Whether you're extending your home, modernising decor or updating the look of a room, Easter is the time when you think of refreshing your home.
When it comes to designing and managing your interior project, most people take a chance and wing it, with fingers crossed. You hope that the money won't run out before you've bought everything you need. You think that the project will be finished in time for your big event. You want it to be a walk in the park: quick, easy and stress free.
Even if you've never managed a project of magnitude before, how hard can it be? Surely it's just choosing a few products and fluffing a couple of cushions.
Did you know that
90% of interior design projects fail?
They fail in the sense that you're not happy with the space even after you've decorated. You've traipsed endlessly around shops looking for stuff, overspent on your budget and almost lost your sanity with stress... and you're still not happy with the results! It's not your dream home.
Most people begin a makeover of their home by trawling the internet or shopping for stuff that they like. It's a reasonable place to start but it means that your design, most likely, won't be cohesive and balanced.
In my interior design book, A HOME TO CHERISH, I share with you how to begin creating your dream home from a design perspective.
Today, I'd like to share with you how to create your dream home from a project perspective. In particular, I'll share with you how best to set up your project so that you keep on track and limit overspending.
Interior design projects rarely go to plan and are riddled with disaster from the beginning, because interior d
esign is a creative process with many external factors continuously influencing your project.
project overruns because the glazing is delayed. Your money runs out because of an unforeseen catastrophe. You're knocking your head against a wall and can't resolve a problem. It's an anxious time because your home is disturbed and your happy life disrupted.
Knowing some basic skills of how to plan and control your interior project will help to save you time, maximise your budget and reduce project stress.
There are three stages that will help you successfully manage any design project. Firstly, there's project start up, followed by project tracking and then finalised with project closedown. Each phase has a different purpose that helps to structure and influence the success of your interior design makeover.
Project Start Up
Most people start a makeover by trekking out to the shops to buy stuff for their room but, if you take a moment to step back and plan then you're going to be prepared to deal quickly and easily with any problems that occur. You're likely to encounter some issues during your project because you can't always predetermine every aspect of the makeover. Some things happen that you don't expect.
The aim for Project Start Up is to set a baseline, with a focus to understand how long the project will take and how much it will cost.
Firstly, I recommend that you make a list of all of the different elements in your room that will need changing.
I usually type it into an excel spreadsheet that's easier to manipulate. In my excel spreadsheet I have a worksheet for each room, with a summary sheet that collates budget and time data from the separate worksheets.
For your project list, consider:
- structural changes (taking down walls/add windows/install chimney breast)
- plumbing (radiators/sinks)
- heating (fireplace/boiler)
- walls (paint/wallpaper)
- windows (curtains/blinds)
- lighting (down lighters/ceiling pendant/table light/floor lamp)
- flooring (tiles/carpet)
- accessories (pictures/vase/bedding)
The list for each room details all of the information that you need to know about for each design element. For example: if I'm buying a sofa then I'll have information about the supplier, the name and size of the sofa, my colour and fabric choice, any special features (type of leg or button back finishes), how much it costs and any discounts, delivery charges and delivery time. This gives me all of the information that I need to make sure I buy the right item. It helps in working out my project budget and it also keeps me informed of when to expect delivery of the sofa.
You need information on the design, the budget and time.
If you have a large project with structural changes, that's managed by a builder or architect, then I recommend you ask for a 'schedule of works' so that you can keep informed on what's happening with your project. Even if you have a fixed price contract, It's important to see how your project is scheduled so that you know when you're likely to get your home back and looking lovely, and also to understand delays when things don't go to plan.
Issues that affect time will delay you from moving back into your home, which could have a knock on affect if you're living in rented accommodation whilst the build or makeover is progressing. That's why I recommend you review the three factors of design, budget and time for any interior design project.
have a go at putting your project list together
so that you understand everything that needs to happen to create your dream home. This list will form the baseline for your project. You'll use it to take control of your project and be able to track your project progress. It will help you make quick and informed decisions that will save you time, money and a bucket load of stress on your interior design project.
If you get stuck or feel overwhelmed when creating your project list, just get in touch and I'll help to set you up for success.
With over 25 years' project management experience, I've managed everything from simple makeovers to complex multi-national projects. I know how to get you out of the tsunami and into the calming sea.
Remember, 90% of interior design projects fail. One of the reasons they fail is because they're not set up properly to being with. Projects are inefficient and out of control before they've even begun. You go head on into the design without taking control of the project, so step back and take a moment to think about what you want to achieve.
Plan your perfect project.
Next week I'll share with you Project Tracking. This is when you have to take control of your project because issues start to arise as the design gets underway. I'll share with you how to keep on time and within budget.
The following week, I'll take you through Project Close Down. It's often overlooked but can help you save a whole lot of stress once problems occur after the project has finished.