A decorating project starts with an idea and ends with a well-appointed space. Achieving that goal requires organization, and a checklist is the first organizational element in the decorating project. You'll need a notebook, several large sealable plastic bags, a camera and a calendar.
Use a steel tape measure to measure the length and width of the room, and record these on a sheet of paper. Make a rough sketch, and indicate the position of each window, door, closet and electrical outlet in the room. Measure each window and record the widths and lengths.
Browse through magazines, and collect any photos or drawings that reflect an element or elements you want in your space. Put these pages in your notebook.
Visit local retail outlets and collect paint, fabric and flooring samples. Use your camera to take photos of furniture, window treatment displays and accessories you may want in the room.
Use the plastic bags to organize your samples. Mark each bag with the sample name, the outlet that gave you the sample, how you will use the sample and the cost of the product. For example, a flooring sample label may read, "Flooring, laminate, cherry oak, corner home improvement store, living room, $2.95 a square foot."
Print out your photographs and place them in your notebook, labeling them in a similar fashion. Include the dimensions of any furniture, artwork and accessories on the photo.
Decide on the flooring, paint colors, furniture and fabrics you want in the room. Write down each element in your notebook with each entry reflecting the label from the sample. Double check the dimensions of the furnishings against the dimensions of the room to ensure each piece fits into the space.
Create a To-do List
Make a list in your notebook of all the actions that need to take place, ordering it according to the order you will complete the work.
Perform drywall repair and electrical work, including lighting installations, first. This is followed by flooring installation and painting. Window treatments are next, followed by furniture installation and accessorizing.
Organize Vendors and Installers
This is possibly the most difficult part of a decorating project. Contact each vendor and installer you will work with, including upholsterers, flooring installers, electricians and drywallers, painters and window treatment installers. Also contact any outlets for delivery of items such as furniture.
Use your calendar to mark the expected delivery and installation dates of each item. Ask that each vendor and installer provide a written commitment regarding the scope of the work and the intended completion date. Keep a copy of these commitments in your notebook.
Check It off
As each project is completed in the room, check it off of your to-do list. Thoroughly inspect each project before signing off with the vendor or installer, and keep a copy of that receipt with the written commitment. When you've checked off the last item, your room is complete.
- Creative Homemaking: Save Time and Money by Organizing Your Decorating and Home Improvement Projects
- Easy 2 Organize: A Checklist for Decorating the Hall and Stairs
- Interiors: An Introduction; Nielson, Karla J. and Taylor, David A.; 2002
- How to Start a Home-Based Interior Design Business; Suzanne DeWalt; 2003
- Photo Credit furniture over white image by Lars Christensen from Fotolia.com