Although today’s post definitely isn’t new info to designers, these two questions are literally where I start when designing any space. I hope if you haven’t heard them before or maybe just forgot about them that they’ll help you as you design a beautiful and functional home for you and your family. Sometimes it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start or when you’re trying to make decisions and faced with a million options. Hopefully these two questions will give you a starting point and help you stay focused on your end goal.
The first question I ask is:
What is this room going to be used for?
List all of the uses you can think of for this question. For example, when I was initially thinking through my design plan for the dining room at The Shortt Pickens House, I knew we’d be using it for eating obviously, but also for hosting and playing games with friends, crafting, meetings, and occasionally as an office when we were both working from home or just needed a break from the actual office.
After I’ve made an actual physical list or just a mental list of all the functions a room will serve, I than ask:
What do I want this room to feel like?
Answering the first question will help you answer this one. The use of a room will help you determine how you want it to feel. I’m a stickler that the bedroom (see the master bedroom and guest bedroom) be used strictly for sleeping and relaxing so of course I want it to have a calming and relaxing feel to it (see Why I Chose Blue Grey for these rooms). Going back to the dining room at the Pickens House, since it was going to be a place of eating and relaxing and playing and working and creating, I wanted it to have a sense of calm but I also wanted it to have an undercurrent of energy and a touch of playfulness. When it came to the living room, since it is the first room you walk into from the front door, I wanted it to feel crisp and clean and calm to help wash away the stress of being out and about in the hustle and bustle. (Yes, I am an introvert.)
Answering these two questions gets my creative engine running and helps me channel ideas and inspiration and develop a focused game plan for each space.
After I answer these questions, I often will start thinking through colors and color schemes and what colors make me feel the way I want a room to feel. If you’re not sure what colors make you feel a certain way, use Google and ask it what colors generally make people feel energized or calm or playful. Also, ask your family and see what colors make them feel a certain way. It could be fun to hear their answers!
After I have an idea on a color scheme, I’ll than start thinking through textures such as what kind of material I want the couch made out of and accessories such as lighting. I may not know exactly what I want at this time, but I try to gather a general idea so that I can start searching for items and be focused in my search and keep my eye out for a good deal.
It’s a good idea to make a board on your Pinterest of color schemes and furniture and accessories you like and rooms that have the vibe you’re going for so you can reference back to it when you’re out shopping or just feeling overwhelmed by the amount of options out there. Answering these two questions and having an inspiration board is a great way to help keep you focused and reminded of what you’re working towards.
If you guys have questions or strategies that you use when designing a house or room, please share. I’d love to hear them! And as always, if you have questions shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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