Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan!

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan

Want a beautiful house? The key to success is to make a plan! Figure out what you need to create the design you want, and if it fits in your budget before you buy a single thing!

Make a Plan

You are much more likely to get the end result you want if you start with a plan!

Often, people start buying things they like, hoping that it will all work together. This may not work because the styles or colors may not fit well together, or they may end up buying too many colors and patterns because they have no unifying theme to work toward.

Sometimes homeowners select finishes such as flooring and counter tops and get excited and rush into other aspects such as painting and selecting furniture without thinking it all through. I get it, once you start, it’s hard to pause because you just want to see the end result!

To get an end result that will make you happy though , stop…., take time and make a plan first.

So how do you develop a great plan?

Start with your vision

Say you want to redo your master bedroom. Picture what your perfect master bedroom would look and feel like if you could have everything you want with no limitations.  What would make you happy? How would you feel in the space? What activities do you want to do in the space? What style is the space? Do you like to change things up on a regular basis and want future flexibility or do you want the space to stay the same for a long time? Once you have the ideal room in your mind, you can try to work with your space, budget and time to create something as close as possible to your dream room.

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan
Edesign by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

Develop a budget and timeline

For now, this just needs to be a realistic picture of how much money you are willing to spend and how much time are you willing to devote to get it done.

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan
Really....how much are you willing to spend and how much time are you willing to devote?

Determine what you have to work with

Fixed Finishes and Architectural Elements

Some things in your space like your fixed finishes may be “bossy” and can’t be ignored.  The size of the room and existing architectural features  such as your windows, doors, fireplace, counter tops etc. are unlikely to change and need to be considered. What colors are they?  How will they affect the color palette, layout and style of your design? Of course, part of your plan may be to change some of these things.

What fixed finishes do you have to consider in your new plan?

Furniture, Art, Accessories

Do you have things you love and want to highlight in the room? Maybe a piece of furniture or art that is an heirloom or has special meaning? A beautiful rug that you love and want to use? What are the sizes and colors are some of these items?

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan
Do you have special furniture or art you want to incorporate into your design? Edesign and art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

How will the Space Be Used?

What will you do in your space?  Who will be using it? Do you have children, pets or a significant other that you need to consider in selecting colors or finishes so they will like it too, and the finishes will stand up to the use?

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan
Who will be using the space and what will they use it for? Photo from Unsplash.

What Needs to Change?

What do you have to or want to change? Do you need a paint job or new flooring? Don’t decide on your colors and materials just yet. Now, just identify that you need them, and come up with general ideas on materials you prefer such as carpeting vs hardwood flooring, or quartz vs marble countertops etc.

What needs to change? Flooring? Countertops? Paint? Photo from Unsplash.

What Needs Replacing?

You know you hate your credenza and art  for example, and want to purchase something new. Create a general wish list for the new items, without deciding yet on the exact items.

Kaleidoscope Credenza with fractal art designed by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

Energy art can play a huge role in not only making your space beautiful but supporting you in being the person you want to be. See all my energy art at Fine Art America and let me guide you in how it can support you. 

Select Your Color Palette

Color is key in pulling it all together, tying the bossy items together with the new items. A color strategist can measure the colors you have in your fixed finishes and inspiration pieces, and provide great recommendations for new flooring, countertops, paint colors, and furniture and accessories so it all works together. What order do you select everything in?

  • If you are putting in new flooring or countertops, select these first.
  • Select paint next. It is much easier to find a paint color to work with your flooring and countertops than the other way around. If you select a more neutral wall color, it can provide you with greater flexibility in the future to change colors in your rugs, pillows, and accent pieces

Check Your Budget

Check your budget. Are you still on track? Don’t forget to include labor and design costs. If not, where can you adjust.

Want a Beautiful House? Make a Plan
Check your Budget. Are you still on track?. Photo from Unsplash.

Work in a Logical Order

  • Do your remodeling-flooring, counter tops, painting.
  • Develop a floor plan to arrange furniture around your focal points or highlight your inspiration pieces.
  • Select new items last. Pick furniture, rugs, accessories that work with your vision, inspiration pieces and color palette.
Remodel in a logical order
Do your design work and remodeling in a logical order.

Get Help With Your Plan

Developing a great plan can take some work and expertise. Try my Aligned Design consultation which considers design, color and energy to pull it all together so you get the end result you love and avoid costly mistakes.

Design is about more than just looks. Take this quiz.

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By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. Having a plan definitely helps, Mary Ann.. no doubt..and your ability to help your clients do that so well is what makes you so invaluable to them.

    And especially as you can do it, long distance for them, via edesign.

    1. Thank you so much Leslie! I think the plan is the most important part. Otherwise things come together in a disorganized way and people are not happy with the result but can’t figure out why. Edesign is also such a great tool for helping people no matter where they live! Thanks for reading.

  2. What a thoughtful way to pull a plan for a room redo together. Great advice.

  3. Having a plan is mission critical to the success of any design or decorating project! Great list, Mary Ann!

  4. Great starting points to a perfect plan!

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