Tuesday, May 24, 2011


     I've always read that it helps to have a plan before starting any project.  Since I'm a bit of a perfectionist at heart, I tend to agree with the idea of making a plan.  It's always been the follow-through that drives me batty, though.  (I have kids- and kids and planning tend to be contrary to each other.)

    However, by taking a few minutes to plan, I can easily see where my home needs assistance and what order I should prioritize them into.

    So, before I begin any project, either on paper or on a computer program, I take a moment to draw out my floor plan.  It doesn't have to be to scale-after all, you just need a general idea of the lay of the land.  Later you can worry about scale, but for right now this will merely serve as an aid for brainstorming.

    Here's one I did this morning showing the house we've just moved into:
See, NOT to scale.  All the 1s are windows (some are huge windows, some are small windows).  All the grey outlines are things that I can't move out of the way like closets or cabinets.

After you have your floor plan, feel free to label things with what you want the rooms function to be.  In this case, I know the larger open room of the basement needs to serve three functions- classroom, a gaming space for the Thursday night gamer group, and an area for my toddler to run around safely while big brother does school work.

    If you have a yard you want to work in, feel free to sketch that out too.

Just proving how NOT to scale the picture is- this is an acre of yard over a hillside.  Top of the hill is first floor only, bottom of the hill is basement level. 

Again, once you have a sketch, start plotting your space by it's eventual use.  On this 1= compost bin, 2= raised garden beds, 3=some paving method because it's muddy between the steps and the driveway, and 4 is an eventual patio space for using the grill and watching the kids in the yard.

    So, you're probably thinking, "Okay, now that I have a floor plan, NOW WHAT?"

    Now, you get to have fun.  Go through magazines.  Go through websites.  Find things you like and try to figure out where you can put them.  Don't worry if it's thousands of dollars out of your price range at this point.  If you like it, make a note of it so you can remember it later.  And don't get stuck on what room you're looking at.  Who cares if that shelf you love was in the dining room of the catalog?  Feel free to imagine it for your bedroom.

   Once you've been inspired, start a list of projects by room.  Check with your landlord if any projects require construction, painting, or digging.  You might not get to them all in one weekend.  But, if you take it one project at a time, you'll have your rental house looking like the home of your dreams.

1 comment:

  1. great advice. I always start with sketching out my room - it's just easier for me to get a feel for what I'm dealing with if I can see it on paper. Then when I get more serious about the project, I make the room to scale along with shapes for the furniture cut out of paper so I can move them around the room to see which layout will work best.


I love hearing from my readers! I read every comment posted, so please feel free to tell me what you're thinking.