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Design 911 — for the desperate

July 11, 2013

Design 9-1-1
by Julie Nolta
Julie Nolta Design

“Julie, I need your help. I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do first!” Sounded like a call to a crisis hotline, but she didn’t need therapy; what she wanted was help re-designing her master bedroom and bath. Like so many people, Linda was sick and tired of her boring, outdated room. She wanted big changes, but didn’t know how to accomplish that or even what her first steps should be.

If you’re in that spot yourself, don’t despair. You may feel like you need counseling (!), but I’ve got some easy suggestions on how to get started toward creating a room you’ll love.

Look for inspiration. Go to your favorite grocery or home improvement store and buy several home magazines. Or, to save a little money, check out a few books from the library. Settle in and drink something nice while you leaf through the pages. If you see something you like, tear out the page or mark it with a sticky note, and make a couple notes about what grabs you.

Open up your mind while you’re looking. Inspiration can come from anywhere. It doesn’t have a be picture of a room. You might run into a lipstick ad where the model is wearing the perfect shade of pink for your baby’s room! If you like it, tear it out.

Put everything into a file folder or a fun notebook so you’ll have it all in one place. Keep adding to it as you run across new ideas you’d like to incorporate into your room. After a while you’ll have the beginnings of your design plan. Go through these photos and ideas with your designer, if you’re working with one, so she (or he) can get an idea about what makes you tick. And you’re on your way!

Next time I’ll talk more about the how’s and why’s of a design plan.

If you have questions or you’d like some one-on-one help with your project, email me at or visit my website at I also offer free design classes. Invite a few friends over to learn how to use color and get your design questions answered. I’ll even bring dessert!

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