Decorating Home Tip 101: Where To Start On All Major Decorating Projects

Recently I was asked, from an overwhelmed homeowner, “in what order should I begin my decorating and remodeling project?” The answer? Do what the professionals do!

When a house is built, they begin with the foundation, build the walls, add a roof, get the inside protected by windows, doors, roofing and siding. Then they come inside and do all the stuff under the protective coating (the drywall, sheetrock, plaster). They wire for electric, put in plumbing, HVAC, security systems, and audio and visual systems. Then they hang the drywall, sheetrock or plaster. After that they usually do trim work like your moldings and door and window facings. At the same time or within some succession they work on built-ins. Then they paint, usually with a sprayer, then they add the bathrooms, kitchens, floors, and finish the trim and light fixtures, etc.

In a home decorating or remodel project if you are starting over from top to bottom you can take the same steps as a professional builder does.

1. First begin with any new construction, room dividers, holes in walls, new window openings, new windows, etc.

2. Next do any electrical work like adding outlets, adding overhead lights, down lights, switches, surround sound, security systems, etc.

3. Now start on your crown molding and trim around windows and doors. Any built ins that are going to be added would be built at this point by your finish carpenter. Once this is complete”…”

4. Paint the walls and trim, get the floors put down (assuming you are adding new prefinished hard wood floors or carpeting).

Once the basics of construction are done, the same rules apply to decorating the space and making it homey, that is adding the colors, the patterns and the fluffy stuff that makes a house feel like a home.

1. Decide what the room is going to be used for and make a plan.

2. Select the furniture that makes sense for your family and your budget.

3. Pick out colors and patterns that work for the room, the style you want and for your family and pets.

4. Select window treatments or curtains to protect your new digs and soften the edges.

5. Hang artwork or wall decor to begin warming up the room and making it your own.

6. And lastly get some accessories and lamps to top it all off!


The most important question for any decorating or home remodeling project is this: what do you want? When you can figure out what you want at the beginning and set yourself up on a plan, each step will fall in line (because you are organized and know exactly what you want), you will be able to make your budget (you can cut costs here and there and look for sales) and the whole project will come together effortlessly.

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