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Friday, May 25, 2012

Steps to a Successful Design Project

PROJECT ANYONE....... Follow these steps to ensure a positive result in your interior design project. Steps are to Research, Budget, Plan, Project Manage, and Finalize Completion. A design project starts with a vision and is filled with great anticipation. However, anticipation can quickly turn to despair if you do not have a plan to stay focused. These steps will help to ensure that the results you achieve are a positive experience and a pleasing design project. 1. Research your Project. Research is a fundamental step in starting any type of project. You will want to research design style options, products and sources, trade professionals, permit and code requirements, and any other information that is pertinent to your unique project. It is a good idea to compile all of your project research into a three ring binder or create a computer file to store it in digital format. 2. Budget your project. The budget is the lifeblood of any project. If the budget you set is not realistic then you may find yourself in unwanted debt or living in the midst of an unfinished project. Either scenario can quickly become a nightmare. While you conduct research you should note the prices, including shipping and handling, on all products, materials, and furnishings required for the project. Remember to calculate the cost of any construction required and the quantity of any finishing materials that you will purchase yourself. Ask all trade professionals for written estimates that state all work and materials that are to be included in their price quote. Once you have all estimated costs totaled add 15% - 25% on top of the total to allow for unexpected costs, fees, or other expenses. The total should be your worse case scenario. 3. Plan out the Project. Plan, plan, and plan again throughout the project. Begin with a plan for the project you envision, include steps for completion, estimated costs, and projected timelines. You will need to adjust the plan, estimated cost, and projected timeline as the project progresses and evolves. Keep notes that include names, dates, times, and other details of all conversations. Discipline in this step will save you a lot of time and stress later. 4. Manage the Project. Carefully manage the project to ensure that the progress, cost, and timeline stay on track. Set up a regular follow-up schedule to talk with trade professionals about the work that has been completed and what will be done next. Confirm the delivery, date and time, of all expected products and materials. Inspect all work that has been completed and all deliveries before signing off on them. 5. Complete the Project. The completion of any project can be a much anticipated event. However, do not be so eager to "be done with it "that you skip crucial steps. Review your original project plan. Then Follow the paper and note trails for any changes in the budget, plan, or installation of the project. Create a punch list of all final details that need to be completed and who is to complete the work. Review the list of all permits or inspections that will need to be signed off on for final approval. List any moneys to be paid or collected, including what it is for and the amount. Make sure that you understand why, when, and how each change occurred before giving your final approval. If you are preparing your home for sale, reclaiming underutilized space, or updating your interior design style follow these steps to ensure positive results. Do your due-diligence; conduct proper research, set a realistic budget, create a well configured plan, actively manage all phases of the project, and check, double check, and triple check all steps throughout the project and through to completion. Questions and comments always welcome. Blessings, Clarice Booth

How Staging and Listing Can Sell Your Home

Mind-Set Sells! Today, I was reminded of a simple professional rule to follow when an owner is selling their home. a misleading term. It is simple to follow when we are the ones telling home owners how to do it, but not so simple for a homeowner to carry through consistently. The problem is emotional attachment. The homeowner has, in many cases, poured blood, sweat, and tears into creating a haven in which their family can live comfortably. They have made compromises and sacrifices to get to whatever stage they find themselves. Then the, not so emotionally attached, realtor or stager comes along and "suggests" that they change everything to make their home more marketable to potential buyers. Homeowners, listen and follow this advice. It is a short term means of reaching a desired goal. A home that is neutral, decluttered, depersonalized, organized, clean, and has curb appeal will show better, attract more buyers, and sell faster than the same home not staged. Neutral: A space should have neutral floors, walls, and ceilings. This may sound boring but it is what is needed to have a space appeal to the maximum potential buyers. A few well chosen pops of color can be introduced in the accessories. No buyer wants to think of the time and money it might take to redo the entire home. Declutter: A home should have the necessities with style. Furnishings should be scaled to the space and create a warm and inviting ambiance. There should be stylish focal points that are not distractions. Remember they are buying the home not the decor. Depersonalize: When a home is depersonalized it allows potential buyers to see themselves living in the space and that can lead them to make an offer. Remove personal photos and add simple art. Remove the numerous throws, pillows, and knick-knacks in favor of a few stylish pieces. Organized: Like decluttering, organization is a key factor when marketing a home. Pull out all unused or rarely used items from closets, drawers, and built-ins to give the illusion of more space. If a space is cluttered/unorganized it appears that there is not enough space or storage. Clean: Cleanliness is next to SOLD. Imagine how you would feel if I invited you into my home and offered to let you cook in my kitchen or soak in my tub. Imagine your surprise when you think of accepting, but find dirty appliances with dried food remnants and sticky floors in my kitchen, or soap scum and used rags littering my shower. Now imagine I have ask you to pay me for the privilege of cooking in my dirty kitchen or soaking in my mold ridden bathroom....this is what the potential buyer has just be asked to consider. Curb Appeal: Curb Appeal is the first impression a potential buyer is presented with as they are introduced to your home. Make it a positive experience. The cash register starting dinging the moment they step out of the car (if they actually get out of he car) and remember as the register adds up the money they perceive they would have to spend fixing your home it automatically deducts even more from the price they will offer to pay. So, unless HGTV is going to Curb Appeal your yard there are many affordable DIY's that you can do to improve the landscape of your home before placing it on the market.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Space is one of our first elements to consider when planning a space, but it must work in harmony with all the other elements and principles. No one design element or principle can create a functional or esthetically pleasing space on its own.

Two skills that you have to master in designing are measuring everything and asking questions.

Space can be our friend or it can be our enemy. “Space” can intimidate the confident as well as the novice. Space does not exist until you define it. Where space does not exist there is void. Space is a defined or measurable area selected to serve a purpose. Void is undefined, lacking, ineffective, or seemingly useless.

Space, in interior design, is one of the most crucial elements to consider when designing. You must plan for the space that will be occupied by furnishings, art, accessories, and traffic flow, but you must also plan for the space that will remain between these items as a visual break or a “pause.” This space will act as a border, like a mat in a picture, allowing each item to be appreciated but remain a visual part of the whole. It is the planned space between objects that keeps a space from becoming a forgotten void. A void within a room is an awkward space that just doesn’t feel right. This void could be a corner that is empty or forgotten, an empty wall, or a seating arrangement that is not conducive to comfortable conversation.

Today, most homes have a smaller footprint than in times past and as a result each room must pull its weight by severing multiple purposes. So PLAN, PLAN, PLAN………………

To tackle the first element you must define the space that you have now and then you must define the space that you want to create. Start a design journal to keep clippings, pictures, and website information. I find that a three-ring binder works best because it allows you to easily edit your journal entries. You can add or remove sheets as you define and refine your vision without destroying your journal.

You must measure everything; the space’s width and length, the ceiling height, the windows and doors sizes and their placements in the walls. Measuring is important in design a space. Draw out the room, making any necessary measurement notes, and place it in your design journal. It helps to draw out each wall with measurements for all openings. You will need to refer to these plans often when you are choosing your furnishings and accessories.

You then define what the functions are that the room must support. Is the function of the space going to be only for family gatherings or must it, also, have a dedicated office area?
Determine what your overall goals are for the space you are decorating. Is it a large cavernous room that you want to become cozy? Is it a small room with low ceilings that you want to become visually spacious?

Define your style vision for the space. Look around at your current furnishings and determine what furnishings stay and what furnishings will not stay. Is the style of the room already defined? Do you like the current style? Are you going to run with the current style you have or are you going in a new direction? Check out books, magazines, and the web for definition of styles and inspirations.

Designing a space must be approached in a logical way that results in a functional and esthetically pleasing space, but that also showcases your family’s heart and personality.

Homework: Pick a space, measure and draw your plans, start a journal, establish goals and functions. And………………Have Fun!

Happy Designing,

Clarice Booth
Style By Design Interiors

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Our exposure to or our understanding of any subject has a direct bearing on our ability to recreate it or appreciate it and interior design is not an anomaly of this fact.

Prior to the onset of pursuing an interior design degree I had a hard time understanding what “Design” meant. I questioned whether true design, custom design in particular, meant that everything in the room should match or if the room should be a collection more unique furnishings.

What I learned in my studies is that there are design elements, principles, and concepts that are used to create good design. The elements of design are space, form, line, and texture. The principles of design are balance, rhythm, and emphasis. The concepts of design are scale, proportion, and harmony.

Design is the result of combining these elements, principles, and concepts to create a space that is functional and esthetically pleasing.

Relax; there will not be a test at the end of this blog. However I will be using these elements, principles, and concepts to communicate “Design” in my blog posts.

My exposure to the world of design, growing up, was somewhat limited. I remember rooms where the walls, drapes, and furniture were covered in the same patterned fabric and I remember that it was visually disorienting to look at for very long.

I remember going to fabric stores with my mother, a talented and avid sewer, and seeing all these coordinating fabric sets. They were created to go together and they were promoted that way, striking fear in the hearts of the timid who dared to imagine matching fabrics outside their defined sets. I think that this design practice scarred me for life. To this day I will go out of my way not to use fabrics created in sets. I think mixing fabrics is a wonderful way to create a custom look in any room. My goal is to help you decorate in true DIY fashion by sharing how design professionals create a well designed space. You can then take that knowledge and apply it to your own projects. I will share my projects and ideas as they occur in hopes that it will inspire you to crate and share your own projects. Design is a learning process that never stops and we can all learn from one another.

But remember seeking the assistance of a professional is still a great option. Desiring to have a professional design our home’s interior is not selfish or frivolous it is an investment. Professionals can save homeowners money since they offer a wide range of services that will fit almost any budget. If you are building a new home then have a designer or decorator look at the floor plan that you have chosen. It will insure that the floor plan you picked fits your lifestyle and that it will allow proper placement of your furniture. It is much easier to adjust construction details on a floor plan than it is to move an actual wall. If you have an existing home, and you are thinking of remodeling or possibly moving, consult with a designer or decorator to see how to maximize your current home’s potential. It can be more economical to stay where you are, especially in today’s economy.

Happy Designing,

Clarice Booth
Style By Design Interiors