This may sound crazy, but I love revising. Whether I’m revising something I’ve written, or a room in my home, I love the challenge of re-seeing and re-inventing. My husband and I have decided to change up our 1940s Cape Cod many times over six years, rather than move to a new home. Like a game of musical chairs, our third bedroom started as a home office and then became a nursery, and our fourth bedroom started as a guest room and then became a craft room, a home office, a cozy TV room, and now it’s morphed into all four. And, just when I thought I’d squeezed out every last possibility for our home, I’m faced with a new revision! Our boys just asked to share a bedroom.
This change frees up a lot of possibilities for our home. We get to convert one boy’s room into a shared room, as well as re-invent our third and fourth bedrooms. We’ve decided we want a cozy den to watch TV with a convertible sofa for guests, and a separate home office with room for a craft and art supply closet. Switching up so many rooms can get overwhelming quickly. One friend calls it “shifting chairs on the Titanic.” But revising the rooms in your home can be transformational. It can give you a whole new sense of your space, and cause you to love it all over again. Here’s how I approach a home revision project:
1. Make a list of what you want in your home.
Do you want an office space that allows you to work from home a few days a week? A playroom for your kids? A space to meditate and do yoga? A place to play music? Sit down with your family and get clear on what you each want.
2. Determine the goal for each space.
What are the ways you hope your space will function? Ask yourself what you want the space to feel and look like, and also consider the amenities in your home you want it to be close to. Do you want it to be light and bright? A quiet refuge? A room with a view out to where the kids play? Close to your kitchen or a guest bath? Does it need a closet? Does it need a door?
3. Figure out what’s needed in each space and shop your home for these items.
Obviously if it’s an office, you’ll need a desk, a place for files, etc. Shop your home for the items you need, to see if anything can be repurposed. Would a table you’re no longer using make a great desk? For one client, I created a ribbon holder from a basket and a set of dowels. Once you shop your home you can make a list of what you’d like to purchase and you’ll also be able to have a better sense of the location that will work for each space.
4. Scout your home for available space, and don’t overlook those closets!
Once you get clear on what you want, what your goals are, what needs to go in each room, go scout your home for available space. I helped one client convert a little used basement closet into a gift wrapping station, and another converted a closet into a family supply and information center. Let your imagination lead you to new possibilities for the rooms in your home but also the nooks, closets, and other storage spaces.
5. Set a budget.
Determine your ideal budget for your project, and try your best to stick to it. Spaces aren’t fun if you are reminded of your looming debt every time you enter them.
6. Make a list of what you need to do for each space.
Do you need to re-paint, add or subtract shelving? It helps to decide what needs to happen in each space before you start moving furniture.
7. Determine the cost of work and any new items.
List out how much each new piece of furniture will cost, and get quotes for the work you want hire out, in advance. Ask about any sales or specials that might be worth waiting for. This will help you decide where you want to spend, and what want to try to do yourself. My husband and I want to have the three rooms we’re switching up re-painted. But hiring a painter eats up a huge portion of our project budget, which means we’d have to skip buying new furniture or forgo new carpet. If we can figure out a way to paint it ourselves then we can have all three. We’re weighing the cost of hiring a sitter to watch our kids so we can paint together in the evenings for a week, as well as which furniture we can repurpose.
Our next steps are to determine our project time line, and make sure it doesn’t take over other goals we’ve set for ourselves this fall. I’ll keep you posted on how we handle those next steps and show you pictures of our revised rooms once they are finished! If you want to work with me on your own home revision project, contact me!