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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

Planning With Purpose & Priority

The beginning stage of an interior decorating project is oftentimes the most challenging, but it is the most important stage of all. Before we can talk about paint colors and fabric swatches, we need to talk about two very important things: PURPOSE and PRIORITY.

Purpose. Webster's dictionary defines purpose as "something set up as an object or end to be attained with intention." Whether we are about to tackle a small room or the entire house, we need to look at the project with intention. What is the purpose of this area of your home? Is this room a place where you will host family game nights with the kids? Is it a cozy reading nook for quiet time? Figuring out what you will be using each area of your home for is a key element in planning with intention. For example, if you plan to have board games and snacks in this room, we aren't going to furnish it with a glass table and a white rug. Rather than that, we are going to talk more about durable materials and hidden storage. Knowing the purpose of each area of your home makes a huge difference in not only how we see that particular space, but also how we approach the budget we will need to set moving forward.

Priority. This is just as important as defining your purpose. Knowing your priorities for the project is a crucial step in the process and should not be taken lightly. Asking yourself "What's most important?" as we begin a new project and communicating that with all parties involved will make the process much less stressful as we progress. If your #1 priority is staying within a certain budget, then you need to take some time to work through your finances and come up with a set figure that you are comfortable with before moving to the next phase. Maybe your #1 priority is learning to minimize the amount of "stuff" you have in this room (always a good idea!). [ See my blog post about "Negative Space" here --> ] Whatever your top priority may be, make sure you define it, write it down, communicate it with all parties involved, and stick to it. Sure, priorities change, but make sure that YOU are the one making those changes.

Knowing the purpose and priority of the project will allow you to set healthy boundaries and provide focus. It's something I ask my clients to spend a solid amount of time thinking about before we start a project and we re-visit and discuss these things at each phase of the process to be sure we are staying on track. We can get so wrapped up in the design fun, that we easily forget our purpose and priorities along the way. The last thing we want to do is look at a beautifully completed space with regrets.

And so, I leave you with this final thought: Plan with purpose and you'll know where you want to go. Plan with priority and you'll know how to get there.

Happy planning, my friends!




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