If you want your house to be ready for Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about it now.
Here’s the plan:
June – Research
What’s your goal? a new kitchen, installing bifold doors, converting the attic, creating a guest bedroom with ensuite?
Look for ideas, pull together Pinterest boards, explore Houzz.
July – Approach designer
Reach out to an interior designer who can help you create a brief, a plan of action and a design inventory of what is needed to achieve your goals.
TOP TIP: Provisionally book trades if you know decorators or builders are definitely going to be needed just before Christmas.
August – holiday month
Realistically little gets achieved in this month, kids are in the house and the mind (and body) tends to head to far and distant beaches.
September – back to school
As the kids return to school, the free time allows the focus to return to the project.
Work with an interior designer who will create layouts and decorative schemes. The design process can last 3-6 weeks depending on the complexity of the project.
October – Trades
Your project manager (as your interior designer I play this role, but others recruit a PM) will assess trades required, arrange site visits, sort quotes, negotiate on your behalf and book them into a schedule.
October – place orders
Place orders for longer length lead time items (beds/sofas/bespoke furniture/fabrics for curtain making). These can take 6-12 weeks to arrive. Some take 16 weeks (order these in August/Sept).
November – coordination
Order items with shorter length lead times (lighting, plumbing items, flooring, accessories, wallpaper, paint).
First fix (the messy work, behind walls, underfloor boards bit) trade work should be complete. Second fix (installing bath, plumbing in kitchen) starting.
December – completion
Aim to have everything completed for the first week in December. Inevitably there will be snagging to do. Without fail, things will turn up late. With 100% accuracy, one of the tradespeople will let you down at this very busy time of year. It’s best to take this into consideration.
This time line can of course be condensed into a tighter series of events, but then tensions mount, there’s little room for tolerance and it’s easy to be frustrated and disappointed.
So, my advice is to start early. The design process is the clean, sane and enjoyable bit. The dust and the dirt are inevitable but let’s make sure as much of the work is done upfront, when we’re sitting in the comfort of a clean room, even if its décor needs updating!