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How to Decide Where to Start a Project

If you’ve been following along with my previous posts about my home office, then you know that I’ve come up with a plan and now have  good idea of what I want to do to makeover the space. Although I now have an entire makeover strategy, I will be doing the actual makeover step by step. Yes, budget and time are limited, and I still have to use this space to work in. So the big question is: Once you have your design plan ready to go, how do you decide where to start a project? If you can’t just do everything at once, what should you focus on first?

Doesn’t this boring wall seem like the best place to start for maximum impact?

The most important thing is not to change things haphazardly. If you make a small change here and then a small change somewhere else in the room, and continue like this it will feel like you’re hardly making any progress. Choose one area focus on that until it’s finished. Then move on to the next area. In my office, I will start with my accent wall. This means painting the wall and adding the shelving units I’ve picked out and then putting up a gallery wall. I feel it will make the most impact on the room.

I was recently helping a friend over in Canada redecorate her bedroom. She had a long list of items on her “to do” list such as buying a new bed, new curtains, new lamps, new dressers. It seemed overwhelming and she couldn’t do everything at once. I suggested that she start with the wall that her bed is against. This is the wall with the most impact because she (and everyone else) sees it every time she enters the room. She was able to order her new bed, then she painted the wall and picked out artwork to hang on the wall. This made a huge impact on the room. Since then she has slowly been replacing curtains and adding a dresser and mirror. She’s so happy with the progress and feels like her room has transformed, even though she’s not completely done yet.
Here are a few pointers that will help you make the decision of where to start a project.

  1. Resist the urge to start with the little details! Shopping for pillows or other accessories is the easiest and least expensive thing to do, but you’ll use up your budget and have to wait longer to do something that will actually make an impact on your space. Adding pillows that don’t even match your existing decor won’t make you feel better, they will make you feel worse. Save up for bigger items!
  2. Can you afford to get the biggest piece on your “to buy” list right away? It is definitely not necessary to start with this, but if you can then go for it. For example, if you’re re-doing your living room and one of the major pieces you want to replace is the couch, start there if you can. Same thing if you are working on your dining room and a new table and chairs is on your list. Or in the bedroom, a new bed is in the plan. Replacing the biggest piece of the puzzle will make you feel like you’re making big progress. But if you can’t afford that yet, don’t fret….
  3. Focus on one area. I mentioned this above and I’ll say it again. I like to start with one wall, preferably the wall you see when you enter the room. This is what I’m doing in my office, although in this case it is not what you see when you enter the room, but will be my accent wall to give me a “wow”factor. You could also start with one part of a room like a sitting area in one corner of a living room. Maybe you can’t replace your couch yet, but you can order the chair you’re dying to buy and arrange the lighting and artwork around it. You’ll feel great when you see and use this corner and will feel like you have made real progress.

Because I’m starting with my accent wall, the first thing for me to do now is to do is to get rid of the unsightly bookshelf. But it’s full of stuff! I’m going to have to start organising, decluttering, and figuring out where everything will go in my newly decorated space. Guess what my next post in this series will be about?
In case you missed the other posts in this series, check them out here:
How to Create a Design Plan: 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Start
How to Create a Floor Plan
How to Create a Mood Board on Olioboard
Have a great day!

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