Planning an Interior Design Project

Planning an Interior Design Project

Ella Design Group  📷  © Lisa Russman Photography |

Ella Design Group 📷 © Lisa Russman Photography |

Going into an interior design project without an organized plan is like sending a football team out on to the field with no plays or strategy or even an inkling as to what position everyone is playing. (Christine is a football fan if you’re wondering about this comparison.) Will they win? Barring a miracle, no. Will the players work as a cohesive unit? Nope. Will anyone be wowed by the end result? Not in a good way. Will there be chaos, stress and mistakes? You can count on it.

The better prepared you are before getting started on your design or remodeling project, the more likely you will avoid mistakes, stay within your budget and achieve your design goals. So, step away from the paint can, sit down and start working on your interior design plan first. Here are some starting points:

  • List all of the rooms or areas you want to address and what elements you’d like to include in your design project.

  • Determine your budget, which is the amount of money you’re willing to invest in your project. Allow for a buffer and be realistic as quality items and construction will most likely be more expensive than you expect.

  • Prioritize your rooms. It’s always better to complete a single room that you can now enjoy than it is to start multiple rooms at a time that you’re not able to finish. If you use certain spaces a lot, these might be your top priority. Alternatively, if there are rooms you can knock out quickly because they only require minimal, cosmetic updates, you could always start there and check them off your list. It will depend on what’s most important to you. Once you get estimates for how much it will cost to implement your ideas, this prioritization will give you a better starting point.

  • Gather inspiration photos. Houzz and Pinterest are the most popular places to do this and both allow you to keep your ideas in one place with either ideabooks or boards. Even if you’re not sure of your style or what attracts you to individual photos, a design professional can identify the common thread fairly quickly. If you’re going it alone, try to look at your collection of photos objectively and ask yourself what’s similar about each one? It could be overall style, texture, color schemes, etc. This will help you understand your design aesthetic.

  • Once you know your design aesthetic, you’ll have a better idea of a direction to take. However, in addition to your own personal preferences, keep in mind the architecture of your home.

  • Beyond the general inspiration photos, do you have a specific element in a room that could serve as the inspiration piece? A favorite piece of art, rugs and fabric are common inspiration pieces that can be used to set the tone and color scheme for a space.

  • If your project will require construction or remodeling, shop around and get some estimates.

  • Floor plans may be necessary to help you determine the ideal layout as well as the size and type of furnishings that will fit best. There’s nothing worse than purchasing your dream sofa only to find you can’t even get it through your doorway.

You’ve made your way through all of these steps and you’re ready to dive in, right? Not so fast. Once your plan is set, your next task is to select all materials, finishes and fabrics before you make any purchasing decisions. Picking everything prior to implementing the actual design elements ensures it will all work together. Since one decision usually affects the next decision, you want to keep your options open, down to paint colors, until you’ve pulled together the entire design.

The design process can be fun and exciting but it can also be extremely time consuming and stressful. A design professional can guide you through it and take ownership of the process. They can also help you visualize what your completed space will look like and eliminate any guesswork. If you prefer to manage your project on your own, make sure you plan as much as possible to minimize any risk and set yourself up for success when it comes to creating the space of your dreams.