Congratulations! You bought a foreclosure.
But wait, you walk in your new home and suddenly it feels like impending doom. The walls are dented, the carpet is shedding, the cabinets are hideous and the bathrooms clearly haven’t been updated since the 70s. There is no way you can afford to fix all of this at once.
Don’t panic! The first thing you should do is make a plan. Make a list of things that clearly need some work, then make a design board. Gather pictures from multiple sources and cut and paste them onto your board. You’ll really get a good idea of what you want for the house by combining photos of the following: cabinets, flooring, countertops, lighting, trim pieces, paint and a new shower to replace that hideous mauve, porcelain bathtub. It’s a good idea to draw inspiration from magazines, the internet and new home construction in the area. Many new home construction communities have model homes, which means designers and builders have done the research for you to determine what looks good and what makes your home function well. Take some tips from the model homes to stay ahead of the game. To make sure your internet search doesn’t go too far off track, look at large companies such as PPG Porter Paints for inspiration. They have color consultants around the world drawing trends together for a very well rounded and global look. You can count on them to know what they’re talking about when it comes to new trends.
Now that you have your to do list and your design board together, you can get down to brass tax. What is the most important thing to you and what can wait? I know you want to get rid of that bathroom, but maybe the flooring in your foyer is more important since guests see that first.
When your budget is small, it’s easy to get off track and do what you can until you run out of money. Then the next year you add more, but it’s not quite what you had in mind. By creating a design board for your entire house, you can renovate small pieces at a time while still sticking to your vision.