The Plan's the Thing.

By: Janice Clements

Like a well-planned business, a great deal of thought should go into the actual plan of your personal or professional space. Unfortunately, planning designs seems to be the area that people commit the least amount of time, effort and resources and as such, make the biggest (and most costly) mistakes.

Consider these basic guidelines when beginning a design plan for your home:

Approach it with passion! Remember that your home (which is possibly also your office) is the truest and most personal reflection of who you are. The planning and ultimate design of your space should ideally show that you’ve given thought to what you want to say about yourself.

Do some soul searching: Think about what you want your space to say about you and/or your business. Are you funny or serious? Are you professional or laid-back? Have you traveled extensively or are you a home-body? Are you guided by cultural or deep personal experiences? Answers to these questions will help guide you to find your individual tastes.

A word on Style: Style is a very personal thing and I always recommend looking in home magazines andstepping into your own closet. What clothes do you love to wear? What one power suit or elegant dress do you look absolutely smashing in? Or is it a pair of jeans that reflect who you are? What colour do you love? What’s the fabric you love against your skin? These feelings are great places to start when planning the look of your space.

Be a List-Maker! Let’s face it, there are more things on the minds of Mom’s than most other people. Make one list for the things you want in your space and another for the things you need in your space – it’s a great first step in developing your perfect design. Stick it in your purse and mull it over, because you know you’re going to think of something to add when you’re driving the kids to soccer. Make a list of the things that will happen in your space (entertaining, meetings?) and how many people will be involved on a regular basis.

Expect things to change: Now that you’ve made your list, know that it will change over time. People often get caught up in doing one specific thing and forget that flexibility is the best medicine when it comes to a good plan. Nothing need be set in stone until you’ve laid your VISA down or placed an order on a piece of furniture. Your surrounding can (and should) change over time to reflect the growth and change you’ve experienced, whether it’s in business or in your personal life.  

Create a budget: There are all sorts of décor options available for every budget range. I guide my clients by two budgetary philosophies: 1) Allocate the maximum amount of money you can for your space, and 2) Do things once and do them right. All the time you’re spending on the planning stage will make this principle much easier. Without a plan, you’ll find yourself backtracking and implementing band-aid solutions in your space. Ultimately this is a waste of time and money. If your budget doesn’t support the design of your entire home, start one room at a time and do them right. Once.

Hire a Pro: If you came to a point in business where you didn’t know which way to turn, you would likely consult a professional to steer you in the right direction, right?  When in doubt, considering hiring a professional designer, decorator or organizer to help get you on your designing-feet and to point you in the direction you need to go. You’ll be amazed at what a few hours with the right designer can do for your plans! 

When planning your space, remember to follow your instincts! It’s what brought you the career successes you have today, so be sure you’re listening to it!

Happy planning! 

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