Interior Design Tip {That Does Not Suck} #1

From the Series 10 Interior Design Tips (that SUCK) – Here is the Numero Uno #1 SUCKIEST Tip to date:

Do NOT have a plan…planning is a BIG time-waster!

Obviously, there’s all kinds of wrong with that statement! So here’s the real tip. The one you’ve been waiting for.

The Absolute #1 BEST Interior Design Tip EVER:

You MUST have a PLAN!!!

“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Kim! (I imagine this is what you’re thinking). That sounds strangely like a rule. And you said in design, there are no rules. In fact you said it here, here, and here!

You’re right. It is a rule – kinda. A rule “for” design. Not “in” design. See the difference?

If you’ve been following along with this blog at all then you already know that “design” is a process…a planning process. Without first planning what you are going to do, there is no design.

Without a plan, “DESIGN” does not exist! And there can’t be rules for something that does not even exist! 

Intellectually, you probably already know all this. You’re probably familiar with the following cliches:

  • Fail to plan. Plan to fail.
  • Start with the end in mind.
  • You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint.

And a little Bible quote to really bring it home:

  • Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 KJV

So given all this common-sense, why do we (yes, I do it too) still try to skip straight from DREAMING to DOING by going shopping first?

I believe we rationalize this by telling ourselves:

“I don’t have ENOUGH!”

  • Not enough money.
  • Not enough time.
  • Not enough creativity.
  • Not enough skill.
  • Not enough ______.

Well guess what? There’s never enough.

Remember from our last post that part between DREAM + {?} + DO

DECIDE – the heart of design.

Well here’s what happens when you try to skip over that heart:

You waste time.

You waste money.

You waste creative energy.

This is a little scenario that I see play out time and time again:

You need a sofa. But you don’t have a lot of money or time, and you really don’t think you could pull-off a whole room by yourself anyway. So you start by going shopping for a sofa first.

You find the perfect sofa. It’s beautiful in the showroom. You know you’re living room is plenty big. You even measured it so you know it ought to fit. It’s a neutral color, so it should go with everything you already have since you’re not redoing the whole room right now. You have it delivered ASAP.

But when you get it in your living room, you realize it takes up the entire space. There’s hardly any room for anything else. And it totally blocks the flow of the room. On top of that, you discover that your “neutral” colored sofa has a greenish undertone, when the rest of your neutral room has a pinkish undertone. It didn’t look that green in the store (hint: different lighting).

So now what?…You decide you need to get more new furniture, because your old stuff just doesn’t work with the sofa. And you might need new flooring. At least an area rug to disguise the fact that the sofa clashes with the existing carpet. And maybe you should re-paint. Maybe pick a color this time because everything is just SO neutral. Maybe add some lamps or upgrade the lighting because the room is looking a lit-tle drab.

And what the heck, while you’re at it you should just get some new artwork and accessories too. And after all this. Time. Money. Creative energy. SPENT! You are still not pleased with the end result. Your diagnosis…

“I’m just not creative. I’m just not good with color. I’m just not good at design.”

WRONG! You didn’t even attempt to design.

You tried to skip that part.

You went shopping first.

And then you let a sofa boss you around, making your design decisions for you.

The absolute best advice I can ever give you is this:

Design your room, the whole room, on paper BEFORE you buy a thing.

Even if you can’t afford it all right now, you’ll have a prioritized plan with the major decisions already made.

Now your purchases aren’t in charge. You are!

There are no short-cuts. The fact is that “design” (having a plan) SAVES you time and money…not to mention stress and headaches!

Having a plan means…

  • You’ve defined your concept by REVealing your Style – so you know it “goes.”
  • You’ve measured and drawn your space – so you know it “fits.”
  • You’ve identified your color palette – so you know it “works.”
  • You’ve listed your needs – so you know it “functions.”
  • You’ve prioritized your wants – so you know it’s “practical.”
  • You’ve studied the Principles and Elements of design – so you know it’s “balanced.” (Here’s a post on that)
  • You now have confidence in your design decisions.

So that’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve learned something, or at least enjoyed our Series:

10 Interior Design Tips {That Do Not Suck}.

And now that we’re finally finished, I’d like to move on to the actual Process itself. Afterall, it is the subject of my upcoming e-Book, and something I’m ferociously passionate about! So stay tuned.

BTW – there is an actual Design Process. I’m not just making stuff up. 😉

Be sure to join REV’s email list (upper right corner) so you won’t miss a thing!

Thanks for reading and best wishes for 2013!

REV-On! -Kim



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