Making your plan for your DIY project....part 1!

Here I talked about "Finding Your Inspiration" for your DIY project! Hopefully you have a "mental image" of WHAT you THINK you want your space or piece to be in the end! And a "file" full of inspirational pictures! DO NOT move forward until you have collected your "inspirations." And again, they don't have to be pictures of EXACTLY what your space IS or want it to be...just contain "elements" that you love!

Making a "plan" is a two part process.

First you have to know exactly what "space" you are dealing with.

Then you will figure out what elements you can pull from your inspirations.

First, take measurements. If it is a piece of furniture, measure it and draw it out...make notes on the side about what you want to do with the piece.

If it is a room, measure it...length, width, and the height of the walls....and draw it out. Measure the windows and doors and draw those on your plan.

You don't have to use a high tech "CAD" program to draw your room. I have tried to use the free online programs that let you design a room...I found the "learning curve" to be frustrating! And honestly, not worth my time!

Simple graph paper (they have it at office supply stores), a ruler and a pencil will do. Try to draw your space to scale if possible! For example, if you are using graph paper, make 1 square equal 3-4."

Measure every single thing you can think of. Having too many measurements is more helpful than not having enough. I usually "rough" draw it on plain paper, then transfer it on graph paper, to scale.

I am not adding curtains or window dressings so I did not measure or draw the windows...and I am not changing out my lighting or paddle fan...but if you are, you need to make sure that is in your plan. 

Note my little orange tabs...that is furniture! If you draw the plan to scale, you can cut furniture to scale out of sticky notes (Post-Its) and arrange and rearrange without breaking your back! I measured the pieces I have that will be going back into the space and included a few "generic" chairs I want to add...maybe not right this minute, but eventually. You can find the "generic" sizes for chairs, tables, couches, etc. online. For example, I already have a side table that I intend to I measured it and placed it on my plan. However, if I needed a new table, I would have the exact size of the "space" available for a new table. 

This little "paper plan" will help you in several respects. First, if you don't know how to figure square footage for flooring or paint quantity, the salesman at your home improvement store will help you figure out how much you will need of any product...flooring, tile, paint, trim, etc. 

Second, it gives you a true picture of how much space you have to deal with when arranging furniture!

On this little plan make a detailed list of EVERYTHING you want to do in the space....including repairs that need to be made (fix windows, replace trim, repair holes in the wall, etc!) Even if you think or know you can't afford to do it right now, write it on the plan! Someday....

In my case, I want to paint the fireplace mantel, install a new tile surround, lay new flooring and new base trim and paint. I want to change up the accessories a bit and eventually add additional seating. 

If you know how to figure "square footage" or paint quantity, go ahead and put that figure next to each of the things you want to change. 

This list needs to be super detailed. Until you know EXACTLY what you need and want to do, you can't make a list of materials and assign a material and labor cost!

Right now, don't worry about colors or curtains or knick-knacks...we are just dealing with the "space."

Trust me, if you start throwing colors on the wall or buying furniture before these two steps, you will NOT be happy!

HINT: Sometimes it is hard to "visualize" changes to your space when there is stuff already there! If that is the case, empty out the room...take out the furniture, window dressings, rugs, knick-knacks, etc. Think of it this is hard to paint a picture on a canvas that already has a picture on it! Also, if you know you do not want that element in your new plan, GET RID OF IT!!! Sometimes we have a tendency to throw things back in a room just because we have donate it, sell it or trash it!

The actual "design" and making a budget comes get your tape measure out and stay tuned!

Once you have "made your plan" go here to see how we put it all together!