Which comes first, the paint or the toilet?

Which comes first, the paint or the toilet?

Now that 2021 is knocking on our door, what changes do you plan on making in your home? With the unfortunate pandemic, more people are working from home these days. And, as a result, redesigning ranks high on the “to do” list. So, the first question should be “where do I start?”

Whether you are building or remodeling an existing home, it is CRUCIAL to know the hierarchy pertaining to design choices. Guess what, paint does not come in first by a long shot!  

Paint color trends come and go but the fixed items are more difficult to change. The choices you make early on can influence many things down the line. From the start, each decision you make will enable you to limit and refine subsequent choices. If you choose a hodge-podge process, you may end up with a hot mess of clashing undertones and finishes.

Most designers begin with the larger fixed finishes that would be costly to replace and work down a methodical list. If you follow this tried-and-true process, by the time you are at the last details, your final choices such as paint color or accessories should jump out as obvious choices. 

Design hierarchy…

  1. Fixed items – the home’s skeleton. Fixed items are the “bones” of a home. Things that are more difficult to change tend to be your more expensive investments. Examples include flooring, tile, stone fireplaces, and countertops. Ideally, these finishes will be neutral to create a sense of flow and a consistent backdrop for the rest of your furnishings.

If you are choosing decor items for an existing home, you still need refer to your fixed items. Study their textures, undertones, and architectural details before moving forward.

  1. Semi-Fixed include items such carpeting and wallpaper (paint comes later). Generally semi-fixed finishes are replaced infrequently.  Remember when you removed that wall paper and said “never again”….yep, that is one reason it tends to be a semi-fixed item.
  2. Main furniture pieces.  These pieces are your investment items. Examples include sofas, dining tables, sideboards, and armchairs. These items are generally the larger furniture pieces and take up the bulk of the furnishings in a particular room. Assuming it does not kill your budget, I suggest you pick the furniture piece you love the most first.
  1. Secondary Furniture, Lighting, Accessories.  These may include items such as side tables, floor lamps, console tables and “soft items.”  Soft items tend to be the trendy and more affordable décor pieces that are easy to replace. Examples are bedding, throws, pillows, or towels.

So, when does the art come into play? Art is one of the few pieces that can be at the beginning to inspire a room or the end of a project to put the finishing touching in a space.  Art is very personal, some see it for the décor used to complement the other pieces in a space, others see it for art’s sake.

If you are like me, I tend to move art to other areas once I get tired of it in a particular place for too long. Consequently, when framing, choose frames and mats that complement the ART rather than trying to complement the space.

While it is not overly exciting, yes, picking out a toilet comes before picking a paint color when building.  Paint choices are PLENTIFUL and if you cannot find the correct match, someone at a paint store likely can.  Undertones are especially important when selecting a paint color. However, it should not be too difficult since you have already set an undertone precedence with previous selections. Color is fascinating, but if you do not understand the undertones, bring in a color consultant.

These design hierarchy principles can be utilized in any redesign scenario. The only difference may be the starting point. To conclude, if you follow the design hierarchy, you are off to a great start.  When in doubt, give me a call.

So, there you have it! For those of you building a new home, it is time to start looking for that toilet!

Janice

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