Sunday, 21 February 2010

Great Designs Starts with a plan! Plan for creative success!

It’s that time of year again when many of you will be thinking about how you want to improve your current home, or maybe moving to and upgrading a new home.

Either way you could be wrestling with the challenges of revamping the colour scheme of a single room or something as large as major building renovation project and you may need help.

Over the next year I am aiming to provide some guidance and insight into numerous subject that could help you with some of these projects and some of the topics will include:

Colour & Mood – Using colour to create the right mood and ambience
Kitchens – Getting the balance right between usage and design
Window Treatments – How to make your room look unique
Lighting – Creating drama and impact
Design and Trends – A look at the latest design trends and styles

But first there needs to be a plan!

Remember, effective planning, planning, planning can save you time, money and a lot of unnecessary headaches or stress. Plus it will help you deliver the best result at the right price and in the timescale you set. Three very important success criteria for any project.

So here are some important tips in helping you to approach the planning stage of your project
  • Start with the finish. What is the end result you want to achieve? Write it down and be as detailed or creative as you can e.g. I want a modern kitchen with an island and a separate entertaining area.
  • Budget – How much do you want to spend? Be clear, be realistic and be firm. Once you have described your end goal and set the budget, check to make sure that the budget is realistic. If not, you may have to either adjust your end goal or increase the budget if possible.
  • Style – What style and effect do you want to achieve? One way to help you visualise this is to create a Mood Board by collecting pictures from magazines to help stimulate and focus your ideas. At this stage you should not limit your thinking and you can some risks with the ideas. Be creative and challenging. It’s fun and you might surprise yourself.
  • Experts – What experts do you need to bring in? Architects, Builders? Surveyors or Interior Designers? The size of the project will determine the depth of expertise required but always talk to a number of different firms, compare their approach and pricing (chemistry will be important) and always seek references or referrals before employing anyone.
  • Project Management – From personal experience this is one of the most critical skills but it is often left to one of the ‘experts’ usually an architect or builder. In the past I have used professional project managers for larger projects and it always reassuring to know that they act on your behalf in coordinating all the numerous parties inline with your plan and your budget.
  • Fun – Have fun and enjoy the project. This is a creative process and should be fun.

    Every project on your house can have a different but dramatic impact and provide years of satisfaction.
    But to get the right result you do need to think ahead and plan properly.
    This time spent at the start can help you avoid expensive mistakes but more importantly, it can provide you the best opportunity to deliver the best result possible at the right price.
    Good luck, take some risks and I look forward to speaking with you again in the future.