DIY Home Decorating: Failing to Plan Means Planning to Fail

We have all either been there or witnessed the scene unfold on television or in a movie. You know, that scene when a family piles in the car ready for what appears to be a trip of some length. As the car leaves the driveway someone turns to Dad (usually driving) and inquires about directions to their destination. In a voice just a bit more confident than is necessary the father figure replies that they need not worry as he knows exactly how to get where they are going. Sadly we all know that this scene usually ends with the family stranded in some dark and foreboding location with Dad still convinced he knows where he’s going.

Modern GPS technology has all but eliminated this archetypal scene from current film or television situations but the larger issue remains. In many very modern situations, GPS notwithstanding, making a real mess of things can still result when adequate planning is forgotten or ignored.

Such is the case with DIY home decorating projects, the subject of my thoughts today. A quick visit to some of the growing industries most popular online chat and advice rooms will turn up a shockingly large number of questions which have to do with spacial layouts, furniture arrangement, room organization and scale, proportion and size questions. One pleading post simply said (after offering a photo of a minuscule living room and a much too large sofa) “please, can anyone help me arrange my living room so that our new sofa will fit”. Sadly, in this case, even a shoe-horn would not help.

So what’s a self-empowered, modern homeowner to do?

In a word I would say ‘plan’, which in this instance means create a scaled floor plan of the room in question and, in similar fashion, measure any and all existing furniture pieces you intend to place in the room. If your situation requires the addition of new furniture to the room the same applies; measure first, purchase second. Only after understanding, on paper, the ramifications of that over-sized sofa can you proceed with confidence knowing that it will both fit and look attractive in a balanced and pleasing manner.

Many will protest that this type of floor-plan is for professionals and that mere mortals can’t hope to aspire to such technically challenging tasks. To this I say phooey.

Here are three options (the first two are free) to place in your hands the floor plan you need to begin your decorating project on solid ground:

1. Graph Paper and a Straight Edge. This old-fashioned method still works, if you are in a pinch. Graph paper is marked in quarter-inch increments. Take a measuring tape and walk the length and width of your room. Count boxes on the graph paper to coincide with the measurements recorded from your measuring tape. A simple rectangle or square will suffice but will give you documentation of the space you have. Smaller squares and rectangles will represent your existing furniture pieces and in no time you will have an accurate representation of your room. Study this. Commit this to memory and make no plans or purchases without consulting your plan.

iPhone Application Programming – Cool iPhone Apps for Home Decorating

Decorating your home can be exciting and fun. If you’ve done it before, however, you know that it is not an easy task. It requires careful planning, and sometimes, even if you think you’ve already got everything down in the planning phase, unexpected events still turn up. They can spoil everything from the schedule of activities for the day to your budget and mood. Whether it’s the wrong paint color, inaccurate measurements, purchasing items you forgot you needed or finding the right screw types, miscalculations in these areas can be a source of major headaches.

Luckily, some blessed souls have created wonderful home decorating apps for iPhones, that are not only very helpful, but also enables you to save a lot of money on professional fees and other project expenses. If you are looking for professionally-done design inspirations, color matching ideas or even a close estimate to your construction costs, all these are available with iPhone apps.

Introducing to you some of the best and most creative ideas in iPhone application programming-the coolest iPhone apps for home decorating:

Dream Home. Figuring in the top 50 Apps overall in iTunes, Dream Home is a popular source of interior design ideas. It features photos of spaces designed by professional designers. Each high-resolution photo can be zoomed over in sections to enable closer inspection. You can filter your searches by color, type, style and room, and all photos are divided into the recent, popular and favorite folders. It’s an easy-to-use and information-rich app that you will truly find helpful in your search for design inspirations.

Palettes. If you’re having problems choosing and matching the right colors for your space, try Palettes. You begin by taking colors from a website, a photo or from any of their five color models. You will then be directed to the matching colors depending on the scheme.

Use this multi-purpose color app as well when designing your website or even when putting together an outfit for a special occasion.

IHandy Carpenter. IHandy Carpenter turns your iPhone into an all-in-one plumb bob, surface leveler, bubble leveler, a ruler and protractor. Keep in mind to calibrate your iPhone before using, as sensors are made different from each other. It’s a simple test, but heavily important if you want accurate read-out.

Home Sizer. This is an ingenious app that can potentially save you problems in home or space construction and future home mortgage. With Home Sizer, you get to find out how much construction of your home or space is going to cost (based on the square footage you key in).

Planning to build a new home? You will find the mortgage calculator very helpful. If you think the mortgage costs are too high, you can reduce the area of your home and the app will recalculate. Do this until you get down to an amount that will suit your monthly budget.

InchCALC. Accurate measurements are extremely important in construction and DYI-ing. You can get down to the fastest and most accurate conversion of fractions to decimals with inchCALC. You can also add amounts without having to convert into units, saving you tons of precious time and energy.