In the second part of our series on productive ways to avoid the football, we’re going to look at room planning. Many of us have a room in our homes that could use an update, but somehow never reaches the top of the ‘to do’ list. Well, tonight, while other members of the family are biting their nails over tackles and penalties, we’re going to tackle… that room.
You will need:
A notebook and pen (or tablet if you prefer).
Camera or phone to take photos.
Home magazines and / or internet access
For the first stage you need to actually go to the room and look at it – really look. Don’t try to do this sitting in another room, it won’t be as effective. Divide a page into three columns, headed ‘love it’, ‘hate it’ and ’don’t mind’. Now consider each element of the room in turn – what’s on the walls, the floor, curtains / blinds, furniture, light fittings, accessories etc, and list them under one of the three headings. Add a short explanation if necessary – for example ‘I quite like the colour of the curtains, but not the pattern, it feels really dated.’
Take some photos in the room, including one standing in each corner looking at the rest of the room (it’s a great way to ensure you’ve photographed the whole room.) At this stage don’t worry about what you are likely to change, or what you can or can’t afford, simply look at the room and note your reactions to the individual parts. Measure the room – length, width and height will do for now.
Now create another list, this one of all the activities that take place in the room – both currently, and those you would like to take place. For example – sleeping place for guests, storage of craft materials, somewhere to do the ironing, home paperwork, extra clothes storage and so on.
Have a look at this list – is the space being under or over used? If it’s a guest room you’re considering, roughly how many days a year do you actually have guests? Even if you have people staying for a whole month every year, that still leaves the other 11 months when the room may be under-used. If, on the other hand, a room is used for too many different things, it might not really suit any of them. (It might be useful at this point to wander round your home and check for any other under or over-used spaces.) Now you can retire to a comfy chair with your beverage of choice and do some planning…
Once you’ve figured out exactly what you want to use the room for go back to your first list and look at what you already have and what you want to change. Sometimes changing the layout in a room is all that’s actually needed to make it function so much better. Or perhaps you don’t like the way two elements of the room work together – say the curtains and the wall colour. By changing one, you could change the whole look of the room. If your budget is limited, work out what you can change for the biggest impact and what you could change for free – for example by moving furniture or accessories from other rooms. Try to retain as much of what you love about the room as you can, whilst being mindful of practical, functional needs.
You could use a Pinterest board to plan the room – just collect as many ideas as you can, and then pick out which bits are appropriate for your project. Have fun – just remember to wait for the end of the match to ask for help with the decorating!