Procrastination and a Plan (Hopefully)

design ideas notebook

When I moved this summer from an apartment to a house I was actually moving to a smaller space: my house, you see, is Thumbelina-size and quite a bit smaller than the apartment I moved from.

I love my new house but I need to find ways to make the small space work for me. I have lived in it for almost three months but I have put off doing any work to it until after Christmas. Procrastination is in this instance, I think, a good idea and chimes with the oft given advice that it is best to accustom yourself to a space before launching into changing it.

Not that I am planing on making major changes but I know that I need to – improve the insulation and replace the energy-guzzling and none too pretty storage heaters. These two items are in the must-be-done category as I am already feeling the cold in the evening and that’s before true winter weather sets in.

The wish list is way longer: build in storage, revamp the bathroom, get new flooring, remove the embossed wallpaper and other fussy detailing, plaster over the stippled ceilings, update the lighting, replace the built-in wardrobes, install a word-burning stove and on and on it goes. As I said it’s a wish list.

Naturally I am constrained by a budget and in this case that is a good thing as otherwise I might go wild and splatter, in a Jackson Pollock-esque fashion, total newness about my house. And as I may move again I am keeping in mind there is a limit to how much you can improve a standard house and expect to recoup even part of the costs of a revamp on resale.

I am not at all put off by my place being small and, of course, I will do the usual things to make it seem bigger using: mirrors or other reflective surfaces, white wall to bounce the light around, and a limited colour palette.

This week I moved to procrastination phase two when I bought a notebook: if in doubt I buy a notebook! Said notebook is for list making, writing up notes on or sticking in pictures of interiors that inspire me, drawing rough sketches, and listing the pros and cons of choosing to do one thing and not another.

I hope the notebook will help me fashion some form from the fog of ideas in my head. I believe that things often become clearer and more likely to happen when they are written down. Just buying the note-book focused my mind and for now I am thinking that aside from the must-be-done items I will give priority to building in storage and removing most of the fussy detail in the house.

That I suppose is a class of plan and hopefully I will come up with a proper one in the weeks to come.

34 Comments

Filed under Interiors, Musings

34 responses to “Procrastination and a Plan (Hopefully)

  1. I hope you post some photo’s of your house, would love to see it. It’s the real estate agent in me coming out, I just love looking at before and after shots and the advice is sound and what I so often advise my clients, live in the space for a while before you start renovating,

  2. A couple of times in my life I’ve lived in tiny houses–and a few times I’ve live in very large houses. I find the small places “homier,” more personal, more in line with my life. But while I find them easier to live with, (once I’ve settled into them) I also find them more difficult to settle into than large spaces are. I can push a large space around, demand that it adapt to my vision and my personality. But in the end, living successfully with a small house depends upon my listening to it, as it tells me its personality, strengths, weaknesses and demands.

    • That’s interesting that you preferred the smaller houses you lived in. I agree small spaces are ‘homier’ and I think that often in a larger space some or many of the rooms are used so seldom that they may not really be needed. Small space living is, I think, more of a challenge, but one I am looking forward to.

  3. I often think the list-making phase is one of the most enjoyable, challenging and exciting parts of the whole process. May you have a wonderful time creating your refuge and dreamland in this new home!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Buying a notebook, a beautiful blue one, at that, seems an excellent start πŸ™‚ I have been watching http://www.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-amazing-spaces with great interest because I am fascinated by small spaces. But my number one priority, whatever space I am in, is to be warm! I can’t bear being cold indoors; I am a softie. Happy planning.

  5. I agree you need to live somewhere awhile and get a feel for it. I’m looking forward to seeing how you add your personality to your home. Have you discovered Pinterest? An online virtual pin board – I found this very useful for collating ideas when planning my wedding. Of course it’s no replacement for a notebook which is accessible at all times but I had a lot of fun with it.

  6. beautycalyptique

    embossed wallpaper? you want to remove embossed wallpaper? is it ugly? o.O
    but hey, you have your priorities sorted, so it’s not procrastinating. it’s, as you said, getting accustomed. take your time! πŸ™‚ (dang, I need a couple months to get accustomed to new THINGS, as they don’t feel “mine” before.)

    • Yes, I want to remove the embossed wallpaper, I know some people love it but I don’t. Anyway, rightly or wrongly, I think small spaces work best without texture altho I am more than happy to add layers in the form of rugs and paintings. Yes I think it does take a while to get accustomed to new things and places. πŸ˜‰

      • beautycalyptique

        (my embossed wallpaper question was an off-track quote from three men in a boat, heheh… there they talk about carved oak and how some love it and others think it’s impossible to live in such a dark place – so endearing)

        New things and places… I wonder if more people are like me? When on holiday, I hate the new place and miss home… Once accustomed (hellooowww, travel sized aroma candles and antiseptic tissues), I start hating the idea of returning home and want to embark on a never-ending journey (only interrupted by buying more travel sized aroma canldes and anticeptic tissues). Familiar? πŸ™‚

      • Well I am certainly like you when it comes to the holiday scenario as when I reach my destination it takes me while to get a feel for a place and to find my way around (in a small way) before I feel ‘at home’. πŸ˜‰

      • beautycalyptique

        I am so curious about your house and hw you’re going to make it your place.
        oh, maybe you’ll show us glimpses of “before and after” makeovers? *bouncy*

      • I hope to do a post in the New Year with some before and after shots, πŸ˜‰

      • beautycalyptique

        woohoo! πŸ™‚

  7. Buying a notebook is a very sensible plan and it sounds like it has helped you already! Waiting before making changes is also a good idea… πŸ™‚

  8. We are in the same situation as you, having just recently purchased our very first house. There are several projects we have in mind, but we are taking our time. I haven’t hung a single picture yet. πŸ™‚

    • I wish you lots of luck with the projects in your new house. My pictures are now on the walls (only hung up a few days ago). I am not sure I picked the right spots for them but they are going to stay where they are for now. *sighs* πŸ˜‰

  9. I love the to-do list phase. I usually have like a billion ideas.
    You are a perfectionist and I can feel the frustration. But one day, after all the waiting and the renovations, you’ll look around and you’ll feel completely rewarded ad satisfied. I’m positive! πŸ˜‰

    • I find it’s best to write down the ideas zinging through my mind because if I don’t I will have forgotten some of them within the shortest time frame. I have a perfectionist streak but am not an out and out perfectionist which is probably (for me) a good thing otherwise I’d never get anything done! I look forward to the day when I have the work finished on the house. πŸ˜‰

  10. Dear B, I know full well that major projects such as the one that would come out of your entire wish list may seem daunting and a challenge to put together into a coherent plan.
    Just like you said, prioritization is a necessity both from a budget standpoint and for your own mental sanity! πŸ˜‰
    And I think you are definitely on the right track as insulation is one of the key things in a house and in an apartment, as it definitely pays itself back in a short time in the form of energy savings.
    Well, keep us filled in as to how your master plan progresses! πŸ™‚
    All the very best,
    Stefano

    • Hi Stefano,

      Yup, insulation is important – I need to find ways of making the house warmer. The weather here has been very mild for the time of the year but no doubt wintry weather will hit us sometime soon.

      Lists and writing things down works for me as it focuses my grasshopper mind and also gives me clarity around what’s important and what’s not.

      Good wishes from B

  11. Surreycousin

    B. I know what you can do with a residential blank canvas! Just enjoy (and embossed – no way! Looking forward to being nosy (if you will allow me)! Xx

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