Design projects creep up on us in several ways. The 2 usual ways are either that something looks awful and just has to get "done" OR it's moving time and you don’t have enough things to fill your new place.
Whatever your most immediate needs might be, these are steps you can take to get your thoughts together in an organized way:
- Make a list that includes everything you hope to get done, including services (like painting and electrical rework) and products (like a new sofa or new carpeting).
- Whether or not you are able to do everything at the same time or not, number everything that you have listed in order of their importance to you.
- Take the list you just made and put the items in groups of projects you think you can handle at one time – that means financially as well as emotionally (that means the amount of energy and patience you hope to have per project).
- Put together a list of the people/companies/stores that you would want to work with, including "duplicates" in any category (like painters) for multiple bids.
- If you are doing this yourself, pay attention (in your head, at least) to how long every item could take, so that you won't have a brand new sofa sitting in puddles of wet paint while waiting for new wall to wall carpeting.
- Get some real prices together and order those items that take longest first, keeping your budget in mind --the total expected budget, but most importantly the total you will need to pay to make your place comfortable.
If you are planning an encompassing, inclusive long-term project, unless you want it to get a part-time job, I would be very careful if you want to do it by yourself. Please take that comment seriously. I have had clients that work and take care of families and still take on a project that I am coordinating as a part-time job either because they like the experience! Unless you are in that category, think about making the sections like these with many elements very small to start. You can help for the parts that are more unreachable for you. Maybe you should consider working with someone who can act as project manager using your contacts, OR just hire someone to find everything as well as coordinate/execute the project as well.
My method for tackling projects with multiple elements and vendors is determined by the vendors and products, not by the room. From the shell to the details, after moving any walls or making structural changes, here are (one by one) the other parts of the job, in MY (and most others') approximate order:
- Painting and wall finishes
- Flooring and carpet
- Window treatments
- Built-in cabinetry
- Furniture (new, redone, etc.)
- Accessories (all the many, many wonderful kinds)
There are other elements, but this is fairly complete. Again, this might seem like fun! But if not, remember that there are folks who do this for a living (as the saying goes). Either way, enjoy! And take some "before and after" photos, too!
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