Dec­o­rat­ing made easy

Em­bark­ing on a big home re­vamp? Con­fused about what to do first? Fol­low our step-by-step guide to make the process as pain-free as pos­si­ble

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Sourcebook Decorating - ‘ CORALITE’ BY HAR­LEQUIN

1 Start with a clear sense of what you want to achieve.

‘For a big project you need to be­gin plan­ning at least four to six months be­fore you start the work,’ says He­len Parker, cre­ative direc­tor at Devol Kitchens.

2 Do your re­search.

Visit show­rooms, or­der brochures and test paint sam­ples in the spa­ces where they will be used (this helps you to see the colour in the cor­rect light). ‘Speak to trades­peo­ple and sup­pli­ers as early as pos­si­ble – good ones are in high de­mand,’ warns in­te­rior de­signer Martin Brud­nizki. Re­becca Hitch­man, de­signer at bath­room brand CP Hart, adds: ‘Get at least three quo­ta­tions so that you can com­pare them to each other. And ask for a break­down of the works en­tailed, so that you know you are com­par­ing like with like.’

3 Work out your tim­ings.

Find out the lead time for de­liv­ery on all key items, such as car­pets and bath­room fit­tings. ‘ You should al­low four to six weeks for prod­ucts to ar­rive, and longer for any spe­cial­ist pieces,’ ex­plains Hitch­man. Some things will take longer: a be­spoke kitchen can take up to three months to be made. Check­ing this now means you can sketch a timetable for what you need to or­der when, so that your project runs smoothly.

4 Don’t for­get the le­gal stuff!

‘If you are work­ing on a larger, struc­tural project you should en­sure that ev­ery le­gal re­quire­ment is dealt with be­fore you start, from listed build­ing con­sent to party wall agree­ments,’ says Emma Old­ham, direc­tor of Solange De­sign. ‘Be aware that it takes around 12 weeks to get plan­ning per­mis­sion – and that’s with­out any hold-ups.’

5 Once builders are on site, get the messi­est jobs out of the way first

– for ex­am­ple, mov­ing walls, adding any­thing struc­tural or strip­ping out old fix­tures. If you are re­plac­ing cor­nic­ing, ceil­ing roses or fire­places, now’s the time to do it. ‘At this point it’s also wise to en­sure that your sup­plier dou­ble-checks all mea­sure­ments,’ ad­vises Old­ham. 6 Next, it’s time to get all of the wir­ing and the pip­ing in place.

This is called the ‘first fix’. Chris Eaton, as­so­ciate direc­tor at Stiff & Tre­vil­lion Ar­chi­tects, says: ‘It might seem early in the job, but it’s im­por­tant to know the lay­outs of the rooms – where the bed or sofa will be and their di­men­sions. Know­ing this means that the po­si­tion­ing of sock­ets, light fix­tures and ra­di­a­tors will be right. ➤

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