Designers who shop all the time for floors tell us there are five steps to help get and stay organized as you shop for your new floor. But long before that happens, they’ll share two basic rules of flooring and interior design.


First, remember that whatever you select for your floors reflects on the rest of your home décor. Second, each room has six surfaces (four walls, ceiling and floor) plus windows, all of which need to be coordinated.


Step One: Put on paper every change you’re considering throughout the house, even if you don’t plan to do everything right now. That way you’re designing an overall project, which saves time in the long run and makes for a cohesive makeover. (Plus, it’s easier and less expensive to make changes on paper.)


Step Two: Make it a room-by-room list. Which will get a new floor, paint, paper, window treatments, etc.? This will give you a feel for how your rooms flow together.


Step Three: Make a master floor plan for each room: square feet, favored flooring types, colors, patterns, textures, trim and accessories.


Step Four: Collect pictures of rooms and items you like. Custom floors, window treatments, furnishings, architectural details. Make notes of what you like and don’t like about your current space.


Step Five: Take approximate measurements of your floor plan and use square foot measurements, now the most commonly used dimension. Sketch all rooms and show how they connect. Make notes where trim pieces and transitions are needed. In your notebook, jot down things to discuss with your flooring professional, such as removal and disposal of old floor coverings; furniture removal; appliance, bath and spa disconnects; trimming and re-hanging doors; subfloor preparation; maintenance needs; cleaning products; store and manufacturer warranties and making an appointment for a professional measurement and layout plan.


Now, stop in and let’s go shopping!