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begin the begin 
how to quit procrastinating and get started decorating

by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2
continued from page 1

Still, don't limit yourself to thinking you have to copy one specific style. My favorite homes are the ones where the décor can't be reduced to one neat description, but show as much quirkiness and uniqueness as the fine folks who live there. You can learn a lot from looking at how other people have decorated their homes, but inspiration can come from less obvious sources as well -- a hike in the mountains in autumn, a vacation in Italy, a prized collection of vintage postcards, a stop at that florist shop just round the corner from your apartment. Color, especially, is everywhere you turn, and once you make a point to start noticing it all around, you'll find you rapidly get a sense of which colors make you the happiest.

3 One step at a time
So you're beginning to get a sense of what you might like to do with your space. Still, there's the image you have of your dream pad in your head, and the reality of what you're actually living with in the right here right now. And getting from here to there seems, well, nigh impossible. When you think of it as one grand task, decorating can seem hopelessly daunting.

The key is to think of decorating as a gradual evolution, rather than an all-at-once transformation. Breaking up the decorating process into a series of much smaller projects makes the job seem infinitely more feasible, and at the same time, provides a much more wallet-friendly approach to the overall task at hand, as it allows you to attend to each mini-task as time and budget allow.

Grab a pen and paper and make a list of everything you want to make, everything you want to revamp, everything you want to buy. Don't censor yourself: dream as big as you want. Getting practical comes later. This is your decorating to-do list, and once you feel you've pretty much got everything covered that'll need to happen in order to create your ideal stylin' new digs, it's time to prioritize. Divide the tasks into three categories: short-term to-do, middle-term to-do, and long-term to-do. On the short end of the spectrum, list the quick, the cheap, the easy -- anything that can be accomplished with a minimum of effort and/or money. At the longer end, you'll be including projects that may take you a good long while before you can find the moolah or the free time to attend to the task.

Start with the quickie projects first and you'll soon find that you're making clear progress towards your decorating goals. Cross 'em off as you go -- it's satisfying! It's fun! And it's well-deserved. Pretty soon, you'll look around one day and realize that though your home's not quite perfect, it's getting to be quite nice nonetheless -- and getting closer to feeling like the digs of your dreams all the time.

check out these related articles: 
a great personality | variations on a theme | the lazy decorator's bag of tricks |
rental "renovating"  

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