Related topics

A Game Plan: Mission Layering

March 4, 2017

The previous owners were two college buddies. “It was the quintessential bachelor pad,” Mertens says. “There were big white track lights everywhere, racing stripes, orange paint ... I knew right away that everything had to go.”

One of the first things they got rid of was the Mr.-Kotter’s-apartment paint job, and the horrifying faux painted brick on the island.

“I always could see the end product in my mind, and I knew the feeling I wanted to evoke, but it is hard to know where to begin, especially when you are working within a small monthly budget,” Mertens says. “The question became, Where do I start, and how do I make it entertaining for my engineer-minded husband, who needs to know why and where for every piece we purchase?”

The couple created a process they call “mission layering.” Layer one was the things they needed to complete before moving in: hardwood floors, paint, trim, blinds and curtains. “By dividing the overall project into layers, it also made shopping a lot easier — I knew which store I needed to venture to next and what I would be looking for,” Mertens says.