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Make a Decision Already:  Design Decisions Made Easy(er)

Make a Decision Already: Design Decisions Made Easy(er)

Do you feel paralyzed when trying to make decisions on home remodeling or decorating projects?  You’re not alone!  I hear this all the time, and I’ve put together a few tips to help you when those decisions need to be made.  Hopefully, these tips will help you to finally get that design or decorating project done.

Make an Inspiration File:  Before you start any project, take some time to collect photos of spaces and items you love.  You can collect these photos from magazines and place them in a 3-ring binder or collect them electronically on your i-Pad or computer.  Either way, this process will help you really narrow your style focus, helping your decision-making process to go much more smoothly.  It also reveals any differences you and your spouse/partner may have in terms of design style, and gives you the opportunity to sort through these differences before you begin your project.

living room

Don’t Ask For Too Many Opinions:  Have you ever heard the phrase, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup?”  This is absolutely correct – with one twist:  “Too many opinions on the kitchen spoil the design.”  You have to remember that you are designing your space for you and your family.  You have specific wants and needs and your style is not like everyone else’s style.  By asking your friends, neighbors, in-laws, parents, sister, mailman and Fed-Ex guy their opinions on this decision or that color, you are asking for trouble.  Every person is going to have a different opinion on what you should do – and most are not shy to share them.  Keep your opinion-finding mission to a minimum, and remember that YOU will be living there – not them.  Decide what is best for you and run with it.

Go With Your First Instincts:  Often, your first impressions are the right ones.  If you really like a particular fabric, and you keep coming back to it, settle on that fabric and move on to something else.  If you really dislike an option at first, you likely won’t love it later on.  Listen to your instincts; again, this process is about finding what works for you – not your friend, your mom or your designer.

Don’t Assume You Need to See EVERY Option On the Planet:  Sometimes, less is more.  If you need to select a tile for your kitchen, for example, and you have found one you like and fits your budget, go with it.  Yes, there may be other tile options you like just as much.  There may even be one our there you like MORE than the one you have already found.  And, guess what?  There will be more tiles introduced next fall and next spring that you might like better.  But, at the end of the day, you want to get your project done.  Make a choice and move on.  Trying to see all the options before making a decision will drive you crazy, and few people have the time or patience for such extensive research.

Victorian Dining Room

Consult a Professional:  Sometimes, you can’t do it all on your own.  Large design and decorating projects can be overwhelming, and an interior designer can help you navigate all the details.  She will also keep you on schedule and on budget, guiding you to products that will work for both.  And, if you and your spouse disagree about selections, a designer can be that objective third party to help you come to a compromise.  A designer will also introduce you to options you may never have thought of – new color combinations, products and ideas.  Even if you enjoy the decorating process, it is often wish to consult a designer for the permanent parts of your project — things like your space plan, cabinetry layout, etc.  These items are not easy to change, and mistakes can be expensive to fix.  Get some help when you need it.

Realize That There is No Perfect Answer to Your Design Dilemma:  There are usually dozens of fixes to any design problem.  However, not every one of those fixes is going to work for your needs and style.  Choose the option that works best for your family and budget and run with it.

beachy cottage fireplace and kitchen

Making design decisions can get overwhelming, but the process should also be fun.  Don’t agonize over your decisions, but do take care to think through the consequences of that decision.  At the end of the day, your design is about you – choose the best option before you, complete your project and enjoy your new space!


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