Today’s post is brought to you by my empty living room.
My husband and I moved into our house in July of 2015. And although we’re fully moved in/unpacked/settled, we nevertheless have a room that – as you can see – sits pretty much empty.
There’s a few reasons for this.
First of all, we haven’t had time to work on it. Second of all, we were lacking inspiration about what to do with the space. And third of all – and perhaps most importantly – I was simply overwhelmed by the idea of tackling a room redecoration. There are so many steps involved, and I didn’t know where to begin.
The other day, however, my husband had the brilliant idea of turning the space into a game room. Because I love playing games, I was immediately onboard. We are also nearing winter break, which means that both he and I have a little extra time. (If you’re keeping count, this solves problems one and two.)
This leaves problem number three. And when it comes down to it – problem three is simply a form of procrastination.
So this week I decided to put my organization and planning skills to use, and I got started.
Today I thought I would share my plan with you. Hopefully for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the idea of redecorating, this will be a helpful resource for staying on top of your projects.
So without further ado…
7 steps to stress free redecorating
STEP 1: Write A List of Things to Do
As I’ve mentioned in many of my posts, I am a big fan of list making. And – surprise! – stress free redecorating is no exception. In fact, we’ll be making a few different lists throughout the process 😉
This first list focuses specifically on what you will accomplish. Don’t concern yourself with the exact supplies you need, or who you might hire if your job requires a professional. Instead, focus on all of the steps it will take to get from the beginning to the end of the project.
Then, organize this list by priority. For example, “remove existing furniture” should be at the top of your list, while “add finishing touches” should be at the bottom.
Here is my list:
- Remove old furniture
- Strip wall paper
- Patch holes and wash walls
- Paint walls
- Sand floors
- Finish floors
- Purchase furniture:
- Game table and chairs
- Extra seating (I am hoping to get one of these giant bean bag chairs from www.fombag.com/. Aren’t they fun?)
- Shelving to hold games
- Dart board
- Area rug
- Set up room
- Have a game night!
STEP 2: Supplies
After you’ve made your general plan of attack, then it’s time to think supplies.
Essentially, take each item on your “List of things to do,” and think about what supplies you’ll need. Research where you’ll purchase those materials, and where you can find the best deal.
Consider what paint colors work well for the “vibe” of your new room. And if you’re removing wallpaper, note everything that’s required to complete the task.
Decide on whether you’re installing new carpeting or hardwood floors, or whether you plan to refinish or steam clean your current flooring.
I know, this sounds like a big task. But if you simply go step by step, you’ll get through it with ease. The more detailed you are with this list, the smoother the process will go once the project is underway. (And the fewer trips to Home Depot you’ll make in the process!)
The first few items on my supplies list look like this:
- Strip wall paper
- Razor scraper (x2)
- Paper scraper (x2)
- Seamer (rent if needed)
- Plastic drop cloth for the floors (x1)
- Spray bottles (x2)
- Water bucket, towels, wall sponges for washing walls after
- Paint the Walls
- Paint (x4 gallons)
- Brushes/rollers (x2)
- Drop cloth (also used for wallpaper removal)
- Paint stick (x2)
- Paint tray (x2)
Now, it’s no secret that redecorating can be quite an expense. And this is especially true when we don’t keep careful track of each purchase.
So to help us follow a budget, I’ve created a free Excel budget tracker that you can download here. The document allows you to enter your shopping list, write down any notes you might need, and record the cost of each item. The grand total sits clearly at the top of the page, so you can easily track how much you’re spending as you go.
STEP 3: Clear the room
Before you begin the new project, be sure to completely remove everything from the workspace. You want to have as much room as possible to move around, and you don’t want to risk damaging your furnishings.
So make sure that you remove your furniture, decor, bookshelves, paintings, wallhangings, etc.
Similarly, if any of your new furniture arrives, be sure to keep that out of the workspace as well.
STEP 4: Transformation Time
Once your room is clear, the real work begins. The specific process for this step will vary depending on the extent of your project. But I’ll show you the start of my list to give you an idea…
- Remove the wallpaper (I found some great tips from www.sheknows.com, which I plan to use)
- Patch any holes and sand the walls in preparation for painting.
- Wash the walls to remove excess debris from wallpaper, glue, dust etc.
- Begin the painting process.
Other tasks might include:
- Washing windows
- Removing old carpet
- Sanding floors
Once the room is clean and prepped, you can finally move on to the decoration process!
STEP FIVE: Decorating
The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to redecorating is to move from top to bottom. In other words, start at the ceiling and work your way to the floor.
For me, this process includes:
- Paint the ceiling
- Next paint the walls
- Then paint the woodwork
- Finally, refinish the floors
When you take the top-down approach, it prevents any paint drips or splatters from ruining your new floor.
Additionally, this method allows you to group together the tasks that require extra equipment. For example, you need long rollers and step ladders to reach high spots, which you will use first as you tackle the ceiling and top of the walls.
STEP SIX: Move in the Furniture!
With the walls and floor finished, you’re finally ready to set up the room!
This is the fun part 🙂
Bring in your furniture and get it set up. Then, hang your artwork or pictures on the wall to add instant warmth to the space. Set up any lighting to illuminate specific locations. And incorporate any other decor that compliments the main pieces in the room. In other words, make the space your own.
STEP SEVEN: Enjoy Your New Room!
Invite over some friends or family to enjoy your new space (though maybe not for a redecorated bathroom or bedroom…that’d be weird.)
But seriously, take pride in all that you’ve accomplished; this is a lot of work, and you should enjoy your new space to the fullest extent.
By following these steps closely, and approaching the project with a plan, you’re setting yourself up for a stress free redecorating experience. Take your time. And enjoy the process. In addition to a new room, you’ll have gained great experience and probably some good stories along the way:-)
So download your free budget tracker, and get started!
Have you ever redecorated a room? Have you ever refinished floors? (SERIOUSLY – I’d LOVE any tips!) What are your strategies for planning out a complex project? Let me know below!