3 Things To Get Clear on Before Starting Your Design Project

Hey There, Sweet Friends!

I could not be more excited that the world is opening up again. In the last while I've noticed that people are reaching out, more and more, about design projects. After being couped up in our homes for months, people are dying to beautify their homes - and I'm dying to help them!!

So, I thought that now is the perfect time to offer some tips on how you can get clear on your design vision, to make sure that your design project is simple and streamlined, from day one.

Whether you're working with an interior designer, architect, contractors, or are trying to craft your design vision on your own, here are a few simple suggestions that will help ensure you're ready to dive in, with confidence:

GET CLEAR ON YOUR VISION: The one thing I find consistently when I start working with clients is that they don't have a clear idea of how they want their new spaces to look and feel. Often clients will use words like 'contemporary' or 'classic' or 'ecclectic' to describe the kind of style they like, but this is tricky as different words mean different things to different people. So, I recommend getting clear on your design vision with photos, as opposed to words. Use Pinterest (or something similar) to create an inspiration board, with images of various spaces, furnishings, and design aspects you love. They don't all have to be the same in terms of design vibe. You just need to collect images that inspire you and make you feel happy. Then look at them all together and see what elements they all have in common, and starting crafting a short list and vision from there. (This will also be a very helpful tool for a designer, so you can dive right and be sure they're clear on the vibe you're after in your space!) Design should be a beautiful mish mash of things you love, so creating a vision board, online or in person, is the perfect place to start.

GET CLEAR ON YOUR BUDGET: For many clients, it is their first time doing a renovation or creating a design, so it's natural not to know what things cost. One of the things that seems to consistently trip clients up when it comes to crafting their design vision is when their vision doesn't align with their budget. Often clients will have a specific dollar figure in mind for what they'd like to spend, but this number hasn't been looked at in relation to the cost of what they want. It's one thing to have a budget, but if the intricacy of your renovation and the quality of the materials and furnishings you want don't align with the amount you've decided you want to spend, it's going to be a frustrating process. So, once you have a clear idea of your design vision, and the parts of the project, take a little time to research (generally) what the kinds of things you like cost. Look at furnishings, materials, appliances etc, and get a few quotes from contractors or designers. This way you'll have a more realistic idea of how far your dollar will go, will also manage your expectations, and allow you to adjust your budget (or the scope of work) if your vision and budget don't align.

GET CLEAR ON YOUR MUST HAVES: Getting clear on the things you must have in your design project, whether practical or aesthetic, can really help to move along the design process. Whether it's about certain practical aspects of the design - like a kitchen accommodating big social gatherings, or lots of hidden storage in communal spaces for kids - or whether it's the more creative aspects of the design - like certain furniture pieces or art you want in the space, or even colours you absolutely have to in your space - knowing the things that are important to you when it comes to the end result is very important. As many clients aren't super confident in their own design decisions, I suggest making a list of the things you value in life, and in you home. Split the list into things that are important to you in terms of how you want to live, exist and move around in your home - and then things that are important to you aesthetically. These things will help get you clear on your vision, and inform the overall design, both practically and aesthetically.

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