Last Friday I introduced the idea of Redesigning Your Home with what you already own and I outlined a few things you need to do prior to beginning a redesign. Today I’ll present the first of five steps for you to follow, in consecutive order, so you can easily and successfully redesign the room you’ve selected. At the end of the series you’ll have all the information you need to complete a full room redesign with confidence.
Redesign Step 1 – Deconstruct the Room
In this step you’ll learn the easiest way to dismantle your room in preparation for your redesign. Breaking it down and emptying the space provides you better access for discovering the architecture, focal points and traffic patterns of the room. It also helps you take a fresh look at the space and imagine all the possibilities instead of getting stuck trying to decide where to move the sofa or hang the big framed piece of art.
Block out time. Select a day you are feeling well, can dedicate a block of time so you can stay focused and work with limited interruption. DON’T start this project thinking you’ll have it done for a dinner party that evening! You’ll stress yourself out rushing against the clock instead of enjoying the process and letting your creative juices flow. Photo below via flickr.com
Dress to design. Wear comfortable clothes in which you can move freely and rubber soled shoes to protect your feet, grip the floor and also protect hard surfaced floors. Don’t wear anything that might scratch your furniture like jewelry, belts, zippers and metal buttons.
Create a staging area. Dedicate a place outside of the room in which you can temporarily place the contents of the room you are redesigning. Clear an area ahead of time so you aren’t just sticking things all over your house randomly.
Enlist help. You’ll need some help if you need to move heavy furniture like sofas, hutches, consoles, big tables, etc. You won’t need assistance for the entire redesign, although it’s fun to work with a friend and maybe you can trade time at each other’s home. Have your helper(s) come an hour or two after you plan to start the process and tell them you’ll need about an hour of their time (depending on your room and furniture). If you have something large and special like a baby grand piano you may want to enlist professional help to relocate that piece once you have determined (in a future step) where to place it. Photo below via flickr.com
First Remove Accessories
The first thing to remove from the room is accessories - place them in the staging area.
- Always work carefully and safely – wrap lamp cords around the base of lamps before moving them, carry only one or two items at a time and do not move anything heavy by yourself. You don’t want to break any of your accessories or your back!
- As you move things into the staging area, group “like” items together – table lamps and floor lamps, books, pillows, candles, etc.
- Unload bookcases and cabinets from the bottom shelf first and work your way up. Once the shelves are empty remove them in the same order.
- If you’re moving sound equipment or computers save yourself a lot of headache and use colored tape or dot stickers to code connections and corresponding wires. Photo below via flickr.com
Next Remove Art, Plants and Area Rugs
- Consider using a hallway or a long wall for a staging area for your art.
- Lean art against a wall, do NOT lay it flat.
- Keep the art in groups according to content, style, shape and size.
- After removing art from the walls remove picture hooks and spackle the holes and touch them up with paint.
- Group plants and trees in the staging area.
- Roll area rugs so you can move them more easily. Photo below via flickr.com
Finally, Remove Furniture
- Detach any large pieces of furniture that are attached to the walls (bookcases or entertainment centers?)
- Remove all of the furniture that you and your helper(s) can to the holding area. Photo below via flickr.com
- Hint: I use furniture moving disks similar to the Furniture Slider Set pictured below (from Amazon.com – $8.49) and I can move much of the furniture myself when I redesign a client’s home.
- Leave only the largest or heaviest piece(s) of furniture in the room and plan to set first.
- Clean the floors as needed.
Trust the Process
Emptying your room may sound daunting but you’ll be surprised at how little time it actually takes – especially if you’ve cleared the clutter beforehand, dressed the part, created a staging area and enlisted help (above photo via flickr.com). Many people don’t get the redesigned room they want or a room with a cohesive look because they rearrange one small area of a space at at time – moving things here and there. To really give your room a bright new start you must clear it, your expectations and your old habits and start with a clean slate. Don’t skip a step or jump around – be patient, stay focused and trust the process I’ll be outlining for you.
Look for Step 2 of the Redesign Process next Friday. Meanwhile, if you’ve got any questions or comments leave them by clicking on the Comment link beneath the ads on this post or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.