If you have decided you need to do SOMETHING about your home’s design, but are struggling with where to start. this blogpost is for you!
I’ve been thinking A LOT lately about my design process. Clients hire me because I have the ability to see into their design future. I can walk into the ugliest house or room and see it’s potential immediately. When we found our house 10 years ago, I saw it finished. Everyone that walked into the house thought I was CRAZY, it smelled, it was stuck in the 40’s (hadn’t been touched in 50 years, but all I could see was the kitchen finished, the exterior painted, and a back porch added to the back. I’ve always been able to work backwards from the vision, create a plan, because I can see the end result. I am so thankful my husband trusted my vision, because it turned into a lovely home!
Do you know the difference between a DREAM and a VISION?
‘Vision’ means the ability to see, or plan something for the future. It is an image that you want to create.
‘Dream’ is a state of being completely occupied by one’s own thought.
A Vision is a Dream put into action. It’s like putting the dream under a microscope and pulling it into focus. Is this ability that designers have to see the house or room finished some sort of unicorn ability? I don’t think so. I think it can be learned.
Whether you are working with a designer or not, I do know that Clarifying your Vision will certainly be helpful to you or your designer. Any information you can bring to the table to help a designer make your dream a reality is always helpful.
How do you narrow your vision when you're mid-century one day, florals the next, but oh what about those neutral rooms?? AHHHH! Don’t you worry, I’ve got you!
Clarifying your vision helps avoid confusion and constant mind changing.
It serves as a reference to make sure you, your designer, or anyone else on the project are on the right track and avoiding confusion. The starting point of any good design is a Clear vision, so that you have a direction for the design.
If you have read this far, you might be saying…I’m not a designer, I don’t know that process, how in the world can I clarify my vision?
Lucky for you, I am sharing my creative process, so that you can learn to think like a designer!
Disclaimer: If this is the first time you have gone through this process, you might want to start small. Doing an entire house might be a bit overwhelming.
1. Be INQUISITIVE
We lose the ability to be inquisitive and curious as we get older. On this designer journey you have to start getting into the habit of asking questions and being curious. This is the time to ask yourself the who, what, why, where questions. When I work with clients, I don’t give a formal questionnaire, I’m pretty inquisitive by nature, and prefer to go about asking questions and really getting the he “heart” of the issue. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself and be inquisitive with the real reasons why you are looking to make a change in your home, and find out what your heart is telling you. Get your family involved. Or if you are designing a space for another family member, get them involved in the process. Many times one question leads to another...This is a good sign you are getting curious! Start with these and see where it takes you…
Why am I doing this?
Who am I doing this for?
Where will I start?
What will my home and life look like in 1 year if I do this project.
2. Be INSPIRED
Inspiration is everywhere. If you are trying to create a VISION for your home, you must look for images that inspire you. You have to get curious! If you are designing a bedroom, for instance…start looking for bedroom images. Look high, look low. Immerse yourself in imagery of the subject. Don’t just walk by the magazines at the store, LOOK at them! Splurge and buy one! Designers immerse themselves in imagery of homes, art, fashion every day. It is our job, but it is essential to keeping our minds with a designers perspective. Have you ever noticed when you start thinking about something or really delving into a subject, you start seeing it everywhere? The same thing happens with home design. If you don’t make it your business to look at design, you will never have a clear vision for your space. No vision, no plan, no reality. This is an exercise in learning. This may feel uncomfortable, you aren’t a designer. You don’t know what you are looking at, looking for. I am here to tell you....IT IS OK! You are on a quest to create a vision for your home, open your eyes for goodness sake and look around you!
The next step is where a designer is often involved in a project. You feel overwhelmed by all of the inspiration that you have no idea where to go next…try the next couple of steps and see if you are any closer…
3. OBSERVE & ORGANIZE
You know how a space always looks like a bomb went off, when you are decluttering a closet? It feels so overwhelming? This is what the Observe & Organize phase feels like. You have all of these seemingly dissimilar inspiration images of rooms, layouts, colors, furniture, fixtures, moods, far off lands…AHHHH
Slowly start pulling these images together. This doesn't happen all in one day. Give yourself some time!
Pinterest is your best friend in this endeavor.
If you know about Pinterest, you may have a love/hate relationship. Ya’ll this is the infancy of your vision. It is still muddled, confusing, and probably overwhelming. Don’t be discouraged, design can sometimes be a messy process. How do I sort through this mess you ask…??
This is a two part process, you have to use the creative and analytical parts of your brain.
While you are organizing you are in observation mode.
You analytical people are going to love this! You are going to look at the images you have pulled together with your analytical mind. Look at them through a new lens. This is subjective. What about the images do you like, dislike. It may be any number of things colors, layout, fabric, cabinetry, feelings, furniture, finishes, accessories, you name it. Just get out your magnifying glass and really LOOK at the why behind an image. You are starting to clarify. This is a practice. It doesn’t come easily to everyone. We tend to look at images as a whole. I like it, I don’t like it. THE END. Nope, you asked and I am telling you, you MUST look deeper. WHY is the image speaking to you?? I promise you are getting closer to clarity.
Congratulations! You have made it to the final step on your journey to Clarity of Vision! Wait, I don't feel clear. It still feels a little muddled.
Here you are going to create 1 board that encompasses the whole vision. Some people call this a mood, inspiration, or vision board. Call it whatever you like, you are creating clarity.
Remember when you organized those images by colors, layouts, feelings, finishes, furniture, etc. You are going to pick the best of the best from those organized piles and put them in one place. You may even discard some images that seem irrelevant. You analytical people might not like this process, because it might feel a little bit creative. You are going to worry that you are going to make a mistake. Let me be clear….this is YOUR vision, YOUR home. There are no mistakes! Actually, this is part of the design process that keeps you from making expensive mistakes! Once you have all of the images in one place, take a step back and look. It is YOUR vision. Colors you never thought might go together go together, that fabric you fell in love with might actually work. You never would have put A with B, but it kind of works. Do the waters feel less muddy? Do you feel a little bit more clear on the direction you would like the project to take? If it still feels unclear, you can move things around. Play a bit. This is a creative practice.
Guess what? You are starting to think a little bit like a designer.
This is a practice, you are learning, you are honing a skill. Designers spend years getting good at this practice, and it may be more natural to some than others. There are parts of the process that you enjoy more than others. Welcome to the mind of a designer. It’s not such a bad place to be!
This is just the first step in the Design Process Roadmap, we have a long way to go on our journey from Dream to Reality! I never said Designing a space was easy!
If you are still a little confused and unclear, Keep a lookout for more tips and resources in blogposts and emails that will dive deeper into these steps and more!
As always, I am here to GUIDE & COLLABORATE you along the journey so that you can feel CONFIDENCE in your VISION and EMPOWERED to tackle the Design of your OWN home!
If you are about to embark on your Design Journey, and are curious about my new Design Coaching Service Schedule a Chit Chat Call to see what it is all about!
All the best,