Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Energize the Interior Design process - Collaging and Scrapbooking

Recently a friend asked if I had any advice on ways to start their residential interior design process to assist in working with their architect. I suggested he and his wife find letter size file folders, labeled to match key spaces such as kitchen, master-bedroom, dining room, living, bathroom, study, kids bedrooms and play areas. Then over the next two-weeks or so comb through favorite magazines, websites and books and find inspiring images identifying furniture, equipment, paint colors, lighting fixtures, rugs and carpet and other key items. After doing so write a short summary overview of key qualities, moods and priorities. This is assuming you already have a program for all of your spaces selected.

Do this to define the mood of each room or space. As an extra step which I recommend, especially for those who like to make collages or scrapbook, is to make letter size collages by for each space with key furniture, paint color chips, upholstery swatches, flooring and lighting ideas with handwritten text stating why and how these items describe a mood which resonates with you. You can also skip this step yourself but have a conversation with your architect with the folders and maybe arrange items together in a collage / brainstorming session. You or your architect could then take pictures or scan the collages and put them into binder for review and use during development of more detailed design. You can also review the collages, adding to them over time as you build your understanding of the mood and quality of the spaces.

By taking this information collection step you really help clarify for yourself what you’d like your interior of your home to be, what kind of story you want to tell which expresses your unique family identity to the outside world and create a comfortable home. Your architect or designer might take your rough ideas, scrapbook thoughts and create an overall series of presentation boards, further refining your initial suggestions with their own feedback and imagery. Do this to enjoy the design process and feel connected to it and also set clear expectations and design ideas to follow so there a less surprises later. When you’re done, you can recycle the loose folders with all of their contents, holding on to the collages as records of the design process and decisions for future reference.

This process can also be adapted in a similar way to designing residential exterior and site design, just add more folders and begin earlier in the process. It actually is really helpful to do this even at the beginning stages at a more concept level.

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