Beautiful grand daughter #3 asked me a question last week after she saw the Hall/Bathroom Reveal and the Coffee Station that I had set up in my kitchen on this Blog.
Her question? “Gma, do you have any suggestions for my kitchen and bathrooms?”
She sent me pics and I made a few suggestions to give her a few ideas to think about.
And therein lies the key to a successful room make-over and the key to decorating 101….”thinking” about your room or rooms.
For the last month or so, I have been preparing for a make over of our home….which will include a major change in the dark woods familiar to a Spanish/Mediterranean home as well as replacing earth toned colors on the walls with lighter more neutral colors. We will also be replacing two patio doors with French doors (one with sidelights) which will not be an easy feat because the doors are over 8 foot tall and…..but excuse me, I am getting ahead of myself.
As with all our projects, the Captain and I do most of the work ourselves, so our projects can drag out over a long period of time. We are a do-it-yourself kind of couple because that is just the way we operate.
My dear readers, I must confess an important fact to you. I have already decorated our open living, dining room and kitchen over and over and over in my mind...at least a hundred times! And each time I’ve made changes and added and edited the design and the decor… all in my mind! And this is really the key to assure successful make-overs….the key to beautiful decorating.
Some of you may have secret dreams for your rooms…perhaps you saw a beautiful room featured in a magazine that is the style you desire for your home, but you dismiss it as something you can not make work for various reasons. I am here to tell you that yes, you can create the room of your dreams….but you need to take the time to work out the processes for your dream room to become a reality.
This is where we must use our creative processes….call it creative daydreaming. This is where you give yourself permission to use your creative thoughts and inspirations.
Believe me, if you take the time to work out the details before you begin your project, before you jump right in and paint that accent wall orange or toss out the buffet Aunt Mary gave you….you will find a dream decor that is perfect for you. You will not be making impulsive changes which result in decor mistakes.
So how does one achieve this successful decorating goal? It begins with a lot of thoughts, plans and yes, even daydreaming.
Here is the way I start my own decorating daydreams.
First, I grab a notebook and pencil….you thought I was going to say my IPAD didn’t you? Seriously, sometimes it is best to use the old stand by, pencil and paper.
Second, I go into the room that I will be making any changes in, great and small, and I literally sit and look,… really look at my room. No distractions….just me and my thoughts! AND, I move around in that room. I may sit on the sofa…I may then move to the easy chair…I try to really look at the room from all angles. This is a process that you do not want to rush. Daydreaming takes time, my friends. And that is a good thing.
You see, as we live in our homes…we don’t really notice details. For instance traffic patterns, window shapes, furniture layout….we just move from room to room doing whatever we do without really giving the room a scrutinizing look.
Once I am in the room and “in the zone”….I let myself decorator-dream. AND, I take lots of notes in no particular order. I just write down my thoughts of what I would love this room to be. I promise you, you will be surprised to see how creative you are as your mind floods with ideas. Great ideas!
At this point let me stress a few important things to NOT think about:
- Don’t think about your budget…this is not the time….we are letting our creative juices flow.
- Don’t think of how long it will take to get the room done…we will work that out later.
- Don’t think of who will do the work….again, we will cross that bridge when we get to that stage of the planning.
- Don’t think any negative thoughts….you can make this project work…don’t let anyone or anything rain on your parade or your inspiration.
All of those questions will be addressed when it is time to be practical as the decorative processes progress.
Remember, when you are taking notes for your dream room that the more time you take to jot down your thoughts, the easier the room will be to decorate when it is time!
You may decide to have another daydreaming session in a few days. That is good because you will find more great ideas to add to your notebook.
Below are a few daydreaming ideas I daydream about when planning my room decor:
- Paint colors…I pick several colors for the walls. Later I will paint swatches to “live with for a few days” to see if I like the color.
- Wood work paint…leave as is or change
- Window coverings…leave the existing or replace, do I need shades, blinds or shutters for my dream room
- Lighting…don’t rely on ceiling lights for any room….I like to add lamps, floor and table lamps for perfect ambiance and be sure to check out locations of your switches and outlets
- Furniture placement…and what kind you want and need, what finishes, what style, what size, new or will you keep what you have…will you be adding or moving furniture to another part of the house
- What is your dream for the style of the room, little details and big details
- fabrics, colors and textures….art and mirrors for the walls to compliment your style
- Floor coverings….carpet, hardwood, rugs, tile
- Plan for little vignettes tucked into your dream room…where pretty things can be displayed.
- Construction changes if any or things you want to keep exactly as they are
WRITE it ALL down.
I have had ideas pop into my head while in bed and if I didn’t write them down, they would be forgotten by morning so keep your notebook handy. Remember the old saying….Rome was not built in a day….and your dream room will not be either.
Another tip I find helpful….I use a folder or Pinterest to keep my stash of ideas for a particular room. If I find a picture of a piece of furniture I like…I pin it or I tear it out of the magazine and put in my private folder. If I see a room that is similar to my style….or maybe it is something completely opposite, but I like it…I save it for future reference. When reviewing these picture you will find a definite style developing….your style.
Now it is time to start your project. Be sure to use a check list and detail every step to turn your dream room into a reality. Remember, just because you have it written down does not mean a step or steps can not be modified. Perhaps your budget will allow a carpenter to build that diy table or you have found a friend who gives discounts on fabric at their shop. Allow yourself room to make budget changes but keep to your basic plan.
I know from experience that the excitement of your new project will have you ready to begin this journey of putting your plan into action. And now comes perhaps the best advice I can give you. Don’t be discouraged by the enormity of the design and/or the costs. If all your daydreaming ideas are just not in the budget at this time….pick out a do-a-ble part of your dream and JUST DO IT!
Remember all your beautiful inspirations? Don’t let them wither away….keep them as part of the long term plan….one project at a time.
My suggestion to beautiful grand daughter #3?
Paint of course, for her walls and/or cabinets. Easy fix. Also, a round dining table because the footprint is smaller than her current rectangular table.
Her main concern with her kitchen was too many needed appliances and not enough counter top space.
A bakers rack could solve that problem with plenty of shelves to hold the extra appliances. I also suggested exchanging the microwave on the counter for one built-in over the stove OR the microwave could sit on the bakers rack until that purchase would fit into the budget. There would be instant gratification with new paint for the walls AND the purchase of the bakers rack freeing up the counter top. It would be a beginning…a start to her dream kitchen….and the dream would be kept alive, one project at a time.
So there you have it my friends…my formula for a beautifully decorated home: your dreams, your plans and finally, the actions…. and your newly decorated room will be Fabulous Dahling!
Have a great day…and never give up decorating daydreaming!