I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to be perfect. Some people would call it a value, others a flaw. No matter how you look at it, the need for perfection pops it’s ugly head for most of us at one time or another. We want everything to be “just so” before we put it out to the world. How do I know? Because I’ve been there!
For a few months now I’ve been postponing a few projects that have been on my list for a long time. Different excuses seem to get in the way. Then, I began procrastinating, which lead to guilt, and then stress. Sound familiar? It wasn’t until I watched a video in a class I’m taking, that I realized I was stuck in being perfect.
Some women need to be perfect in everything they do. Other women are selective. We all want our children to have perfect manners when they‘re in public. We usually want to look our best for a date or a job interview. And when I make the time to sit down and paint, I expect it to be perfect every time! Of course it’s not!!! Then I avoid painting for a while and do something that I know I’m good at.
What about our homes? There are so many ways we create perfection in our minds. We want the perfect paint color, the perfect designer, the perfect budget, the perfect weather before we start the kitchen remodel. The list goes on and on. How many times have you passed on an opportunity to join a book club because you were self conscious about hosting it at your house? I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t have a sleepover because the house wasn’t clean enough! Often we’re so focused on not failing that we don’t even begin the process. We’re on “overwhelm” before we even get started! The sad truth is that if we just take action without waiting for the perfect kitchen, the perfect wall color, or the perfect window treatment, our lives would be more enriched with relationships and happy memories.
Let’s take a look at a few things that can make a huge difference in getting us out of perfect and into action:
Realize that nothing is perfect. Did you know that Amish quilters always leave one mistake in their quilts because “only God is perfect”?
Be realistic. Acknowledge your limits of time, money and resources. Don’t let these obstacles keep you from moving forward with little changes.
Be flexible. Realize that the project will probably take longer than you expect. Go with the flow and relax. Enjoy the process.
Trust yourself. If you inner voice is telling you not to buy something. Listen to it!
Be authentic. Be true to yourself. And, please, don’t check your personality at the front door. Every woman brings their own dreams, visions, and talents to the table. Don’t be afraid to let your uniqueness shine.
Make a plan. Small steps, done consistently, are sometimes better than one big effort. You know the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?…one bite at a time.” Use these words to guide you through your home makeover.
Mistakes happen. Sometimes you have a “What was I thinking!” moment that sends you into a panic. Instead of feeling like you’ve failed or having a meltdown, sit back, take a deep breath, and get creative. There’s almost always a way to fix it. Did you forget to measure the wall, or test the paint color in the room? Learn from your mistakes and take that with you into the next project.
Take risks. Sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a little. Go ahead. Add some turquoise to the walls. Throw an animal print pillow on the sofa.
Seek help. Network with your friends, hire professionals, or take a class. I can’t stress this enough! So many design disappointments happen because you didn’t ask for help, assumed your contractor could read your mind, or didn’t want to pay for help.
Be kind to yourself. If updating your home is taking too long because of no money, no time, or no help, it’s time to tell yourself “good enough…for now”. Throw caution to the wind, call your friends, and have a spur of the moment party. Sometimes entertaining at the last minute is the perfect excuse to not be perfect ! You’ll be more relaxed and feel less pressure. Best of all, your guests will feel welcomed. And isn’t that the point… enjoying what life has to offer?
Most of us have been here before. You’ve stretched your budget to buy the perfect new home in a great location. It has the space you’ve been craving for family visits and that new craft room you’ve always dreamed of. But there are still some things about it that need to be updated to make it your own. Unfortunately, the amount of money you have left to invest in this makeover isn’t as great as you hoped. Don’t worry! You can still have great design on a budget if you follow the 5 ways listed below.
Whether you’re downsizing or up-sizing, have more wall space or less, design can (and should) be good at any price point. Your new home design should always keep your needs and lifestyle in mind. And it should always speak to your personality and your approach to life. This is always how you get started…even when you want great design on a budget.
The WOW Factor
Choose that one luxury feature or item that will make the most impact and become the focal point or memory detail in your home. This could be a treasured antique piece that’s making the move with you. Or you might want to spend a lot of your budget on a gorgeous vent hood and range.
No matter what you decide on for a luxury focal point, the rest of your design elements will need to be adjusted accordingly. We all place different values on certain things. For some, a blow out kitchen is more important. And to get there, they’re willing to pinch pennies in other areas. It’s important to spend some time thinking about your lifestyle and your values. This will help you decide on your luxury item.
Less Expensive Materials Used in Unique Ways
The tile in your shower is simply too dark for you. Not your style, and it’s dragging you down. There are so many gorgeous tiles on the market, but you’re really committed to staying within your budget. Some simple 2×3 subway tile would work. But what about a 4×8 subway tile installed in a herringbone pattern? That simple change will make a huge impact. And you haven’t blown your budget.
Hardware and Lighting
I want you to think of hardware and lighting as the jewelry for your home. Updating your cabinet hardware to a new finish or different shape will make a world of difference in how you feel when you look at your cabinets. Consider different hardware for a bar area or hutch area…just to be different.
One area to make a big impact is with pendant lighting over an island. If the “new” home your moving into hasn’t been updated in years, it’s probably time to make that investment for yourself. Keep in mind the size of the island and how dark it gets in the kitchen. That will determine the size of the light, the color of the shade, and the type of bulb that you use.
Color, Pattern, Texture
Each of these three design elements can be applied with very little added cost. A fresh coat of paint on walls or cabinets will make a world of difference.
Pattern and texture can be added with wallcoverings. They’re back in a big way right now! But if wallcoverings are still not your thing, casually drape a throw over a sofa or chair to bring in new colors and textures. Accent pillows are another way to update your new space.
Use Only What You Love
Moving to a new home always brings the dilemma of “what should I keep?” “What should I take?” The number one thing to do is only keep what you absolutely love. And when you’re making a purchase, only buy what you love.
When you’ve finished this list, you can start a second list of things that you absolutely know you don’t want in your new home. This can also include furniture pieces that you know won’t fit in the new space. This always requires measuring walls and furniture. Sometimes it means moving pieces to different rooms than you had them in before. Furniture and colors that can flow from one room to the next give you the option of moving them around to suit your needs.
Moving to a new home is an exciting time. Sometimes you have the luxury of completing your makeover before you move in. Other times you’re moving in on the tails of the last homeowner. But whatever your situation, always remember that you CAN make this work if you take your time, don’t panic, and follow the 5 ways to good design on a budget.
If you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed about how to make it all come together when you move, call Randi today at (404)213-8571