How Do I Start a Design Project?

09/06/2017  |  Kathy Marshall
How Do I Start a Design Project?

We live in an interesting time when it comes to design. Never before have we had access to so much home inspiration, or as some might say... #inspo. You would think all of these options would be incredibly helpful, right?


Not always. Sometimes it's overwhelming. For a new homeowner trying to figure out how to move forward with a design project, the options are endless, which begs the question: where do you begin?  When one kitchen from Houzz is prettier than the next, how do you stay true to your own style and needs? How do you start when you are constantly changing your mind?


I can tell you what I do. In a way, it's simple. I get to know my clients and how they use their spaces. I learn about their hobbies, their habits, and their goals. If it is a new home, I visit the intended site, and learn about the location, learn the "whys" of the move. What does the land look like, and what do the homes around it look like? Why did my client choose this spot?  I love to spend time with my clients in their homes. It's essential. I want to get to know how they interact, what is important to their family, and the memories or objects that make them feel happy and bring them joy.  I take pictures. 


But not everyone can hire a professional to guide them from concept to completion. And even when you hire a professional, you probably like to come in with some idea of what you do and don't want. So, how to begin?  Start by focusing on what you like about your home (hopefully a few things!), and write that down!


Start observing yourself more. Colors that you are drawn to, and colors that make you feel good. Believe it or not, the two are not necessarily the same. Ask yourself, "When do I feel happiest in my home? How does it make me feel to entertain versus having quiet dinners?"


Do you like lots of provocations and conversation pieces around you or do you feel peaceful with just a few key items? Before you know it, you are firming up in your head what works for you and your home. Then, and only then, should you dive into the world of Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV, and Dering Hall! Start scrapbooking things that you are drawn to in magazines. Look back at those images again and again. Keep the ones that stick. Toss the ones that don't. Be a little ruthless about your individual likes and wants, so that your home can mirror your joys. 


After all,  you're an original. Your home should be too!