Friday, January 8, 2010

Create A Home Style File

Many people find that with the shorter days and colder weather, they have more time at home to notice areas that need attention. If you are thinking of doing a little redecorating or nest feathering, it's a great idea to start a Home Style File first.

After all, with the new year comes some pretty amazing sales. Retailers want to make room for new shipments, holidays are over and mark downs are taking place all over. Why not take advantage?

Most people redecorate their homes in an on-going process rather than all at once. Creating a Home Style File saves time, money and eases stress as you redesign your home.

So here's what I tell all new clients when we start the process. Create a folder, binder or notebook that includes the following items:

Your floorplan. If you're handy with a computer, make one with a design program, but a rough sketch will do. You'll need to know your measurements so that when you find that one-of-a-kind piece on final blow out sale, you will know it's the right size. Eyeballing won't do, trust me.

Measurements of your furniture. Write a list of all items you already have, noting the height, width and depth. Also list the ideal dimensions of any pieces you are looking for.

Photos of your home's interior. This helps in so many ways. The vast majority of people have trouble visualizing. Keeping the photos handy helps because it's really easy to forget the details and scale when you're out and about. Plus it can assist in communicating your questions and ideas with in-store designers who might have some great advice. If there's room to keep the pictures in your phone, that works too.

Your colors and fabric swatches. You might have to bring along pillow covers if you don't have swatches. You can also get a paint color fan deck and pull out the color chips that best match all the items in your phone. (I keep two fan decks- one in full and one to pull out the colors.) Can't get your hands on a fan deck? Go to your local paint store and grab a range of paint chips in colors you think look close. You can then see the best match once you get home. For example, I didn't have a leather swatch from my Eames Lounger. So I took a handful of caramel paint chips from Home Depot and found the closest color once I laid them all on top of the chair seat.

Inspirational photos. Tear out magazine pages of the overall look you are going for as well as individual items that you love. It's amazing what you can find when you put your attention on it!

Gather any coupons. Bed, Bath & Beyond sends a coupon in the mail every month. Hey, 20% helps when you're buying something like a new duvet cover. If you happen to be driving past one, it's nice to have the coupon with you.

Keep your Home Style File handy. I leave mine in the trunk of my car...chances are I'll need it when I least expect.

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