This week I met with a client who has wanted to redecorate her living room for over a year, but hasn’t been able to make any decisions to actually move forward with the project. As part of her new year’s resolution to finally be able to enjoy the space, she recognized a need for assistance, and that’s where I came in.
EJ Interiors Photo by Lance Selgo
Meeting for the first time, she had a file folder filled with magazine clippings, paint swatches, and a list of ideas for the space. I prefer when clients have carefully thought about how they want to use a room and what their overall vision is. However, in many circumstances, over-thinking can lead to everything staying the same for long periods of time, all for the fear of making a mistake or a wrong decision. Making decisions on a whim is never a good idea when it comes to decorating, but taking too much time to ponder can be even worse.
After seeing the space, gathering the information I usually require on a first visit, as well as looking through the contents of the file folder, I was able to get a pretty good sense of what she’s after. We’re meeting next week to go over the plan, and I’m confident she’ll be enjoying her new living room in no time. Sometimes all it takes is fresh eyes to put it all together and come up with a clear vision for the space- a plan to get from A to B (or Z depending on the scope).
If you’re experiencing a standstill when it comes to a decorating project of your own, there are a few things you can do to start to move forward.
1) Gather your tear sheets and photos and go through each one jotting down what you like about the room in particular.
As an option, you can create a board on Pinterest and make notes under each photo.
2) Group your points into categories, such as Window Treatments, Accent Colors, Furniture, Accessories, Artwork, Lighting, Architectural Details, etc.
3) Determine commonalities within each category. In this example, I noted purple and pops of color. This says to me that I want some variation of bold color in the decorating plan.
4) If you’re still having difficulty determining certain features, glance over the photos one more time. Are the walls a light neutral in most of the photos? Is there a statement light fixture in many of the photos? Are the area rugs subdued or heavily patterned? These are good indicators of which direction to go in.
Here are two sample photos showing a gallery wall as the common thread. This is something I would want to work in to the decorating plan.
5) Determine what you can tackle on your own and what you need to enlist help for. Perhaps you are confident in selecting furniture pieces yourself, but you need a designer to develop a good space plan. Are you able to paint the walls, but need someone to help finalize a color? Knowing what you require assistance with and what you can carry out yourself will save you money in the long run.
6) Set a timeline and stick to it. Quite often rooms get 80% finished and the last 20% takes years or never gets done. If money and time are the main issues (as they usually are), break your plan up into stages, such as fixed elements (flooring, trim, built-ins, sconces, etc.), main furniture pieces (sofa, ottoman, chairs, side tables), and finally, accessories (pillows, artwork, etc.).
Where do you tend to get stuck in the process? Are you able to get started but give up part way through? I’d love to know your hurdles!