Written by Jen Altrogge
Turning a house into a home is something that feels really exciting when you’re scrolling through pinterest or reading your favorite home-maker’s blog or watching HGTV while curled up on the sofa. You think to yourself, “I could totally do that!” and envision your home going from bland to beautiful in no time.
However, taking all of those fabulous ideas and turning them into reality can be a little bit like sitting down at your computer to type and suddenly being hit with a horrible bout of writer’s block.
If you’ve ever had a moment like this (or, you know, many many moments like this), here 5 simple steps you can take to break free of that “decorator’s block,” if you will, and go from cold to cozy in no time.
Step 1: Get Some Ideas
If that first paragraph describes you then you’re probably already good at this step! However, you might need to go from “Ooooh, I like that bathroom” to something a little more concrete in order to get a vision for your home.
A great way to do this is to use Pinterest [https://www.pinterest.com/] to create a board for each room in your house. Scroll through blogs or searches on Pinterest, flip through magazines or catch the latest episode of Fixer Upper and just ask yourself what grabs you. When a room appeals to you, pin it to the board for that room .
Once you’ve done this for all of the rooms you have in your home, you’ll have a better idea of the direction you’d like to head when re-doing your space. This also organizes your ideas for you and automatically breaks the projects up by room, making things a little less daunting.
Step 2: Make a Plan
The general sense that you want your home to look different than it does now is not really going to get you anywhere or accomplish anything. You need a specific list before you can make any changes.
I recommend walking through your house, room by room, and making very specific lists of what you need to buy and/or change in order to make that room what you want it to be. With your Pinterest Board at hand, you can ask yourself the following 3 questions:
These lists will enable you to create a budget [http://www.tidyforms.com/project-budget-template.html] and a timeline. Then you can both save up and plan a time when you will be able to make the room happen. Of course you can always just piece a room together over time, but I find that often derails a project, and it’s better to just come up with a plan and stick with it.
Step 3: Save Money!
Most people can’t just fork over the cash it requires to redo a space in their home. But you can often achieve the same results as that wealthy person can with some creativity and a little extra work.
First, consider going to yard sales. I can’t tell you how many beautiful, practically new items I’ve found for absurdly low prices simply because someone else doesn’t want it anymore. Lamps, rugs, dressers, knick-knacks, chairs, dishes, you name it.
Second, try some thrift stores. Many cities have great little thrift stores where you can find hidden treasures if you’re willing to sift through their stuff [http://www.thethriftshopper.com/zips/].
Lastly, keep your eye out for online deals. Create an email account that’s just for promotional emails from your favorite sites, and sit down every few days to comb through them. You might be surprised how often you can get a fabulous deal just doing this.
Step 4: Start Where It Matters Most
It’s easy to begin with the easiest and cheapest projects, but I think it actually works to your advantage to redo the space that is nearest and dearest to your heart. This differs from person to person.
You might be someone who spends a ton of time in that laundry room and if it was a space you enjoyed being in it would change your life. Or maybe you just want your kitchen to be functional and beautiful because that’s where everyone congregates during the day. It might even be that your happy place is outside, and you should devote some time and money to planting some new trees [https://www.thetreecenter.com/] and investing in some patio furniture.
What might surprise you is that if you complete a space that matters to you, it will give you the drive to finish the other spaces in your home. Once you love being in that room, you’ll want to feel that way in every room of your house.
Step 5: Ask For Help
Sometimes, even when I have followed all of the above steps, I still find myself sitting in a room in my house, wondering why I just can’t pull it together. This is when I grab a trusted and talented friend and have them look at the room with a fresh set of eyes. This almost always ends with a few tweaks (moving a picture to a different wall, rearranging furniture, grabbing something from another room) that make a big difference.
It’s also important to ask for help – professional help, that is – when a project is just beyond you. DIY is great but not when it ends in a huge mess [http://www.popsugar.com/DIY]. Know your limits and call on a professional for the things that really need it.
By following these simple steps, you can take that vague sense that you’d like to change the way your home looks and turn it into reality. Start right now! Sit down and get some ideas, and you’ll be on your way!
Jen Altrogge is a wife, mother, and writer.You can find out more about her at her website.