Where Do I Start?

By far, the hardest part of any home improvement project is getting started.   The predominate reason for sitting on our asses and doing nothing is fear and lack of knowledge.  We get bogged down in all the details and challenges, which begin to outweigh the need for change.  So, we find excuses.  As a result, our projects get pushed down the priority list.

Your Modern Cottage is here to help you begin.  We’ll give you the knowledge and information that you need in order to feel confident.  First, follow this one simple piece of advice (below) and you will begin to feel empowered to take on any home improvement project.

First, Understand WHY You are Doing This Project

Every home improvement project starts for a reason.  There is something wrong in your home that you are trying to fix.  These “wrongs” can range from very tiny little problems (think “I hate that paint color”) to large and potentially dangerous issues (think water damage, mold, etc.).  Each come with their own unique challenges and potential fears – hurdles to getting started.  Identify the real “wrongs,” so that you feel confident that your project will have a positive result.  It may not be perfect, but at least it will fix the root cause of your problem.

Courtesy of HGTV – Fixer Upper kitchen renovation – BEFORE

Courtesy of HGTV – Fixer Upper kitchen renovation – AFTER

WHY isn’t that Room Painted Yet?

As an example, let’s go to that room with the horrible paint color mentioned above.  The room that was painted in the late 80’s –  the room that the family never uses.  You have hated the color of this room ever since you moved into the home.  This project has been on your list for some time.  So, why is it not painted?  Oh, and let’s not pick on that husband watching TV right now.  What’s the real reason?  Most likely, it’s because you do not know what color to paint the space.  You do not have the confidence to pick a color.  And, this one fear, this lack of information, keeps you from moving forward.

What’s the Real Problem?

So, we recommend that you start by identifying the real problem.  “I hate that color” is not identifying the problem.  Instead, it’s stating a fact.  You need to get to the root issue.

“I hate the color of that room because it reminds me of my grandmother’s dark living room with the smelly and oversized furniture.  Her living room didn’t make me feel comfortable or at home.  I want my room to be bright, light, happy, so that my family will feel at home and want to spend time there.”

Now that’s a real problem.  By getting to the real WHY, you can now begin to solve the problem. You have a starting point, a direction for the solution.

“I would like my room to be full of sun and daylight with colors and materials that are fresh, light, and comfortable.”

Take the Advice of an Expert

Albert Einstein was once asked, if he had one hour to solve a very complex problem, how would he go about it?  His response: “I would spend the first 59 minutes identifying the problem and the last minute to solve it.”  Good advice from someone really good at wrapping his mind around complex ideas.  So, get to work identifying the real problems. The solutions will come much easier.