Every good design project always starts with a plan. It is worth taking some time to think through your project. What do I want the end result to be. Whether it is a large scale project such as a room renovation or addition, updating an area or creating a spot in the garden to relax, it all starts with a plan! Most recently, I have been involved with 3 kitchen projects. The footprint will remain the same with modifications to the counters, floors, walls and accessories. A plan was developed with a timeline, wants and needs and, most importantly, a budget. When I undertake a project, it is important that it looks complete at each stage, especially when the project will take time to complete because of budget constraints. In this economy, you may not want to take on additional debt, but might prefer to break the project down into small increments. For example, for one homeowner, new paint color for walls and cabinets, replacing baseboard trim with a wider version and adding crown molding was just the beginning. They also replaced cabinet hardware, added granite countertops, had the hardwood floor refinished, added a new area rug and updated the window treatments, lighting and some artwork. These changes alone have transformed this space to the light, bright beach environment reminiscent of their favorite vacation destination.

The other 2 kitchens are in the beginning stages. New appliances have been installed and the search has begun for new lighting, cabinet hardware and counter and backsplash tile. The cabinets will get a refreshing stain and varnish application. I will post before and after pictures when those projects are completed.

Design tip for today. Begin with a plan. Start by searching magazines for pictures of rooms that you like. Ask yourself, what is it that I like about this room; what feeling does it evoke; are there particular objects or treatments that I like and then make a file or a board with the items that you want to incorporate into your room. Working with a designer will save you time and money by avoiding costly mistakes.

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