Resolution No. 1: Plan it out
No matter which design project you want to tackle, designers say having a plan is the key for success.
“Start with a wishlist of projects to complete over the year,” suggested designer Alissa Pulcrano of bright design lab in Portland, OR. “Plan, plan, plan first! Then take your concepts to your favorite designer (or two if you don’t have one yet) and ask them to give you a proposal for your wishlist. Take the time to plan it right.”
Designer Melissa Klebanoff, principal of Melissa Klebanoff Interior Design in Seattle, offer similar advice to clients tackling design projects.
“Assign the following steps a timeframe to keep you on track, and before you begin, determine if the project requires a designer,” she said. “Write down everything you want to accomplish with your project, define it, gather photos and do a space plan if needed.”
Resolution No. 2: Find your style and get inspired
Sometimes the most overwhelming part of a project can be determining which direction to go in. Which color? What about textiles and finishes? The goal here is to not necessarily find the most trendy design but the look that will work for you and your household over time.
Before you begin gathering inspiration, determine the purpose of the room. Does it need to be highly functional and kid-friendly? Or is it a stylish retreat?
Once you have narrowed your purpose, gather photos and spend time visiting websites and saving images. Zillow Digs is one such place to collect inspiring designs all in one space.
It also helps to see materials in person, advises Klebanoff.
“Go to home improvement stores and design centers. Collect the finishes you’ll need and love — like carpet samples, stone samples, fabrics, furniture cuts, lighting ideas, appliance specs, paint colors and so on,” she said.
Resolution No. 3: Focus on one room at a time
Whether you’ve been meaning to clean out and organize the clutter accumulating in the hall closet or finally frame family photos for the living room, it’s best to tackle one space at a time.
“If you have a weekend, develop a plan and focus on one room: paint the living room, and buy a few key pieces, knowing that you can add to it over the year,” Pulcrano said. “Start with an overall design and then ‘chip away.’”
Resolution No. 4: Give the kitchen a refresh
Kitchens have become the center of many American homes — the place that sees the most foot traffic and activity. According to the latest Zillow Digs designer survey, kitchens top the list for planned 2014 renovations.
Kitchens in 2014 are trending toward open, “homey” spaces, says designer Vanessa DeLeon.
“More and more people are wanting an ‘open concept’ space and the feeling of comfort,” she explained. “They want to be able to eat, entertain, relax and enjoy the space with the rest of the house.”
Considering a kitchen remodel? Start researching contractors or designers.
“Ask people you trust for referrals for general contractors they’ve successfully worked with,” Klebanoff said. “Set up interviews with them and present your now very clearly defined project to them for bids. Check their references!”
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