Posted by: realtormarkpalace | September 25, 2010

How to approach a remodel

Are you moving into a new home and finding it impossible
to visualize a cohesive design? Perhaps you have grown tired of the
stale color scheme that’s faded in your living room over the past
decade. The task at hand won’t be so daunting if you arm yourself
with a decorating plan.

A decorating or design plan accounts for all
the possible bumps along the path to a new design so your style vision
can come to fruition. “A design plan is something I preach about
to a lot of people because it makes our lives so much easier,” says
Ragan Corliss, interior decorator and owner of Decorating Den Interiors,
in Portland, Oregon. Corliss has witnessed clients get lost in a
sea of mismatched paint colors and recommends a plan of action to
avoid frustration, to keep from procrastinating, and to save time
and money. Take note of the following steps and suggestions to create
your own custom decorating plan.

Design Style

Often the most difficult—yet most crucial—aspect
to identify is your design style. Domino: The Book of Decorating by
Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello, and Dara Caponigro provides
guidance on how to choose and mix design styles appropriately. The
authors suggest starting a “favorite things” file. Find inspiration
in anything from magazine photographs to a map or piece of artwork,
and then compare your notes to discover your overall style and what
will be most appropriate for the specific space. It’s tempting to
purchase an item simply because you are attracted to it even when
it doesn’t make sense in a room. Identifying your style for the space
will help you stay on track and avoid unnecessary purchases.

Color Scheme

“It’s important to choose colors that make you
happy when you walk into a room,” says Corliss. If you’re completely
stumped on what those might be, turn to your wardrobe for a bit of
inspiration. Both the colors and textures in your closet can inspire
interiors. Hues in treasured artwork and high-end carpets are helpful
to draw from for a redesign or to purchase and work around for new

Floor Plan

Assess the space and create a floor plan. This
simple visual will help you bypass the heavy lifting in creating
a stellar arrangement. When starting a design from scratch, a floor
plan can dictate the size and scale of furniture. Create a digital
floor plan with a program such as Chief Architect Software, which
allows you to input room dimensions and create a detailed 3D layout.
“Consider the focal point in coming up with the floor plan,” says
Corliss. “Is it the fireplace, the view, the TV? Sometimes it’s all
three.” By establishing a focal point and the dimensions in a room,
you have the building blocks for a successful layout.


Set a budget to include everything from storage
to throw pillows. “In this recession, do the ‘splurge and save,’” says
Corliss. It is feasible to create a high-style room on a reasonable
budget by splurging on some items and saving on others. Splurge in
spaces where you spend most of your time and according to what you
need. For example, if you have hardwood floors, invest in a high-quality
area rug to protect them. In general, Corliss recommends splurging
on artwork and window treatments for any room and saving on accessories
that are readily available at discount stores.

Plan of Attack

To simplify the process, set a schedule for the
project and break up the tasks room by room. Start with the room that
most people see or where you spend a substantial amount of time. Although
it is best to tackle each room individually, plan ahead for materials
such as carpet that may be included in more than one room.

A Little Help

If all else fails, a hassle-free way to develop
a design plan is to simply purchase one. Many interior designers have
turned to the Web to make their services more accessible. Dream Design
Kit ( and Decorator in a Box ( are online
companies that identify your needs and style and create a design plan
accordingly. For a fraction of the cost of normal interior decorating
services, you will receive a comprehensive vision, including swatches,
furniture examples, and sketches, all tailored to fit your budget. Written
by Maresa Giovannini.

Mark Palace

Mark Palace




As featured in

Your Home and Lifestyle

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
All measurements are approximate. Copyright 2010 Network Communications
Inc. All rights reserved.


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