This is your mind beFORE you begin a project

Image: Carlos Porto /


And this is your mind once you’ve begun…

Scrambled egg from


It can drive you crazy.  You’ve chosen all your colors and model numbers – you’ve even got pictures of the faucets, tiles and flooring – and every room has its own section and Excel Spreadsheet in your Project Binder.  Then, you find a big sale on a different chandelier that throws the entire interior design out of whack…aaargh!

 When I look at my original spreadsheets I want to laugh, HA!  Hmmm, was there a hint of insanity in that laugh?  Oh, the changes we went through; colors, bathroom cabinets, tile murals, lighting, marble, garage doors. 

Color Materials Suppliers

You have to make a change because the item you want has a shipping date that’s too far out for the contractor’s installation requirements.  He needs it on X date and it won’t arrive until Y.

Or…ever buy 2 faucets, go to install them, find one is broken, take it back only to find its been discontinued and there isn’t another to be found in the enTIRE KINGDOM?!?  Oh, sorry, did I get a little loud there?)

Breathe in, breathe out…

Don’t be dismayed.  You’ve got to go with the flow.  Take a deep breath and think about your choices.

  1. How much is your time worth?  Does changing the bathroom tile save you enough money to warrant the extra work of choosing new paint and faucets?  The Domino Effect
  2. Is the sale item what you wanted in the first place?
  3. Will this sale save you crucial Budget money?
  4. Is this a choice you even need to make?  What happens if you just let the sale pass you by? 

 In our case, my husband, Rick, cared about a few things very deeply (the look and feel of a room and what was behind the walls and in the attic) and mostly gave control of interior design over to me.

Middle Bath


EXCEPT when he saw something he really liked and threw my entire materials list into flux.  He loved, absolutely LOVED some mosaic tiles in white, black and shades of gray and wanted to use those in the middle bathroom.  Which meant that the paint and floor tiles were all wrong. 

That is the Domino Effect.  We were wavering on the floor color (light, medium or dark bamboo) and the kitchen cabinet color.  We found flooring we liked and took a piece of it around to the cabinet shops to find a good match.  What we discovered was that we didn’t like the cabinets that matched.  This meant we had to toss our flooring choice and pick a cabinet color, THEN choose the floor.

We decided that all the door hardware was going to have a bronze-finish.  So, to me, that meant that the light fixtures also had to have a bronze-finish (not the bathrooms, they are stand-alone rooms and can be chrome – is that goofy?).  And that meant that the kitchen faucet had to be bronze, too.  But the garbage disposer didn’t have a bronze ring (a little irksome, but I let it go) and I wasn’t able to find a crystal chandelier with a bronze finish that I liked (i.e. less than $1000). 



So, I had to decide:  shall we change the hardware so that the chandelier matches?  At some point I had to release my inner-retentive-interior-designer and allow the chandelier to be silver and crystal regardless of what the rest of the house looked like.

 Honestly, there is only so much you can do.  At some point you have got to tell yourself to STOP.  There will ALways be another sale, always another supplier you haven’t checked out.  At some point you have to let go of the options, stop looking at sale catalogs, stop surfing the ‘Net!  Just stop.  There will be a withdrawal period, but hold firm and move forward.

 I know you can do it 😉