You are living in La La Land if you buy things you don’t need with funds you don’t have – all to impress people you don’t even like!
So take it from me, this is how to efficiently update your home. I was recently asked to help a friend to style-up her dreary, outdated home. A big task indeed. (Hope she is not reading this!)
My interior design ideas to transform my own home came from:
- My inner creative skill and yes, I am patting myself on the back. Look deep, very deep; only you know what you want. Although sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it.
- Visiting interior design shops.
- Searching online to see what is available locally.
- Collaborating with my partner to try and avoid the dreaded “C” word; compromise.
- The good, the bad and the ugly. Looking at other people’s homes and getting some tips and advice from them. (Emulate the good, discard the ugly, and avoid the bad mistakes)
- Magazines and TV shows helped me tremendously. It is inspiring to watch a professional transform a home so effortlessly with a little DIY and some creative flair.
- Speaking to interior designers from the same planet. Don’t whatever you do feel ashamed that you are asking for help. These people are the professionals – just make sure they are on the same wavelength as you.
In order for me to share my tips with her in a succinct way, I needed to articulate my creative thought processes and follow a systematic plan of action. It was a tricky one as I didn’t quite know where to start.
And then I was reminded of our family beach house in Cape Cod, where I’ve spent many lazy summers soaking in the sun. My pal, Steve Bobola is among the best Cape Cod renovation contractors and out of sheer curiosity and an inherent flair for décor, I would often tag along with him to see the lovely interiors and home designs his mind concocted. Ended up learning so much! Hope you do too with these tips on transforming your home are basic design 101; nothing really new, but it is a start and will give you food for thought.
Transform your Home – 10 Tips
Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan and then take action
If you don’t know where you are going, you will inevitably end up someplace else.
You need to know the basic dimensions, construction materials, and directional aspects of the house etc. This will help in deciding on every feature that you may want to be changing or adding to; no point in buying that outdoor patio set if it ain’t going to fit.
Tip 2: Articulate your objectives – use objective boxes to tick or scratch off.
- lighten up the house.
- make rooms look bigger or smaller.
- bring the garden into the house – as all clever Passionistas of Design are doing this.
- Improve the flow in the house and the garden/patio.
- Bash down or transform. Ask yourself or instance if the bathroom can be transformed with a simple makeover or do you really need a new stylish – at great expense- Cleopatra’s lair?
- decoration style/s: cosy and traditional, modern, contemporary, minimalist, etc.
Tip 3: You may not be able to draw but you must do one with a budget
I have never heard of an unlimited budget in my neck of the woods. Clarify which areas of spend you need to concentrate on.
Are your floors needing attention? This is a big outlay. A carpet can sometimes do the million-dollar trick by hiding those old jaded beige tiles. New lounge furniture or will the existing couches and chairs, once re-covered in a neutral tone, be a better option?
Tip 4: Frisbee Principle – Fling it out as far as you can
If things are really finished – then trash. Don’t waste your time or your money trying to resuscitate something that died a long time ago.
Tip 5: Timing is of necessity
Nothing happens yesterday. You will need to work out the realistic date of completion and then work back to ensure you have each element ordered or made in time.
Curtains and blinds will take approximately 3 weeks to have made. New flooring may necessitate uplifting of the existing floor, re-doing a screed and then the new tiling or wood flooring needs to be ordered, delivered and then installed.
Tip 6: Work with experts
Rest assured it is Sod’s Law, that the tiler you have chosen, (because he was the cheapest) over committed! All in all, you want to ensure that the level of frustration is kept to a minimum, by dealing with good contractors. Get recommendations.
Tip 7: Create a scrapbook of your Likes. The edit and edit and edit until you reach the core.
Searching through magazines and online articles will give you some great ideas. Cut them out, print them and start a collection. You will, if you are anything like me, end up with a gazillion pictures that will fire you up.
However, in order to fine tune this collection you have to be ruthless. Yes, you can be. After all it is a SCRAPbook. Form a succinct and clear collection that sums your LIKES up.
Tip 8: Make lists.
All the stuff in your house. No, it is not a waste of time because to be truly creative you need to look beyond the norm; that bathroom cupboard you have wanted to ditch forever could be used on your patio. Give it a lick of paint – preferably a fab new trendy colour.
Tip 9: DIY – nothing is impossible.
It is easier than you think, just follow some clever How-To guides. Remember that painting a feature wall is not a life threatening disease; it can be reversed.
Tip 10: Open up your mind and your home
Open is what is IN. Aim to get your indoors out and your outdoors in. This will add depth, and most of all create a feeling of harmony.
That’s it folks. Don’t forget that being happy does not come from buying something you don’t have but more often than not, from recognizing and appreciating what you do have.