At the beginning of any class one of the first things talked about is the supplies, tools and books needed. That applies to decorating as well. There are some basic tools that will make your job easier and eliminate much of the guess work and frustration in the early stages.
A LIST OF BASIC TOOLS YOU REALLY NEED
- a tape measure: no design project can be completed without one. Measure everything, even if you don’t think you’ll need the measurement because inevitably that missing measurement will be the one you need. Include height, width and depth. Include how close to another piece of furniture or the fireplace. Include overall height of lamp, height & circumference of lampshade, even dimensions of the base if you’re looking for a table to hold it. Do a rough sketch of the room (doesn’t have to be to scale) with all wall sizes and how much room you have from the corner to the door to the window, etc. You’ll be so glad you did.
- a little notebook (or three ring binder if you’re redoing your whole house): you’ll need somewhere to keep track of all those measurements. And ideas. And little sketches. Tape pictures/samples/business cards.
- plastic sandwich bag / gallon bag / sheet protector: again, depending upon the size of your project you’ll need a way to carry fabric snippets, ribbons or trims, paint chips, etc. so that you don’t have to try to remember a particular shade of blue, you have it right in your bag. Use one bag per room.
- an inspiration board: this you won’t carry with you, but it’s so helpful to have. Start it now, even if you’re not quite ready to redo a room. When you see a picture in a magazine, catalog or online and you just LOVE it, add it to your board/notebook. Then when you are ready to redo a room, you’ll already have identified furnishings and colors you like.
IDEA BOARD / NOTEBOOK
A beginning “idea” board might look like this…..fabrics you’re drawn to, lighting ideas you like but can’t decide on, a really cool pillow that’s rich with texture and a console table that you just KNOW will fit against the wall (because you measured). Continue to add to the board as you come across beautiful things.
At some point you may decide that not everything works together. That’s okay, you can always edit. For now, just gather. We’ll address the editing and putting it all together in future posts.
The best decorators use all these tools at the beginning of every project and swear by their usefulness. Remember that having the right tools for the job always makes a project go more smoothly.