1. Start with the things you've been dragging from house to house for the last ten years
2. Banish everything that doesn't spark joy to the guest room (Furniture Limbo) or Goodwill. The sofa can be placed in the extra room so the dog can live his ultimate dream of sleeping on a sofa every night.
3. Obsess over the floorplan for days considering glare from the windows, tv mounting height, how to fit two adults fully horizontal on a sectional, then determine the maximum sectional size. Order the sectional after several round of fabric revisions because literally everything is out of stock.
4. Buy a gorgeous black rug that you've been eyeing for years, disregarding the strawberry blonde boy that will be laying on it all day. Buy a cordless stick vacuum because, as a designer, you know you're doing exactly what you would tell clients not to do and understand you're committing to a life of daily vacuuming.
5. Drive to LA to pick up the custom sectional, rent a U-haul to get it back to San Diego, place your massive sectional in the living room and promptly fall asleep on it.
6. Go to Palm Springs, stay with your friend in her grandparents house straight out of the 1960s, go to a lecture given by SHAG artist Josh Agle, get hyped up on Tiki influenced design and come home with a funky new console table and pendant lights that have living in a Palm Springs bedroom for the last 5-6 decades.
7. Ride the wave of inspiration and start to feel the magic that happens when you stop resisting your natural inclinations to make spaces that are fun and exciting. Paint four different bright teal samples on every wall and stare at them for a week. Decide on Kelly Moore's "Bambino" because it matches your nail polish. Paint the room while your friends and family cringe at your Instagram stories, doubtful that a color that bright could ever work out. PROVE EVERYONE WRONG.
8. Return the problematic Room & Board shelving you ordered and solve the living room storage problem by committing to painting, assembling and wall mounting five Ikea Ivar cabinets across an entire wall. Spend several nights in the garage listening to Anne Rice books on Audible and painting five million individual cabinet pieces while reminding yourself you've saved thousands of dollars going this route.
9. Paint trim boards in three bright, warm tones and cut with a hand saw to the correct lengths. Enlist your boyfriend and a nail gun to help mount what can only be described as a an ombre sherbet feature wall, meant to accent and emphasize your new Palm Springs lighting.
10. Mount those cabinets, never trust a stud finder and seriously, when you find yourself second guessing the wallpaper you've chosen for the back of the cabinets TRUST YOURSELF. Or schedule in the time to re-paper them a couple months down the road.
11.. Reference the overly accurate rendering you've been working from to begin to layer in all of the fun stuff. Order a rainbow of velvet pillows, draw and print new art for frames, dig into your boxes of fun decor that have been patiently waiting for the last six months. Spend a day styling and arranging and working through all of the details. Buy a Samsung Frame tv so that all of your hard work isn't ruined (this step is huge, highly recommend, just make sure to tell your friends it's a tv when they come to dog sit so they don't spend all night playing dominos thinking you're too fancy for a tv).
12. Sit down on that giant sectional and enjoy the tropical view you've created!