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Address the issues first, then make it pretty.

Hello everyone, for those that don’t know me, I am Jessica Velazquez, the First Home Design Specialist. I have a deep passion for working with first-time homeowners who have big dreams and small budgets.

Whether you are purchasing a house for the first time, upgrading to your forever home, or downgrading, I believe the dancing visions on your head include beautiful spaces that you are proud to call home. The dreams don’t vary because of where you are at on the property ladder, but there is one significant difference among those 3 groups: the spending amount.

Make no mistake, furnishing, decorating, and renovating a home cost money. There is no way to sugar-coat that. But there are ways to tackle your plans pronto and still stay within your budget. This blog post is intended to share a few tips that will move your decor-plans forward regardless of how big or small your checking account is.

If you are struggling to bring your vision to life, or just feeling overwhelmed with all the new expenses you now face, the simplest and best advice is to take a deep breath and 2 steps back. Let’s get started with some simple steps that will shatter the belief that a beautiful home is only attainable with a hefty spending amount.

So where do you get started? Great question.

1 – ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS FIRST – MAKING IT LOOK PRETTY COMES LAST.

As an interior designer, I KNOW for certain that every great design begins with an organized space. I have met with many homeowners who are desperate to make the entrance of their home look pretty. The number of shoes on the floor, the parade of school bags left unattended and the lack of space to put jackets away seem to conspire against every vision of a clean beautiful welcoming entrance.

What color can I paint the walls? Should we put a mirror here? Or add a bench?

My answer: We need to understand why there is clutter, determine how to solve it to then allow our style to shine.

If your entrance is inundated with your kids’ clothes, you have 2 options: get mad and frustrated or provide them with processes and solutions. This IKEA cabinet is perfect for any entrance, and it becomes a sort of console that can be topped with a bowl for keys, plants, etc. Add a mirror or artwork on the wall and voila! Small kids need baskets for their everyday items and hooks easy to reach to hand their bags or jackets too.

Is your office uninspiring? Before you go out buying new furniture or choosing wallpaper, ensure that you have adequate storage solutions for your papers, and supplies. And don’t ignore your vertical spaces and install shelves that will clear much needed space from your desk.

Your bedroom has become a catch all space in your home? Analyze what keeps those items finding their way back into your personal sanctuary and either provide solutions or get rid of what you are not using anymore. Easier said than done? Yes! But if those issues, like the other 2 mentioned above, don’t get solved first, no amount of amazing wallpaper or artwork will matter much if it’s hidden behind disorganization.

2 – FACE YOUR NEEDS BEFORE YOU DO ANY SHOPPING

Now that you have addressed the elephant in the room, you need to determine how your home will serve you and your family in the best way possible.

For example, when working with a client on their recently purchased home, we had to re-envision some spaces that wouldn’t work for the family. They had purchased a brand new house with a walk out basement that included an office, the perfect quiet space to work from home. However, I asked this mother of 2 small children if she would be comfortable working in the basement while her children played upstairs. Her answer was clear to me: working isolated from her 2 and 4-year-old boys while they played by themselves was unrealistic. Therefore, what she really needed was a work area near her kitchen, the family room, or the bedrooms. A stylish office where it was originally planned would not serve them.

Whether it is the use of a particular space or the type and amount of furniture you decide to purchase, they need to be aligned with your lifestyle and with the type of life you dream for yourself and your loved ones. So, don’t rush into shopping for new stuff and certainly, don’t feel obligated to follow the intended use of rooms. Rather, take a good look at your family dynamics and think outside the box to ensure that your needs are first met. Balancing wants and needs is key to having a home that takes care of us.

3 – ENVISION YOUR HOME ALL FINISHED AND REVERSE ENGINEER THE PROCESS.

Having a vision is one of my 3 pillars for avoiding purchases that you later regret. A visual plan, whether it be a small refresh or a complete redesign, grounds our decisions, eliminates the guessing, and helps ignore tempting sales that do not work towards the final result.

I know you understand this concept because you have done it before. You have been on road trips with your family and before you even pack, you know your destination, the length of your trip and what you will all be doing. Imagine packing for a trip to somewhere in the world, where you will be doing a few unknown activities and for who knows how long. Yeah! Not fun and not realistic.

Now, imagine painting walls to match with who knows what couches that will go along with an unknown rug combined with who knows what style. The opposite of that is knowing pre-purchases how you want this room to feel once it is completely done, and then pre-selecting the style of the furniture, the art on your walls and the rugs on the floor to then look for the right wall colors. That, my friends, is envisioning which will guarantee a remorse-free journey.

4 – CHOOSE EVERGREEN ELEMENTS AND SAVE MONEY.

The final strategy is to work with a neutral canvas or background that will allow you to restyle and refresh your home in any color you love without spending much.

A neutral background is not just about neutral walls. I recommend buying your most predominant pieces in neutral colors and classic lines. Combined, they become the perfect canvas to add different colors throughout the year without changing the most expensive items in the room. You may infuse your room with your personal style by adding artwork, pillows, an area rug and accessories in your favorite colors. These accessories create impact and provide the freedom to restyle your home, keep things fresh and does not require you to further invest on new items. In addition, these items are interchangeable and can be rotated from room to room.

Trading your pillows from your bed for the ones on your couch or hanging a piece of artwork in a different room are great ways to redecorate your home and keeping your costs low. Speaking about artwork, consider framing your kids’ crafts or artwork. It will not only make them feel special and proud of their work, but it will also style your home in ways that are meaningful and special to you. Be courageous and put your experiences and passions to work and create a home that tells your story and reflects who you are.

For more about Balancing Style and Budget, listen to my interview in the Mom’s Organization Motivation Podcast here (https://www.everythingwithstyle.com/post/episode-089-balancing-style-and-budget)

Being intentional every day, taking small steps bring you closer to living in a home that you love coming back to everyday. It’s time to take action. It’s time to stop pinning and procrastinating and start planning with intention and purpose.

Let ́s make the dream come true.

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