So yes..I have a bachelors in Interior Design, but don’t let that fool you! I AM RUSTY! It’s been a long time since I did a complete project, and even-so, the pressure is on more because it’s my own place! Does anyone else have a hard time making design decisions for themselves vs. others? OY!
Needless to say, I’ve been
obsessing overthinking everything! I’m not afraid to GO BIG, but our budget is tight until we are settled. That means minor changes until the dust settles. *Reel it back in girlfriend!* But… WE are NOT white wall people…. so before we even move in we do have plans to paint and install the carpet for the 2nd floor, (3rd floor, and basement also eventually).
What are the beginning steps? What is a good way to visualize and conceptualize your ideas? It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of decor magazines and pinterest… but now that it’s reality, we need to reel that back in. Here are the steps I use to create my Preliminary Design Ideas. (inspiration boards)
1. The first thing I usually do is start getting ideas. Serious ideas. Not something that “oh I love that!! Buuut it doesn’t fit my house at all, and is impossible because that’s a load-baring wall, and I probably wouldn’t be happy with that in my own house anyway.” Someone recently gave me some GREAT advice…. She said, “It is OK to love a style, but it’s not necessarily your own style.” So every time I see something I really love, I have started to take a step back and think, “Does this fit my own style?”. Sometimes yes… other times I pass.
To get ideas, I literally compile all the decor magazines that I have been hoarding over the last few months, offer to take old ones off of friends, and purchase maybe a few new ones. I snuggle up with them, a coffee, and a permanent marker. I’ll flip thru them page-by-page, and once I find ideas I like, I tear out the page. (because again, why hang on to the rest of the magazine if the other pages don’t fit your style) Then I mark on it WHY I like it, changes I would alter, and the dream LOCATION of the design concept. I stuff them into a folder that I then carry with me anytime I’m doing any house shopping/browsing.
2. Next up I take a trip, with my folder, to the local hardware store. This is when i find samples of the finishes I think look fabulous! Paint samples, Flooring finishes, light fixture wish lists, etc.. This trip can be as fun, or as stressful as you make it. Some people find these choices hard because they think it’s FINAL, but honestly, a wall being painted a 2nd color choice is JUST AS EASY as painting it the first time! Come on folks, it’s just PAINT! Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to GO BOLD!
3. Space planning is my next step. Most often times you can take the photos you have, plus the house specs dimensions to create a floor plan. Sometimes it is VERY IMPORTANT to have accurate measurements (for more intense renos, and large expense ordering etc). But to do a simple space layout with existing furniture, etc… it is OK if you may be off a inch or two. And this also is not something that has to be set in stone. Furniture can be moved in places that shy away from your original plan, BUT THAT IS OK! Sometimes it is hard to visualize what would feel and look good in a space when it’s only on paper. So take the time, but don’t stress about it. This step is purely to just save time, and not to add demands. Typically I create at least 3 options of layouts and then decide which one fits best.
4. The last, and possibly the hardest step is making decisions. Walk thru the space with your design ideas in hand, and make decisions! This is the time to finalize any pre-planning ideas, as well as weed out any unrealistic ideas. Plan on taking time to do this. It can be a struggle, therefore, you don’t want to rush yourselves. Second opinions are always a great idea, but remember… This is YOUR space! Do whatever it takes to make your space feel like HOME.
I hope that this post helps you sort out the jumble of ideas that come along with designing a new space! I know that it is easier for me to visualize and focus on the task at hand when it is all spread out in front of me. So good luck, and HAPPY DESIGNING!
If you are in the midst of a move, check out my post on How To Pack for a Move. It is jam “packed” with lots of great info!