Regrouping alter a house fire.....now what
smdscout
November 18, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My family suffered a house fire in July. We are all fine thank goodness. Now our house is down to studs and I have no idea where to begin. The only furniture that survived is the master bedroom set. I really don't know where to begin. I've been browsing furniture stores stores but its overwhelming...any help would be appreciated
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apple_pie_order
My sympathies. Will your insurance cover (new) replacement costs for the furniture, household contents (pots, pans etc), personal effects and house or the house or part of the house? If it will cover some depreciated property instead of full replacement costs, that will be useful information for you.

Setting a budget, including a 10 or 20% reserve, is the first step.
November 18, 2012 at 3:22pm   
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orangecamera
I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but glad you and your family all survived.

It must be so overwhelming to start with a clean slate. Houzz is such a great site to look at a g'zillion pictures and just keep adding everything you like to your ideabook. Make notes about what you like in each picture. After a while, you'll start to see a trend in what you like, and use that to jumpstart your new decor. Get houzz's app if you have a smart phone, and you'll always have your inspiration with you.

A good way to choose a color palate is to find a piece of fabric, a painting, photograph, or something...that has colors you like. Use those as your inspiration to pick colors for your paint, flooring, window treatments, cabinets, etc.

As you choose your items/colors, keep swatches in a notebook or envelope or something. Include an accurate floor plan with measurements. Carry it with you everywhere! Pictures on a smart phone can work to some extent, but for accurate color try to keep swatches with you. If you don't have room on your phone to keep all your pictures, you can post them on flickr - and make it private if you want. I even scanned my floor plan and saved it as a jpg, and have that picture on my private flickr site.

Keep a good tape measure in your car. You never know when you'll stumble upon something you like.

Best of luck to you! Please post pictures of your progress as you go along :)
November 18, 2012 at 3:25pm     
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smdscout
Insurance is being great! I have no problems with replacement. I just dont know where to start. A piece of fabric or something is a good idea...Now I just have to figure out what I like :)
November 18, 2012 at 4:36pm   
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apple_pie_order
Orangecamera has some great ideas. It should be pretty quick to identify your favorite style: contemporary, traditional, Mediterranean, Asian, etc. just by clicking on a few photos on the Houzz site. Then pick your furniture style from your favorite store(s). Rugs can be a good starting point for colors, too, if you use the inspiration piece method Orangecamera described. If you have kids, let them have a say in the choices of bedding (at least) if they are old enough, and if over 12 or so, give them a rough budget and a few furniture websites to look at. If you keep the same finish or basic style trend on the furniture (or say all light tones, all midrange browns, all shiny black), you'll be able to swap furniture around later from room to room as the kids leave home and their rooms become guest rooms. But if one kid wants steel bunkbeds for his room and another kid wants Shabby Chic for hers, don't try to make them agree on one or the other.

If it is all very stressful, try setting a time limit every day to shopping, planning and thinking about it. Maybe an hour per day would do. You might want to read about decisionmaking in the book mentioned in this article: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/08/26/decision-fatigue-why-willpower-isnt-always-enough/

I agree on keeping swatches and a tape measure in the car.

You could also think about hiring an interior decorator or interior designer.

If you are comfortable with spreadsheets, they can be a great way to keep track of things. A 3-ring binder with slide-in plastic pages is convenient, too.
November 18, 2012 at 5:40pm   
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smdscout
I have more spreadsheets than I can count. Bought an I pad to keep track of it all. Maybe I just need a vacation
November 18, 2012 at 7:13pm   
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smdscout
I think I picked a wood laminate floor color(big goofy dogs would destroy real hardwood) do I start with that and work my way up?
November 18, 2012 at 7:32pm   
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orangecamera
Makes sense to me. Congrats on making the first big decision :)
November 18, 2012 at 8:30pm   
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