From the KHI Design Studios – How to Think Like a Professional Designer Part I
Aside from being born and blessed with natural gifts of creativity and style, the actual “process” of design is one that is learned, can be learned and at the end of the day… must be trusted, even when it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel!
There are several sacred steps that I follow religiously – and boy do I follow them, no matter how tempting it might be to want to jump to another step or skip a step all together, they are really all there for a reason! I can’t tell you how many times I have assessed a design project in it’s beginning stages and saw a completely end result than the one we actually finished with, realizing that because of following my design process, the project turned out so much more fabulous than if I only relied on my natural eye for style. Like I said at the beginning of this post, a natural eye combined with a structured design process is most certainly a recipe for success, as you are setting yourself up with benchmarks and check in points along the way while still giving yourself plenty of room for creative flow.
Step One: Assess and Assimilate.
The first approach is more left-brained and more matter of fact. With pen and paper in hand and your sharp eye focused, truly pay attention like you never have before.
Questions I ask myself (and yes, I write them down!)
What do you like or love about the space?
Does it have any special features?
Does it have any architectural details (moldings, trims, iron work, sloped ceilings, etc.)?
Are there unattractive features in the room?
Is the room small or large?
Is the size of the space a negative or a positive?
Is there a light switch or outlet in the wrong place (again!)?
Is there anything in the room that needs carpentry, electrical, plumbing or other outside attention?
Assimilate this information and start your room file. Your file should include your assessment, along with notes, thoughts and any ideas or photographs that might provide inspiration for this room. Paint chips, fabric swatches, Pinterest boards and possible furniture plans will also go in the file. You will use this file now as you plan, but also as you shop and then later when you want to look up ideas and elements of the room. It will also serve as a foundation to help you make decisions as questions and problems arise.
Stay tuned! Tomorrow is Step 2 of the design process, so feel free to start your room file tonight!