If you have ever spent time decorating a room and you stand back and say, “Well it’s nice but it’s not what I thought it would be”, chances are really good you just winged it and didn’t plan anything. Honestly. And be honest with yourself about this.
If you are a sewer, you know it’s difficult to sew a really complicated garment without any pattern. If you can draft your own patterns, that’s what you do, but you don’t just start cutting fabric and “hope for the best”. A pattern is a plan.
If you see a picture of a cake you’d like to bake, you wouldn’t just start dumping flour and stuff into a bowl, throw it in the oven and “hope for the best”. You’d find a recipe; a recipe is a plan.
A pattern or a recipe provides you a path from start to finish; it shows you how to get the end result you are hoping for. If you skip, or change, a step you put the final product at risk. Which makes total sense.
So I am always amazed when a decorated room doesn’t match the vision and the decorator says there wasn’t a real plan. If you don’t plan, your chance of failure is much, much, MUCH greater than if you took a bit of time and made one.
It starts with an overall idea of what you want the end result to be. The plan is how you are going to achieve that result. Its the list of the steps must you take in order to get all the elements in line. Each of those steps, in turn, is a little plan. A lot of little plans make the bigger plan. If you skip one of the little steps, you may not get the result you want in the big plan.
Measuring the space which the area rug must occupy is making a plan. Measuring the space you have for the sofa is making a plan. Finding the right paint color is making a plan.
Making a plan isn’t rocket science. It is just writing down, clearly, every step in the process, what that step must accomplish, and where it fits in the overall scheme of things.
For example, if you need a new coffee table, step one in this plan is not go shopping for a new table. Step one is to measure the space and determine the shape the table must be. Step two is define the features the table must have. Step three is define the style, including the metal or wood color and type of surface. Step four is do some online research so you can set a reasonable budget. Step five is to go shopping with your list of specifics. You know the shape of the table, the measurements, the color and type, the mood and style and the amount of money you are willing to spend. Think about this one little thing for a minute.
What do you think the chances are of buying the wrong coffee table if you go armed with this information? And what do you think the chances are of buying the wrong coffee table if you just go shopping?
In a very simplified way, that’s the value of a plan. And it’s also one of the reasons why a paid consultation with a decorator, or the investment in some time in a short interior decorating course, are so well worth the price.