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Planning a renovation project? You might think that you don’t have to worry about decorating until the very end, to put the finishing touches on your new space. In fact, there are a number of aspects of decorating that are ideally considered at the start of the process, rather than waiting until all the reno dust has cleared. For example:

Planning a Reno? Put Decorating in the Budget
There’s no question, renovations are a significant financial investment. When allocating your budget, think about any furniture, accessories, and window treatments you may need to complete your space. There’s nothing like a freshly renovated space to make well-loved furniture look shabby. Find out what the items you need will cost, and give decorating its own line item in your budget to make sure you have the funds to make your new space shine.

Choose the Right Window Treatments
Do you love the look of plantation shutters? Their classic look gives a room a crisp, clean feel that appeals to many people, but did you know they are difficult (if not impossible) to install on some window styles? Interior shutters work best on sliding or double-hung windows. On casement windows, the shutters can’t be mounted inside the window frame without blocking the locks and cranking mechanism, rendering the windows unusable.

There is also a trend towards using elaborate molding to frame high-end windows, which looks great when the windows are bare but can cause issues with mounting window treatments. When choosing your new windows, make sure they will work with the window treatments you are planning to install.

Use Furniture Placement to Enhance the Space
If you plan to shift any walls or doors in your reno project, you may find that your old furniture just doesn’t work anymore. Sketch out the new room dimensions to see how things are going to fit, or take advantage of 3D rendering services offered by many decorators and designers so you can really get a sense of the best furniture arrangement. And whatever you do, don’t buy anything new without measuring!

Hold Off on the Paint!
With all that in mind, there is one thing that you should definitely wait to do: choose paint colours. There are endless choices for paint and you need to make sure the colour(s) you choose go well with all the other finishes you’ve selected. It’s a lot easier to tweak your paint colour than it is to replace your backsplash or upholstery fabric!

With so many decisions to be made, planning a reno can be overwhelming. It’s tempting to leave the decorating until the end, but having a plan in place from the beginning can help ensure you get the finished space of your dreams.

Susan Sykes is an Ottawa interior decorator and shares regular blogging duties at the interior design blog Newberry Sykes with fellow design aficionado Meredith Newberry.

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