand that the area being redecorated and the tools therein are off-limits for the duration. If possible, have the family enter and exit the home via a separate entrance, so that the area under construction is kept protected.