Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Planning Stages

We're getting ready to embark on yet another project around our house and I'm particularly excited about it as it means I'll be working on it outdoors in the sunshine!  We're going to give our front porch a little attention during the next couple months and hopefully utilize the space in a way that is more comfortable and inviting.

While I've been working on putting together a plan, I thought I'd share with you the steps I take every time we begin working on a new project, particularly one that encompasses an entire room.  As always, I feel the need to put in a little disclaimer that I'm by no means an expert... in fact, the majority of the time I feel like I know absolutely nothing... but these are merely a few things that help me.    

Gathering Inspiration

source
This is the first step I take when looking at a remodel project.  For years I have clipped photos from magazines and catalogs that inspire me and tucked them away in a binder.  Now we have Pinterest too, and although it took me a long time to break down and use it, I have to admit that I love this method of gathering inspiration (you can find me on Pinterest here).  For me, it's not so much copying, but rather gathering together a variety of ideas to incorporate.  I've taken inspiration from all the porches above, even though the color schemes, styles and designs are different.  It's taking all those little pieces of inspiration that speak to you in that photo - a color, an architectural detail, a suggestion of comfort, accessories - and using them to help you put your vision together.  
 
Staying True to your Style

Isn't this probably the hardest thing of all when it comes to decorating?  I know it is for me.  We have so much access to beautiful photos and ideas that sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus on what we really love and also what works best for us and our families.  I always remind myself that this is our house and it needs to fit our lifestyle and our family... it's okay to be different!
 
A Color Scheme

Sometimes we might have a color in our mind that we love, but something prevents us from using it.  This is often the case for me because I'm trying to work with something we already have.  I would love to have a porch that was entirely shades of blue, but we have a green metal roof... a perfectly good metal roof that we don't plan on replacing (smile).  That means it's time to compromise.  I'm teaming up with Lamps Plus on this project, so I was thrilled when I found a couple beautiful outdoor pillows that incorporate both blue and green from them. 


Visualize

As I gather ideas and brainstorm, I like to visualize what the entire room or project will look like once it's finished.  True, there are always adjustments along the way, but it helps me to have a vision.  Oftentimes I even sketch my idea on paper, such as furniture placement, etc.   

Establish a Budget

While it's easy to wish this wasn't a factor to take into consideration, I don't think I'm speaking for just myself when I say it is.  It helps to establish a budget in the planning stages, because you'll soon determine what is most important to you.  It can sometimes be a wonderful thing though... it gets those creative juices flowing and you may end up with several things in your room that are handmade, unique, and special.  It has always helped us in remodeling our home to work with what we can and do the work ourselves. 

Think Outside the Box

I added this step after establishing a budget because it goes hand-in-hand with those creative juices.  When something is out of your price range, don't give up quite yet - look for alternatives. (What do you think I should plant in this galvanized tub I'll be using as a planter?)


Accessorize

In our case, the bulk of our cost usually goes to structural details, but I also like to factor in some accessories.  Accessories can complete your look and they're also fun to daydream about since you'll get to use them when your project is complete (smile).  This doesn't mean I know absolutely every accessory I'm going to use in the planning stages, but it does help for me to have an idea of a few things as they help complete that vision.

Do What You Can... And Buy What You Can't

I couldn't think how else to word that!  We have cut costs many times by doing the work ourselves, but sometimes you just can't and sometimes it just isn't worth it.  I am so, so lucky to have a handy husband that likes to build things... in the case of our porch, adding an outdoor rug and a coffee table were both things I had on my mind.  So I went with a rug (which I can't make) and asked my husband if he would build us a coffee table (which will practically be free since we already have the wood).  Even though Justus isn't thrilled with having another project on his to-do list I know in the end we'll have a piece of furniture that will reflect the style of our home and will also be special. 


Make a List

I know you probably aren't surprised with this last item, as I imagine most of you probably have figured out by now that I'm a list type of person (smile).  But  it always helps me to stay on target if I have a list of everything that has to be accomplished and there's also so much satisfaction in crossing something off.  It's just a helpful little way for me to keep from getting overwhelmed when I can take something in pieces.  It also helps this forgetful mommy remember ideas!  

I'll keep you posted on our porch progress! 

Note: The products pictured here I received from Lamps Plus and you can find them here:
          Outdoor Pillows
          Seagrass Outdoor Rug
          Candle Lantern
          Galvanized Tub

32 comments:

  1. Great tips! I can't wait to see how your porch turns out.

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  2. Great reminder - I find myself going all over the place sometimes with ideas, this post was a handy reminder to take my time more.

    I cannot wait to see your porch, but still sad you're moving.

    Hugs.

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    1. Thanks, Michele! No plans on moving... we intend to be here for a long time! :-)

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  3. Can hardly wait to see what you come up with. I must have missed something...moving?

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  4. Can't wait to see the reveal! Did you purchase the items or were they given to you from Lamps Plus?

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    1. Thank you... I am looking so forward to getting started on it, especially now that the weather has warmed up! I selected the items pictured, but they were provided to me at no cost.

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  5. i love what you picked out so far, andrea:) it will be lovely!

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  6. I like the pillow with the color scheme. Nice.

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  7. I cant wait to see what you come up with !!! Hope it turns out the way you want it .Have a wonderful rest of the week .

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  8. Great inspiration for your new project! I know it will be so pretty when you're done and a place you'll enjoy daily!!
    Mary Alice

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  9. Oh I cannot wait to see! I am sure you will inspire me.I need a porch makeover.Love that little sneak peek.That fabric is gorgeous!
    xx
    Anne

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  10. How exciting! Love all your plans. I am a list person too, and I always would tear photos from magazines. I used to love to do that when I was a child too and for some reason I would glue them with elmers glue on a piece of red construction paper. Perhaps I was preparing some kind of design board, as if it were a glimpse of future projects I would be spending time contemplating and deciding in the years to come.
    I love the rug you picked.
    Beautiful.
    xoxo
    Lisa
    Leeshideawa

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  11. Those are some great inspiration photos! I can't wait to see how your porch turns out :)

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  12. I agree how exciting! I really look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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  13. Andrea, it will be great fun following along with your porch project! I'm working on a post right now about galvanized buckets, but I hopped over to read your post. And I must say that those pillows are gorgeous! I was going to suggest a blue flowering plant called plumbago for your bucket, but you will need to transplant it when it outgrows your container.

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  14. I drug my feet to join Pinterest too! I'm glad that I did though, between Pinterest and Houzz.com I feel like I may be able to tackle the new house the Hub's and I are taking on! Can't wait to see the porch transformation!

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  15. Oh I love blue and green. :o) My back porch (very tiny) and deck are blue and green. I can't wait to see what you do. You are so lucky that your front porch is nice and big. It can really turn into another room...literally! Hope you are enjoying spring!

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  16. This is so exciting! I have a front porch very similar to your front porch with a swing and nice wicker furniture that I purchased at Goodwill. Last year we added a wrap around porch to the back of our house and have really enjoyed it. I furnished it mostly with "recycled" items. I hang ferns on both porches. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures!

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  17. I always love the begining planning stages of a project. It's so fun. Thanks for the great tips and have fun with this. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  18. I can't wait to see this finished. I love all the sneak peaks. The pillows are beautiful and love the lantern.

    Cynthia

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  19. We so do think alike! Same project at the same time, we really need to chat! Great tips! Sharing:). Can't wait to see!Jen

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  20. Oh boy!!! I can't wait till we are in this stage of our reno. I love the advice about staying true to our style. I forget to do that all the time because I have never sat down and put it into words. Love all your ideas. I think a porch swing off to the side is so sweet. Adding that to our porch list. :) Also, thank you for reminding us to give ourselves permission to stray from DIY when needed. I have been starting to do this and WOW do I feel less overwhelmed. Hugs for all your beautiful idea. Can't wait to see the progress!

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  21. Can't wait to see what you come up with. I love looking at photos of porches, and dreaming that mine would look half as sparking clean as those in the pics do!

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  22. A very well thought out piece!
    Andrea, I recently discovered your blog through Country Living magazine, and I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how much I'm enjoying your posts and photography. Your decorating style really strikes a cord with me- simple, rustic and yet elegant. Through your links, I've also discovered the whole world of decorating and "lifestyle" blogs! Thanks for sharing!
    Dawn

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    1. Hi Dawn,

      Thank you so much for your kind words... it means so much to me. I hope you have a great week!

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  23. This is such good advice, thank you. I would plant lavender in that tub. In fact, I found the coolest galvanized tub at TJMaxx that is actually an ice tub for beverages but hubby punched holes in the bottom for me so I could plant some lavender. It's big enough that the soil won't dry out too quickly even though lavender can take drought. I will try to remember your good advice for planning a project.

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  24. This is a well-written article, Andrea, informative and inspiring at the same time! I love the planning stages of a project, however, they are times when I act totally spontaneous :) I know your porch will be beautiful and functional. What about planting white hydrangeas in that tub- the same as in the third photo; they will go with the blue and green theme, don't you think?! Thank you for your kind words on my article in Artful Blogging. I am even happier that your banner is featured in this same issue!

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  25. I bet your porch is going to look so nice when it's all done. I have a front porch, but haven't started planting flowers on it yet because the weather hasn't been very cooperative lately. Your organization for this project is great! I think you've thought of everything. I like how you're going to get your husband to make what he can and you buy the rest. Great idea!

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  26. It's going to be Gorgeous!!! You have the BEST style.

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  27. Lovely! Can't wait to see the finished project. We're redoing the backyard right now and I've been pinning like mad.

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  28. I can't wait to see what you do with your fabulous porch!

    You and your daughters look like you're in a magazine ad in the photo for your giveaway! (I've won too many in the past year, so I'm not signing up.)

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  29. i love shabby apple i have never heard of this website. i think the daisy or sea breeze dress is very pretty. love the chicks, i do not have mine yet. i can not wait to see the finished chicken coop! have a great weekend.estherdeakins@yahoo.com

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