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  • Erica Boyes | Designer & Event Planner

Creating a Design Plan: Planning to Revamp a Room


right vs. left brain


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revamp | riːˈvamp |


verb [with object]

give new and improved form, structure, or appearance to:

an attempt to revamp the kitchen's useable space | (as adjective revamped): a revamped living room.

noun [usually in singular]

an act of improving the form, structure, or appearance of something: the foyer was given a $1 million revamp.

a new and improved version: the curtains were a revamp of an old pattern.



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Stop! In the name of decor!


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Now that I have your attention, take another second to absorb the definition of what it means to revamp. I’ll wait...


Deep, right?


I know, not really. But it is important to today’s topic of how to build a stellar plan when redecorating a space to your liking - mindset to finish.

Now I don’t know about you but the words 'new & improved' jumped out at me most, whether talking nouns or verbs. But for the purpose of this blog let’s consider the word 'revamp' as strictly a verb - because we are about to start putting our ideas into action, young designer grasshoppers!

Ha! Bad joke - moving on along.

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In the last Design instalment of the Food.Wine.Design Blog, we discussed the importance of all things mindset and defining your own style as style. And what did we accomplish by the end of the article, everyone?


We figured out that we might as well bend over and kiss ourselves to the moon without a bit of sheer confidence in our capabilities. And that’s the honest truth. So if you joined the 'lights on' crew and said YES to the question at the end of my last article then let’s move on to our next hurdle together: creating a revamp plan for a space in your home that you'll a) stick to and b) enjoy every step of the way.

So before we get started with the logistics (DON’T RUN - I repeat DON’T RUN) I need you to come back to that same lights on mentality. What brings you to your happy place? If we've done an event together, you probably noticed it doesn’t take much to get my excitement flaring. Why? Because by the time we meet, I’ve been prepping an artistic mood from the moment I woke up. Why again? Because it’s imperative to be in the right mood to create!


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So grab an iced coffee, sit in the sunshine, turn on some music and take a deep breath. This blueprint for revamping your spaces is going to start at the beginning - the real beginning.



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STEP ONE - PLAN TO MAKE A PLAN


Some of you just felt physical pain reading that - I’m with you in most cases. This sounds like an utter waste of time during our daily grind, but it's also the exact same reason I need you to plan to make a plan in this case:


Life is crazy - I refuse to paint this blog with an unrealistic shade. And in order to initiate that creative mindset required for tapping into your stellar designer potential, it’s better to pre-schedule this planning time as something to look forward to. Look at your calendar - when can you fit in some uninterrupted (all parents read semi) me-time?


Step one is simply planning to give yourself the time, energy and space to think about what it is that you wish to create.

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STEP TWO - MAKE NOTES AS YOU MOVE & SHAKE


Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come to you when walking/running/driving/cleaning/showering/exercising/etc./etc.?


This is because our brains are mainly focused on the stimulation in front of us as opposed to over-thinking the task at hand. As we use different parts of the brain for other tasks it provides space for creative ideas to cycle, swoop and loop with bursts of inspiration. When moving around, we're constantly stimulated with authentic feelings, hopes and dreams we can see for ourselves. It's out and about that we get excited and inspired about life!


The challenge? Bottling these thoughts for later - another instance where I’m still quite offended I wasn't invited to Hogwarts.



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So before arriving at your scheduled me-time that's currently over there halo-glowing on your calendar, jot down some notes (re: ideas & dreams). Whether it be on your phone, a notebook, a napkin, a forehead; note it down during your daily grind.


My advice? Pay attention to small bursts of happiness and why.


STEP 3 - JEEZE MAKE THE PLAN ALREADY!


Whether you're raring to go at this point or just plain annoyed, the lights are definitely on!


Take that Indigo notebook smeared with inspirational quotes on the cover (guilty as charged) and make a list of essential needs you require for the space to function. This is a moment in the planning process where it's necessary to have two (semi) firm feet on the ground.


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What kind of room can this now be categorized as for the sake of psychological ease? Something else that is important to note here is not being afraid to blend categories: office/den, nursery/reading nook, kitchen/dining room, anyone? When you put it this way, mixed-purposed rooms are almost more common! It really depends on your living square footage per human. But that's the point:


Think it out. Write it out. What are your essential needs for the room?




STEP FOUR - MAP IT OUT


Now sit back in your space and observe.


If the room is empty this will be a breeze. But if it's still full of life then you’ll need to put your imagination to use and blank it all out.


Grab your list of essential needs. Observe how and where each one of these 'needs' may fit in a practical but stylish way - like a puzzle in your notebook. Grid the room into sections of liveable areas, being honest when it comes to your space/dream ratio: the actual size of your room vs. how many purposes you’d like that room to serve. I know I want a pony stable in my yoga studio, but it may not happen and I'm mentally prepared for that heartbreak.



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Take measurements of the room perimeter including all nooks and crannies, windows, doors, ceiling heights and general ideas that spark your interest as you move and shake. If you really want to get into it - and I mean REALLY get into it - mark down the measurements of furniture you plan on using as well. When the room is empty, use painter's tape to mark these ideas on the floor to really get a sense of space.


Sometimes we have to let ideas go or shift them slightly to fit the realistic space/dream ratio. But once this blueprint spatially makes sense, we can prepare for lift-off into lighter and happier places:


The colour world.



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STEP FIVE - TAKE YOUR MAP TO PINTEREST TOWN


The ideas out there on the world wide web are incredible and Pinterest is my favourite place to do preliminary research, young designer grasshopper! From life hacks to beautiful decor to colour schemes you wouldn't have chosen yourself, the internet has a wealth of inspiration to pull from. Be inspired while adding in your own flair, creating a design concept from something as opposed to nothing.



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This is when we predominantly establish the colour scheme. Because the spectrum can be broad and intimidating, try beginning with one neutral predominant colour. Then add another two supporting colours. If this is blowing your mind, go to the hardware store and grab a bunch of paint swatches - they may come in handy anyways!


Consider building a vision board to physically hang on the wall while you decorate. This constant guidance (or slap in the face - depends on the day) will act like a compass pointing north back to your initial goals. Your vision board can include paint swatches from your local hardware store, pictures you like from Pinterest, and even your notes about essential needs, ideas and dreams.


Remember - the goal is to create a plan & follow it to the end so we actually accomplish the results we desired at the beginning!


STEP SIX - SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO NOW


When we redecorate (and especially when we redecorate with a plan) our small trinkets, books, picture frames, lamps, antiques etc. sometimes no longer 'fit' the essential needs or colour scheme of the new room.


Having an established vision board and some excitement behind it will make this step in the plan a lot easier: it can be challenging to move beloved items to a different room or pack them away temporarily, no matter how much joy it may spark.



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This part of the process stumps most new designers because we've attached meaning to our trinkets; aka the feeling of home. It's why phoning a friend is not just a lifeline in How To Be a Millionaire - it's also a lifeline in extreme designing. The overall key to enjoying this process is knowing that you can donate some items but also keep the ones you adore!


If this process involves keeping furniture, be sure to double back to STEP 3 and update your space/dream ratio blueprint before carrying forward.

Quick Tip: If your vision board is on the wall, take your trinkets one by one and hold them up next to it. I guarantee you will get an immediate yay or nay; proceed with your gut feeling.


Nay's can be two-fold: Colour combinations that bring up lunch or ones that take you way outside your design goals. For instance, hot pink may look nice with that predominant soft grey you chose visually, but weren’t we going for a soft coral?! Big differences can happen quickly! Put the item against the vision board and then pull it back a few times.


You've got this.




STEP SEVEN - TAKE A NAP WITH REMAINING ME-TIME


I see you eyeing that bed in the other room after all these logistical design steps in a row - designing is definitely not for the faint-hearted! But you've made it this far and I see/acknowledge your progress: