What Do You Own, Need to Buy, or Want To DIY?: Research What's Within Reach

What Do You Own, Need to Buy, or Want To DIY?: Research What's Within Reach

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Dabney Frake
Oct 14, 2015
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)
Today's topic: Familiarize yourself with all the resources available to you during this design process.
See all the lessons! Apartment Therapy's Design School

You've got actual room measurements, and a good idea of what you like. Now's the time to start getting specific about what's out there, and what's in your price range. This might take a couple of days, or it might take longer. You don't have to actually buy anything yet — this step is just about researching actual items that are available to you.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Step #1: Note What You Already Own

It's totally possible that your room isn't blank at all, and that it's filled with furniture you've had for years. Some of it might be on its way out the door, but some of it is probably in great shape, and you might still love it. Take an inventory of what's usable given your new design plan and your budget.

We also talk all the time about shopping your other rooms, and giving the stuff you already own a new space and purpose. This is a great time to turn a fresh eye on your current furniture & decor throughout the house and decide what, if anything, you can use in your newly redesigned room. It might mean giving that thing a little love, or its own mini makeover, but it will save money if you're on a tight budget.

(Image credit: Store Profile)

Step #2: Look Into What You Need to Buy

The sooner you start looking into what is out there in the retail world, the better. Start your search online today to get an idea of available sizes, shapes, colors, textures, lead times, price ranges etc. Pin your product possibilities or bookmark them so you don't lose out on any good leads. This is about finding a range of products that all might fit within your design plan and color scheme - the goal isn't to find "the" lamp or "the" bar cart, but rather to start forming a picture of not only what sizes and styles are available, but what the low and high end of the cost spectrum is for the product you are sourcing.

(Image credit: Kathryn Bacalis)

Step #3: Think About What You Can & Want to DIY

Is there anything for your room that you'd like to make yourself? Start searching online for sources of good project ideas that you can do, along with solid how-to tutorials. Make note of supplies needed, suggested skill levels required and, very importantly, the time commitment needed. Today is your chance to explore what you are willing to commit to in terms of a DIY.

Next Lesson: You’ll identify the decorating axis around which your entire room with revolve.

Share your impressions on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter! We'll have an eye out for your updates and photos and would love to see how you are doing and share it with the group. Be sure to tag with #ATDesignSchool so we can find you.

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