Let’s face it, starting a renovation project is HARD. Exciting, but hard to make (& stick to!) decisions. With swoon-worthy inspiration everywhere you look; be it Instagram, Pinterest, home magazines, it’s easy to get overrun with a million different ideas and looks for one room. So, here are my top tips for making decisions, staying organised and not getting overwhelmed!
1. BE REALISTIC
I know this is one of the most annoying things to hear but sometimes it’s actually really hard to assess whether the ideas that you like will realistically work in your home. Essentially, make sure you’re not overestimating the available space (or budget) you have to work with.
I always dreamed of having an island in my kitchen & was pretty set on the idea; pinning beautiful kitchen island pictures here, there & everywhere – however I soon realised that how ever much I wanted it to be, my kitchen just wasn’t big enough for it & would’ve been a dysfunctional mess. I compromised with an L-shaped layout & ended up with a breakfast bar which makes much better use of the space while still giving me that open plan feel to the room. If you’ve dreamed of a gorgeous free-standing bath and want a separate shower cubicle but don’t have the space for both, compromise with a rainfall shower over the free-standing bath for a modern yet space-saving look.
2. START WITH THE LARGEST PART
The easiest way to build up a scheme is to start with the largest element – i.e. the floor, or something you can’t easily change like the plumbing system – this will help with your placement decisions in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have your mind set on a particular type of flooring or tile you love, base your decisions on this look and build your scheme around it. Fallen in love with some bathroom tiles? Great! Buy them & everything else will follow. I knew I wanted parquet flooring in my living room but didn’t know much else, so got that down & went from there!
Colours can also be a great influence – if you’re sure you want a particularly bold colour in one room, or coloured cabinets in the kitchen, you can bear this in mind when choosing all your other elements. In short: be sure of at least one large element of the room and create the rest as you go.
3. USE PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM WITH CAUTION
Honestly, who’s first port of call isn’t Pinterest when starting a renovation? This links to my first point about staying realistic – it’s easy to get carried away with pinning every beautiful inspo pic you see, planning to replicate it tile-for-tile in your own home and living in perfection…
Pinterest & Instagram are very useful for getting ideas, but once you’ve found something you like, stick with it and make boards based around that look only. Otherwise, you will constantly be finding bigger & better things, regretting all prior decisions & wishing you had the newest look. It’ll drive you mad! Make sure you organise your boards by room so you can refer to them easily.
4. MAKE A SCRAPBOOK
If, like me, you like to have something physical to look at so you don’t rely completely on your phone or computer, I 100% recommend scrapbooking! Not only is it fun & makes you feel like a child again (I’m an old lady inside), but it’s a great way to collate ideas and write your thoughts about exactly what it is you like or dislike. I got this idea after hoarding a ton of interior magazines, seeing things I loved & doing nothing with them. This way you can keep those gorgeous images & not completely feel like you’ve wasted £20 on a pile of glossy magazines…
I got my scrapbook from Paperchase & am slightly embarrassed to be showing it (it’s personal ok). Go get yourself some pretty washi tape & have fun!
5. BONUS POINTS: USE PHOTOSHOP/SKETCHUP
If you’re Photoshop or SketchUp savvy (I’m not), I’d 100% recommend using them to imagine particular schemes in your actual house to see how they might look before taking the plunge. Luckily, my boyfriend is a graphics whiz & could take pictures of the house then add potential colour choices to the walls & imagine different layouts in the kitchen and living room. It’s ideal if you’re unsure about how something will look – rope someone in to help you if you can!
Do you have any more tips to make renovating easier?