I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to sharing this yet. This is one of those things that’s been in the back of my mind for years now, but I kept thinking that I had to have covered it already. I couldn’t seem to find anything, so I figured I better just get it off my chest already.
Back when we first bought this house, we knew that every single room needed fairly significant renovations. The layout of this place is an open floorplan, so not only did every room need serious work, but each room had to work together and I could not go through systematically one room at a time. I had a million decisions to make and they all had to be made together.
At the same time, we were going from an apartment to our first house, so we had A. LOT. of furniture to buy. On a serious budget. Which meant that I needed to be prepared to pounce on any bargain I found and couldn’t waste time by running home to take measurements. And garage sales aren’t really known for their generous return policy.
I had to make myself some way to keep track of every decision I was trying to make, so I started by making myself a cute little book. I gave every room in the house a few pages, and separated them with little tabs.
The first order of business was coming up with a color scheme. Mine was inspired by a peacock feather (remember this was over two years ago. I was totally original at the time. ). Each room on the main floor uses a combination of these colors in different proportions. Over the past two years, these swatches must have gotten switched. My walls are not navy and my ceiling is not pink. It’s the top group.
I included fabric swatches I really liked, and pictures of furniture that I saw online or in magazines so I could keep my eye out for a cheaper option. I also included complicated measurements for trouble spots I had to work with.
I also made lists of specific items I was looking for, and what their maximum sizes could be, for each room of the house. It’s a little impossible to keep track of all the furniture you’re comparison shopping for when you really need Everything.
I carried this book with me everywhere for the first year we lived in this house, and once I didn’t have to consult it every day I stuck it in the glove compartment so that I had it around if I needed to double check the size of that one niche that still needed a vase.
This book was such a serious lifesaver. I seem to be allergic to making returns – it’s hard enough for me to get out the first time, let alone a second – and this simple book saved me from making any missteps and saving my sanity over that long, stressful, renovation process.