For the last couple posts, I’ve been recounting sad and potentially awkward moments that served to illustrate my broader “paint point.” See, by telling you all about my pie making fiasco or my scooter-building screw up, I tried to convey the importance of following a recipe or a set of instructions.
When you follow the steps for any given project, things go smoothly. When you branch out on your own and think for yourself and build or bake on the fly . . . well, it’s not uncommon to have experiences like those I wrote about.
Well, this idea–following a specific order or set of instructions–doesn’t only apply to scooters and pies. It also can help you make sure that any decorating project you tackle goes smoothly and turns out well.
Believe it or not, there’s a definite order in which you should make your home decorating selections. Working outside of that order . . . or jumbling that order up . . . often leads to complications and frustration and confusion. To keep your project on track, follow this order:
FURNITURE: Start with the furniture that will go in your newly remodeled room. If the furniture is not changing, move on to the next step. But if you’re thinking about purchasing new . . . here’s the place to start. Don’t start with a trip to the paint store–start at the furniture stores. And the reason is simple: nothing more directly relates to the comfort of a room than the furniture we put in there. When it comes to selecting furniture, you want to have the world “wide-open” in front of you. You don’t want to be limited to a handful of color options because you’ve already painted your walls. You want absolute freedom to pick whatever couch or chair or bed or table suits your fancy–no decorating limits at all.
FLOORING: After furniture, it’s time for you to pick out flooring. Again, you don’t want to be limited by paint colors when it comes to your flooring selections, so choose them early in the project. This may not seem important, but it is. We see it all the time at RepcoLite: folks find paint colors they like and then look at carpet. They find a style of carpet they love, but then find themselves utterly depressed and frustrated when they learn that carpet doesn’t come in a color that works with the colors they’ve painstakingly selected. Avoid this mistake by starting with carpet very early in the process.
WINDOW TREATMENTS: Now, this doesn’t apply to every room or every remodel project, but when it comes into play, be sure to select these items before moving on to your paint.
BATHROOM & KITCHEN FIXTURES: If you’re working in your bathroom or kitchen, this is the point–after floors and window treatments (and furniture if applicable)–where you would nail down your faucet and fixture selections. By this point, you’ll have some idea where your project is heading and you should have very little trouble selecting the right items. In fact, it’s very interesting. Start with this step (as I’ve done) in a bathroom remodel and you’re only heading for heartache. You walk into the store, look at hundreds of options of faucets and you pick one based on what you think looks cool. Later, as the room starts to take shape, more often than not, you find that while your faucet may look cool . . . it no longer fits with the decorating scheme you’ve got going. However, if you approach this selection at this stage in the process . . . after your floor and window treatments . . . chances are you’ll be able to instantly eliminate 1/2 of the faucets. You won’t want the bronze ones. Or maybe, with your decorating scheme, you’ll realize that the chrome-look is definitely not going to work. Whatever you decide, the bottom line is that choosing this item at this stage in the process will simplify your selection process.
LIGHTING: This step could easily be lumped in with the above step.
ARTWORK & WALL HANGINGS: Now’s the time when you start to flesh out your decorating. You’ve found furniture, flooring, window treatments, fixtures (lights, faucets, etc.) and now’s the time you start putting some color and fun on your walls. Pick items that will look good with all your other selections–pick items that will develop your theme or the feel you want the room to have. Pick these items and limit them only by the items you’ve already selected.
PAINT: Believe it or not . . . NOW’S finally the time you head to the paint store. See, paint should be your last selection in the entire process. And the reason is very simple and very straightforward: paint is changeable. When you find a couch you like, you’ll probably have 10 (at most) potential fabric options. Same with everything else on our list. The only thing that is completely fluid when it comes to decorating is your paint. At RepcoLite, we can match your paint to whatever colors you need. We can pull a fleck of color out of your throw pillow. We can pull colors out of your artwork. We can match a twist of fabric in your carpet. Paint is completely adjustable and, as such, should be the last thing you select.
Following that flow of events when it comes to any decorating project is going to simplify your project immensely. The days of frustration and confusion will slip away and you’ll find yourself actually enjoying the journey–not just anticipating the destination.