4 Steps to Tackle Your Design Plans in the New Year

In Accessories, Artwork, Design Planning, Interior Design, Residential Design, Uncategorized by Gail Mayhugh

Christina Toole Sr Interior Designer

By Gail Mayhugh,
Sr. Interior Designer
Work with Gail>

Happy 2022 everyone!

Now that the holidays are over and the decorations tucked away, you can start planning or get back on track with your decorating projects. I’m sure there are some of you, including myself, that got side-tracked. Life happens and time slips away. So, here are four simple ideas to help you plan and get the end results you’ve dreamed of.


1. Make a decorating plan

If you haven’t already, begin by making a plan. Think about the decorating projects you want to accomplish and commit them to paper. There’s something about writing things down to keep us on track. Remember to be realistic and consider your budget and time. Write out each step you need to do, how long it will take, how much it will cost, when you plan on starting and when you want to finish. Realize that nothing big gets completed in one day but in many steps. Remain flexible and expect that your plans can and most likely will change. When they do, take a deep breath, take care of what must be done and then go back to what you were working on.

2. Start a notebook

Don’t have a clear picture of what you want?  Start a decorating folder or notebook with pictures.  Write on them what you like.  Is it the color, fabric, table or just the overall feel?  Even though you can store them on your computer and create boards on Pinterest and Houzz, we tend to forget why we pinned the pictures.  Do set the boards up, but also consider printing the pictures out.  This allows you to look at them side-by-side, which I feel is helpful in focusing on your vision.

Don’t let friends, family, or the decorating industry force you into anything that is just not you. You will be living in your home, not the salesperson, your sister, your girlfriend or your designer. Just because they happen to love mid-century modern doesn’t mean you have to live with it too. As a designer, I can decorate with any style or color, but it doesn’t mean that is how I would decorate my home. We can enjoy and appreciate all kinds of styles and colors, but we must love what we live with day in and day out. When you know what you like, you won’t settle for something else.


3. Don’t settle

With your plan and pictures in hand, commit to not filling space because it is empty. Just because a room is empty does not mean you must run out and purchase furniture to fill it. Be patient and wait until you find that perfect piece you love and is within your budget. Don’t buy art for the wall unless it’s something you’ll enjoy looking at every time you walk by. You’ll be lying to yourself if you say it’s only temporary until you find something better. Those temporary time frames turn into years.

"Be patient and wait until you find that perfect piece you love and is within your budget."Gail Mayhugh

4. Take inventory – and edit

Appreciate what you have and redesign. Work with what you already have in your home until you have the time and money to buy new. Very few people have the time or money to completely redo everything. Using what you have to the best advantage allows you to enjoy your home and plan your purchases. Plus, you’ll be less likely to impulse buy and overspend.

Redesigning is the perfect time to remove the things you no longer like. Sometimes it’s harder to let go than buy new. We guilt ourselves because of that pricey purchase we made by mistake or a paint color that we thought would look good and never has. The longer we look at these things, it can spiral you into not liking anything in your home. I’ve seen it happen many times. Clients hating a room because of just one piece of furniture. Consign it or donate and move forward.

My final suggestion for you is to not rush the process. You’re ready and want it done now. But in the end, will you have what you want?

If you are ready to tackle your design project, and would like help from a professional Interior Designer, please feel free to reach out.



Gail Mayhugh is a Certified Interior Designer and Color Expert and received her interior design education from the Interior Design Institute in 1992. Since then she has run a successful interior design and architectural color consulting firm, working with over 2,000 clients, both nationally and internationally on over 6,000,000 square feet. Consulting on design and architectural color decisions for both interiors and exteriors, Gail collaborates with homeowners, business owners, property managers, architects, painters, contractors, builders, realtors and homeowner associations.

Areas of Specialty:
Residential Design
Color Consultation
Real Estate Staging

Work with Gail >

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