Your Own Project: Get It Started!

Your Own Project:  Get It Started!

At some time, everyone needs to redo.  You can call it “refresh”, “modernize”, but it’s actually more like “maintain”.  A project to maintain the quality of the appearance of your home can be intimidating…or maybe Not.

First, make an assessment of what you WANT to do.  I specifically said “want” previously because that might be different from what you CAN do.  Make a list of what you view as most important to quality of your home life.  It can have 100 items when you may realistically start with only 3 or 5 projects.  That sounds a bit obvious, but most people I know are quite able and indeed, willing to postpone home projects for a LONG time (years) in order to save themselves the quite temporary upheaval of re-doing.

Categorize the list in one of these ways:

1. Cost – even if it’s a guesstimate, by 911 priorities – are things literally falling apart, by room, or even perhaps by starting with those items that others will notice when they come over.

2. “Delivery Date”– different items and projects take different lengths of time to complete.  You can go and buy a rug at a rug store, but if you have to replace kitchen cabinets, that kind of project can take months.  That means that you will work on the project:  get prices, purchase, prepare the space (paint, flooring, etc) as a bit of a lengthy process.  Perhaps start the longer project and take care of painting other rooms, or getting new blinds while you want for the new cabinets to arrive.

3.  Impact –a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting (or refinished floors – new tile) go a very long way.  It can visually make your dreary furniture look better.  However, if the sofa fabric or recliner fabric are worn or boring, you’ll have to tackle those things, too.  Changing lighting in your house or your office can make a HUGE difference and make any space more livable.  New lighting will not only brighten your rooms, it’s likely an update that will last a very, very long time.

A major, major point:  You will experience some level of Sticker Shock.  I sometimes experience it and I work with furniture, tile, window coverings, and furniture every day.  There is no way that the painting project from 2005 won’t cost notably more now.  If you find most anything that is in the price range of what you paid over 5 years ago, it’s likely not the same quality as what you bought before.  That may not matter if it’s an extra chair in the office or in a very formal living room that is only used 5 days a year.  But please don’t have high expectations of wear and, unfortunately, comfort over the years.  The fill in the cushions ns probably not too durable either.  BUT, cushions can be refilled.  (That stuff will be the theme of my next blog post.)

Can you Do It Yourself?  I have NO idea!  You certainly could do a great job with qualified advisers in stores and store decorators.   My clients know that I worry quite a bit about DIY and all the errors clients can make.  That could be a really bad paint job, but it’s mostly buying poorly made furniture that doesn’t properly fit in the room or, choose a paint color that ends up too bright or that clashes with the new furniture.

Plan so that you can enjoy the process, however long it may take, and embrace the anticipation of your new environment.

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