Headache Saving Advice For Anyone Starting An Interior Design Project

Renovating, remodeling or even just tackling a small interior design project can be overwhelming. Interior design projects require a ton of footwork. It is easy to forget where you saw what after you have been to a million stores or on a zillion websites. Also, throughout all of the design stages, planning, selecting, and scheduling, there is an enormous amount of paperwork accumulated. If you are not organized, you will spend a good chunk of time retracing steps and flipping through papers hunting for the information that you need.

My advice is to figure out how you will keep yourself organized before you start. This advice may seem like common sense, but even the most organized person can have difficulties controlling the paperwork clutter that renovating and remodeling can generate. And for those who are not innately orderly, it can be extremely stressful and headache producing.

Being Organized is Key

Develop a system to organize all of your documents and samples that works well for you. Your “system” will help you during your project as well as down the road when you are trying to recall the paint color you used or perhaps to locate warranty information. Once you get in the habit of keeping notes and putting papers all in one place, you will feel more in control of your design project and less overwhelmed.

How I Stay Organized

A three-ring binder works perfectly for me. The binder’s sole purpose is to keep everything in one place. I like the flexibility of being able to add and remove pages as my projects evolve. The fact that everything is contained and I can’t lose pages gives me peace of mind. I use dividers and label the tabs according to the project. Plastic envelopes and sheet protectors are great to store samples of fabric, wallpaper and paint colors.

binder for Interior design project

The sections I use in my binder for single room projects are typically:

  • Inspiration photos and research: pictures collected or information on products being considered
  • Sketches and floor-plans: all design plans. Lighting plan, tile layout plan, furniture floor plan, wall elevations, window treatment sketches etc.
  • Color Palette: paint colors, wood stains, fabric choices.
  • Shopping list and selection sheets: all product specification information
  • Project management: to do list, calendar, contractor phone numbers, and contracts
  • User manuals, receipts and warranty information

Large projects I categorize by room as well as using some of the sections listed above. The way you set up your binder is whatever works for you and the specific design project.

Printable Forms For Interior Design Projects

In addition to my three-ring binder, I have created forms and checklists that I use for my Interior Design Business to keep my client’s projects organized. The forms keep important information easy to find and also keeps me from forgetting any details. You can access and print many of them from the “Printables” page on Design2bhappy.com.

The “Printables” page has forms for Kitchen Design Projects, Bathroom Design Projects, Paint Selection, Project Management and Decorating Projects. I have forms and checklists for everything. I will be adding more to my “Printables” page, so check back from time to time.

Last month was very busy for many of us.  If you didn’t get a chance to read up on this year design trends, here is a link to a summary.  Coming soon In no particular order: Paint myths, Up-cycling with Chalk Paint, More Advice for Remodels and Renovations, What not to do in your Living Room, Designer’s Favorite Things in their Homes and much more!

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Barbara Rose

Hi I am Barbara Rose. I am an Interior Designer and I started design2bhappy to inspire others to think of Interior Design as more than just creating a beautiful home. It is about living comfortably, while being surrounded by things you love. It is about creating an environment that we feel good in while providing a sanctuary to counter- balance the stress that life can throw at us. This blog is aimed at helping others achieve that "there is no place like home" feeling.

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