Day 8: Getting the {Decor} Ball Rolling

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada.  I’ve just finished the “gross” part of the day (wrestling the neck and gizzards out of the turkey…BLUCK!).  Now I’m looking forward to the lovely smell of roasting turkey and then celebrating with our camp staff family.  For all you other Canadians out there, have a lovely holiday day!

Now on to the regularly scheduled post…


Last week I mentioned that I start most decor projects with some kind of inspiration.  More often than not, it’s a photo.

In the next few days,  I’d like to illustrate specific steps I take when working on a home decor project.  Since I don’t have a current project on the go, I’m going to use an earlier project ~ Our Beach Cottage Bedroom Makeover ~ as an example.

When first hit with the decorating bug, the impulsive in me wants to pull out the paint and paintbrushes, and whirl around like a crazed maniac.

But previous disastrous results of such activity has made me realize that before I do ANYTHING, I need to first answer these key questions:

  1. What do I like about the space? { Or: What’s  functioning well in the space?}
  2. What isn’t functioning well?
  3. What’s driving me crazy? {Or: What do I wish I could change?}
  4. What are my limitations?  {i.e. budget and building restrictions}

beach bedroom before

Using our bedroom (pictured “before the makeover” above) as a real life example, here are my answers to the questions above.

What do I like about the space?  { Or:  What functions well in the space?}

I liked the color of the room {White Down from Benjamin Moore},  furniture arrangement {we could finally get out of bed in the morning without hitting our heads!}, the storage spaces, carpet under the bed, and the reading lamps.

What isn’t functioning well?

The nightstand on my side of the bed was quite “tipsy”.

areas for improvement

What’s driving me crazy? {Or: What do I wish I could change?}

1.  Mis-matched lamps

2.  Although absolutely beautiful, I was ready for a change of look in the area of bedding.

3.  The bed-frame and box springs hanging out didn’t look so great…

4.  Accessories were a little boring.

5.  The color of the painted headboard had bothered me since the day I painted it (about 14 years ago!).

6.  And of course, the “tipsy” nightstand (shown in the picture above).

What are my **limitations {i.e. budget and building restrictions}

{**Limitations aren’t necessarily a negative thing.  In fact, they provide clear boundaries and often spur on  creativity.  The Nester wrote a whole series on how Lovely Limitations can be.  I loved it!}

The budget for this particular project was {per normal for us} as close to nothing as possible.  I wanted to challenge myself to repurpose and reuse things I already had in the house.

We also don’t consider tearing down walls or reconfiguring the layout of our house.  Again, that’s not an option for us.


I’ve found that answering those 4 simple questions are key in helping me set goals for a project.  Taking time to think through the answers has saved me a lot of extra work “un-doing” impetuous decisions!

Tomorrow I’ll be back to talk about inspiration pictures and some ways to apply them in the decor process.

{For a list of all 31 Day topics, click here.}

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  1. Great tips on tackling a room makeover (and we have the same budget-as close to nothing as possible.) I also hate cleaning and prepping the bird as I hate raw meat, yuck indeed. The good part is the turkey is starting to smell delicious. I’m taking a wee break before we host 19 people in about 2 hours.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! You know those are some of the same questions we’ve been asking ourselves recently…. especially the budget question. And do you know what? It has been great as I’ve found old pieces we’ve loved but had put away or remade things we had into something new we love… i.e repainted pictures frames and filled with photos we took on family outings. It has ended up creating a space which is filled with memories! So thank you… because you are the one who got me to thinking!

  3. Love the questions!! I am writing them down to use as I redo our master bedroom. Since we rent, I have limitations on paint, carpet and of course, tearing down walls. But, I can do something with the furniture arrangement, colors of furniture (like the white thrift store find dresser hubby is using) and storage issues.

    Your list has helped me define exactly what needs to happen to make this space comfortable, beautiful and functional. THANKS!!

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