Here’s a hypothetical question: If you were in the market for a remodel — and time, space and budget were no object — what would your dream project look like? Where would you even start? One way we kick-start a remodel with a client is to help them determine both their baseline needs and their big ideas for a given space. We believe that the more you draw from your lifestyle, the easier it is to narrow down design choices before you actually remodel your home. The best way to achieve this? A wish list.
A wish list can be made by “pinning” cool kitchens and bathrooms on Pinterest, saving links on Houzz, observing your neighborhood and the styles of homes, or getting inspiration from a cherished piece of old furniture or a collection (like your grandmother’s dresser from the early 1900s).
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it’s basically a virtual clipboard that lets users pin images from the web. Folders, like “kitchen” or “bathroom” can be created to organize your images and thoughts. (Visit Neil Kelly’s page for an example here.)
“We are seeing more and more clients turning to Pinterest and online communities like Houzz,” said Amy Hekker, Bend Design Consultant, Neil Kelly. “As this group of buyers gets more sophisticated and is online more, books and magazines are being referenced less.”
Despite the drop-off in printed matter, people looking for ideas are still clipping images from inspiring magazine spreads. However, Hekker uses Pinterest heavily with her clients as well. “It helps me get a visual on what my clients are aspiring to.” If you’re inclined to add Post-It notes to magazines, that’s fine too — though some of your favorite design magazines may even have online issues, allowing you to add to a Pinterest board as well.
Hekker says Pinterest also lets her clients share ideas and make real decisions. Clients might choose tile, fixture or faucet options by creating a board just for those types of details, then Hekker works with them to narrow down the options based on the look they’re going for. Alternatively, Hekker might create a board to start with, and let the client narrow down their choices to get a better idea of the design direction. “It’s also a great tool for documenting everything. You can show friends your ideas from the app and not have to scroll through pages and pages,” says Hekker.
This physical world
Despite the wealth of digital tools available, sometimes you need to step away from the screen. Hekker frequently visits clients’ homes to get an idea for their style.
Whether intentional or not, the rooms in your home definitely have a style of their own. Back to grandmother’s dresser we mentioned earlier: Many homeowners have an item of furniture in their homes that they’ve designed around. Many times that furniture wasn’t picked out by a homeowner; it was given to them. With this in mind, it might be time to rethink how those pieces affect the overall design of the home.
Need more inspiration? Take a walk around your neighborhood. Take notes of the styles, the home exteriors and what you like and don’t like. Geography and location can play a huge role in your wish list. “Bend is different than Portland obviously. Geography changes with style. In Bend there are less historical significant homes, more lodge homes, yet each can be an inspiration,” says Hekker.
Coupled with your digital or magazine collection of likes and dislikes, your well-built wish list will help you define your style and make important decisions on what materials and accessories to buy — whether you decide to keep or let go of grandma’s antique dresser.
Need help deciding how your new room should look? Let Neil Kelly’s award-winning designers help you get inspired!. Get in touch!