Have frequently asked questions? Here are answers

Acouple of years ago I wrote a column on the most frequent questions people ask. Since it’s been, oh, five years, I thought I’d answer the top questions I’ve been asked this year.

1) Do I select my paint or floor first?

Always, always, always select your flooring first, especially if you are painting and installing your floor at the same time. If you’re having the work done a couple of months apart, at least decide on your flooring so you can choose the right paint. Just know that there are no guarantees that any product you choose will be available once you’re ready to purchase it.

Why select your floor first? There are many flooring options to choose from, but you are still limited by what you want and your budget. This goes for any major investment in your home, such as upholstery, custom draperies, new counters and cabinets.

On the other hand, paint colors are unlimited and all the colors cost the same. You don’t want to waste your time and money by having to repaint to get a color that goes with your floor.

2) Should I temporary buy something until I can get what I want?

No. There is nothing more permanent than something temporary. Over the years I’ve found time and time again when someone did this, they never ended up replacing the item with what they originally wanted. Wait and save for what you want

3) How do I know where to start and stop my paint?

It’s easy to paint a single room, but when looking at open areas it can get tricky. I always try to stop paint at an inside corner.

It’s really hard to get a straight line on the rounded edges of your walls. With our texture, even with painter’s tape, paint can seep through. If you don’t have an inside corner that works, don’t stop the paint in the middle of the curve. Stop it where the curve flattens out.

4) I have pets. Can I “puddle” my drapes?

Not unless you’re looking to give them another place to snuggle down. Plus, when you puddle draperies you have to be very careful when you vacuum. I’ve had to remake more than one of my client’s drapery panels when they got caught in the beater bar.

5) How do I update my bathroom without spending a fortune?

If your cabinets, counter and floor are in good shape, a new faucet, light fixture and cabinet hardware will make a big difference for less than $300, depending upon your taste.

Another product I use all the time is Mirror Mate. Instead of removing your plate mirror, we place a frame over it. It’s specifically made to sit flat on your mirror.

6) Can I paint my ceiling something other than white?

Absolutely, unless you have popcorn ceilings, which should stay white. I especially like to paint the ceilings a different color than white when adding crown molding to a room. If the molding and ceiling are both white, you really can’t appreciate the money you’ve invested.

7) Is there anything else I can use on my sliding glass doors besides vertical blinds?

There are multiple options depending upon the effect you want to achieve and, more importantly, how much traffic you have going in and out. The most common treatments are vertical blinds, shutters, draperies and vertical sheer blinds.

But do you know about panel-track blinds? They’ve been on the market for years, but not everyone knows about them. They were popular in Europe before being introduced into the United States.

Simply put, they’re an ultra-updated version of vertical blinds. Instead of having 3-inch vertical slats, they come in different sizes based upon window widths.

The panels were 36 inches wide on the last one I had installed. The panels are flat, and when pulled off the window, they stack on top of one another versus next to one another. These blinds are an investment, but well worth it.

8) Where do I start when hanging a family photo gallery?

Start by determining how large you want the gallery. Then look at it as a picture frame. Start with your four corners and keep the sides in line with one another.

Now think of it as a puzzle and place the rest of the pieces inside and do not go outside the frame you’ll create. Just like a framed piece of art, the entire image is inside the frame.

And the No. 1 question asked:

9) What will it cost to decorate my home?

Sorry, there is no exact formula for this. Everyone has a different budget, taste, need and want.

I’ve been asked whether I can provide a number based on square footage. Absolutely not. You may want more or less than your neighbor who has the same square footage. For model homes, we quote by the square foot, but that’s after we’ve budgeted out every item, down to the ties on the bath towels.

What about a percentage of your home value? This isn’t accurate either. I had a client who lived in an apartment and spent $10,000 on a sectional and then a client in a $4 million house who wouldn’t pay more than $3,000.

The only way to know is to make a list of everything you want to do and start price shopping. When you’re done, you’ll have your starting costs. From there, you’ll make your adjustments until it’s within your budget.

Gail Mayhugh, owner of GMJ Interiors, is a professional interior designer and author of a book on the subject. Questions may be sent by email to: GMJinteriors@gmail.com. Or, mail to: 7380 S. Eastern Ave., No. 124-272, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Her Web address is: www.gmjinteriors.com.

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