As I mentioned here, Matt is buying his first home.
I, of course, have been designated the "project manager." (Okay, so I appointed myself!)
As with any project, I start with the "inspiration." Since this is HIS house, I graciously allowed him to "pick and choose" what he would like to see in his home.
Any project, large or small, entire house, one room or just a piece of furniture, should start with "inspiration." Search Pinterest, magazines or HGTV shows, and find what YOU love!
In Matt's case, he also NEEDS a few "basics." A bed frame, a couch, table and chairs, appliances and of course the little things like waste baskets, towels, shower curtains, window coverings.
What he really wants to do is focus on the "projects." The house just received a little "fixer upper" but there are still a lot of things he wants to change...paint the kitchen cabinets and fireplace, replace the kitchen counter tops, open up the entry (like I did mine here), garage shelving, master bath walk-in shower and the exterior.
Age old battle between "need" vs. "wants." (When my kids start looking to buy ANYTHING, I always ask....is it a need or a want!?)
Always start with the basic must-haves...the "needs." He has a mattress and box springs and a few pieces of furniture, but he needs a refrigerator and washer and dryer and a couch and a rug for the living room and a bed frame. For now we can stick to basic window coverings like blinds.
Where do we start?
As I mentioned in this post, you start at the beginning....I've covered this process before so follow the links....
First we had to identify what Matt's "inspiration" is....what colors and styles he likes. Trust me, Pinterest is not just a "girl thing." As I mentioned earlier, Matt is like me and tends to be a bit "eclectic." In other words, he likes what he likes so that makes it easier to mix and match styles throughout the house.
As soon as the contract was in place I went and measured every room and drew up a little floor plan! I have the measurements needed for rugs, blinds and furniture! This step is super important! Trust me, you WILL NOT remember room dimensions or window sizes...have it on paper!
Know the "needs" and the "wants" and start assigning costs!
In his case he has very little so much of his "needs" can be chosen with his "inspiration" in mind. He "needs" a refrigerator...the other new appliances are stainless, so there you go.
He "needs" a washer and dryer...his laundry room is a blank canvas so he choose white.
He "needs" a couch and rug. He has an idea the style he likes so I suggested staying with a neutral color.
He "wants" to paint the brick fireplace, paint the kitchen cabinets and add glass doors and open shelving, open up the entry, scrape the popcorn ceilings...and of course the list goes ON AND ON. He has prioritized these projects and estimated the costs!
This is why finding your "inspiration" and working up a budget is super important! If you know you are eventually going to make changes, then those things, even if you can't do them right this minute, have to play a role in the decision you make now.
"What is there" and what won't change also influences decisions. The walls are freshly painted with a very neutral SW Accessible Beige and the trim is white. The living room and kitchen floors are oak hardwood and the carpet and tile in the bedrooms and baths are neutral. Truthfully, we could go with just about any color scheme.
Since the existing "pallet" is fairly neutral I decided to focus on the colors he wants to add....the biggest being the kitchen cabinets. They are oak and he wants to paint them...and since the kitchen is open to the rest of the living area, this is where we began to build his "color pallet."
He decided he wants blue/gray base cabinets and off-white uppers. I did what I do when choosing a color....I brought home about 50 samples of "blue/gray" and had him pick 3 he thought he might like. Then I painted them on a piece of primed oak and he choose the one he likes...Valspar Crucible. Perfect.
The off-white is a no-brainer for me...I always use BM Swiss Coffee. In my opinion, the perfect off-white with no glaring under-tones.
Now we have the existing wall color, blue-gray of the base cabinets, and an off-white of the uppers. Black is a great "neutral accent color" so I tossed that in there as well...great for picture frames and side chairs.
I picked up a small round table and chairs for his breakfast nook. I had leftover sample pots from my master bedroom so I used that to paint the chairs and table base. SW Repose Gray is a great color that will blend well with all the other colors.
Both may be used somewhere in his house...so Aviatrix was added to the mix.
At this point, we have a "color pallet" taking shape.
This color scheme may seem a little bland and neutral, but at some point we can begin to add in "accent" colors with pillows, throws and curtains. Maybe a red or green or yellow...who knows. Having this simple and neutral color pallet on hand will allow us to add "pops of color" throughout the house!
He identified his "inspiration." The colors and styles he likes.
He knows the spaces he has to deal with.
He knows what his "must-haves" and "wants" will cost.
Everything is on paper and ready to go!
I am already working on pieces I know will work in the house and I know exactly what space we have and what colors we want to incorporate! I have already painted and stained the breakfast nook table and chairs. I found a totally AWESOME mid century dresser and chest I am working on this week. Picture frames are being painted. He picked up a super sweet bed frame on Craigslist. The couch and appliances are on order and the rugs are stacked in my garage!
How do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time. We are chompin' away!