You’ve finally made the decision to redo your outdated kitchen. Mentally, you’ve said goodbye to the 20-year-old cabinetry, the old appliances, and the not-so-bright lighting. But in reality, it usually takes a while to get all the moving pieces in place to start the home renovation process.


This time between finding the perfect team to get the job done and when they can begin work can feel like limbo. Any time after you’ve settled on improvement can be hard to pass — it’s like living in the past!


But the truth is the best interior designers and contractors usually have a long lead time. And in fact, there’s lots you can do in the meantime. Even before the initial measure!


While you wait for guidance on choosing hard finishes and energy-saving design, here are three things you can do to be proactive before your home renovation begins.


Curate (and annotate!) your idea boards


The easiest way to show your interior designer what you’re looking for is through a mood board or idea book. This visual representation of ideas will help your designer quickly get a feel for the general style, mood, and colors for a room or project space (we are visual people, after all!).


Pinterest and Houzz are your friends. But that doesn’t mean you should share every image you’ve ever liked with your interior designer.


Make sure everything in your mood board can convey some information regarding function and/or aesthetic for your new space.

It’s good to start broad, without preconceived ideas, and simply start saving what appeals to you: color schemes, furniture, accessories, and rooms. But it’s best to narrow down your initial images before sharing your vision.


Curate the images you show your interior designer, making sure you know exactly what you like about the image. Is it the high contrast between the cabinetry and tile? Is it the amount of counter space? Or is it something like plants that would be added in a later phase?


Post Its, magazines, books — whatever works for you should work for your designer. Just make sure you organize your idea boards so you can easily and efficiently share your vision.


Another great thing about having time here is that you can step away from your boards and let your ideas marinate. With all your ideas together in one place, you can take a holistic view to see what works well together and what doesn’t. Sometimes coming back to them after some time gives you a fresh look, and you may realize an idea you thought you loved isn’t what you want after all.

Think about how you want this space to function


This is your chance to create your dream space, so you want to make sure you end up with a room that suits your needs — and doesn’t just include whatever is trendy at the moment.


Make a list of all the things that currently aren’t working for you. Then make a list of all the things you can think of that could make your life easier, based on how you use your kitchen, bathroom, or whichever room you’re renovating.


Spend time over a few weeks really thinking about how you currently use your space and take notes regarding what works and what doesn’t. Do you find yourself bumping into something every time you try to shower? Is the current kitchen trash can placement completely inconvenient?

This process will allow you to consider what you want this remodel to accomplish. Instead of approaching the project by saying “This is how I think we should do this,” try thinking in terms of goals. “We need more usable counter space to make baking easier” will help your interior designer and contractor realize your dream kitchen much more accurately than “I think we need to knock this wall down.”


And since home renovations are expensive and time-consuming, you want to make sure you get all the components right the first time.

It’s never too early to get organized

If you have some time after inception and before the start of the design and construction process, take it as a great opportunity to clean house.


Get rid of anything that you know for sure you aren’t going to want to reuse. That will make prepping for the renovation a lot easier.


It helps to go through your belongings and divide them into donate, sell, and save piles. Anything not in the save pile, get it out of the house before you start the demo.


This is also an excellent time to plan where you will store what you are keeping during the home renovation. Will everything fit in a spare room or basement, or will you need to rent storage space?


Conversely, identify what you absolutely need on hand during the renovation. If you’re redoing your kitchen, maybe one table setting for each family member is enough to keep out.


You can also reduce the amount you’ll need to pack by using it up in advance. If you have a lot of food in the freezer or pantry, you could hold yourself to using it all before buying more groceries or eating out.


Once construction is set to begin, you’ll have to move everything out of the way and protect the immovable fixtures, so anything you can get a head start on now is worth doing.

Dreaming of a Home Renovation?


Call us! At Olamar Interiors, we love being involved from day one. Like most designers worth their salt, we are lucky to be busy round the clock — but are worth the wait! With proper planning, we can figure out a timeline that meets your goals. And as you see, there is plenty to do while you wait for your project to get started…