So you've determined you are ready for a change, but what now? The design process can initially feel quite overwhelming. With so many decisions to make, you can easily begin to feel like you are sinking in a pile of uncertainties. There are, however, a few steps you can take to make the process much smoother and more enjoyable.
1. Define Your End Goal Upfront
Any good plan starts with a mission statement, or goal. You can achieve and define these goals by considering a few things. In putting together your project, ask what specific needs (and wants) you desire to be met. Not only should you be asking how you want the space to function, but it is also important to consider what things would you like the space to prevent. Ask yourself how you want to feel in this space, and also how you would like guests to feel. Consider the number of people you desire to accommodate, and the functions you envision taking place. I would be missing a piece if I didn't mention that inviting a designer into this process can help tremendously in identifying and answering some vital and important questions.
2. Set a Realistic Time-frame
Once you've spent your time dreaming and defining, it is important to set up a realistic time-frame that you intend to stick to. While delays can happen, presenting a time plan prevents the never-ending-project saga. No one likes or appreciates a project that never seems to feel completed. Having this established keeps not only you, but also your contractors on task and aware of the goals you have. One great way to stick to schedule is to plan something that you plan to take place in your new space. A small party or get together is a great way to hold yourself accountable to keeping project moving and to persuade you to not drag your feet on decisions as they come. In the long run, you will be glad you held yourself to a schedule for your project.
3.Identify Your Style
Often times, people know what looks they like, but feel totally lost when it comes to achieving that look. Other times, people feel stuck as early in the process as identifying style preferences. The best way to find direction is to look for inspiration. Pinterest, Houzz.com, and home style magazines are all great places to start. Simply compile a collection of looks you like and spaces that appeal to you. Even further, pictures and things that seem unrelated can also be a part of expressing your style. For example, if you saw a picture of an avocado and it gave you a good feeling, include that picture. As crazy as it sounds, it often does have a role to play in identifying how you want your spaces to feel. A good designer will be able to find a common thread and will pull looks together that make sense with the existing architecture, while achieving a look that fits in with the things you are drawn to. Identifying style upfront helps to keep a cohesive design and avoids a project that ends up feeling disjointed and confusing.
4. Concept Development
Once you've answered the important function and use questions, and you have put a picture to your end goal, it is time to connect the two steps. Creating a concept board with images helps you to get a clear picture of how the look comes together. This is where you see color, texture, and pattern merging in ways that give spaces depth and comfort. When you hire a designer, this step is an awesome way clarify that you are on the same page, and to see the basic feel that is going to be achieved before making purchases.
5. Moving Forward
If you've walked through the process, answered all of the questions, set a realistic deadline, identified your style, and pinpointed looks that accomplish it (within your budget) you should have no reason to delay in fear of mistakes. When you wait too long, product lines change, and the process of finding the same look in the same budget becomes increasingly difficult. If you've done all of the research upfront, you can move forward in confidence.
Working with your designer brings ease to each of these steps. And once you've worked through the process for one space with said designer, the process only becomes that much easier with each subsequent project. Don't enter your project with fear. It should be a fun and exciting process, and I'd love to help you along the way. Contact me today for more details on your next project.