For most of us, it is easy to visualize the beauty of past experiences. Let’s give it a try: What images come to mind when you think about your childhood? How about the Fourth of July? When I think of these two things, long summer days playing with my siblings on the beaches of N.C. come to mind. Some of my favorite memories include: Boogie boarding on the waves in front of our beach house, waterskiing in the sound, watermelon seed spitting contests off the back porch and eating delicious homemade “fresh catch” dinners that my mother lovingly prepared.
Visualization is important during the art of interior design. People tend to easily conjure up memories or associations of the past, but have a hard time visualizing something new. I have found that most can envision what they want a lot better through the use of “inspirational images."
At the beginning of the design process with a new client, I urge them to pull some sort of inspiration for their home. This can be an image pulled from a design magazine, a beautiful picture from travels abroad, or even an heirloom bracelet with interesting stones, detail and charm. It is important for me to understand what speaks to my clients so that I can meet their design needs and wishes properly. Having them pull inspirational images helps us to communicate more clearly and efficiently without having to speak so abstract all the time.
Once we determine the overall look and feel they are going for, I will get started on the creative side of the design process. I usually pull together several different design schemes that encompass parts of what they love in their inspiration images or objects. Note that I said parts -- not the whole. Inspirational images are not for copying; they are used to illustrate elements of design that you are drawn to. During the design process, I will use aspects of the inspiration to create a truly unique and original design that is specific to the characteristics and home of my client. This is where the magic happens!
To facilitate the visualizing process even further, I draw out floorplan and elevations in a computer program called CAD. I also create a photo collage with pictures of the pieces that will go into each specific room so that clients can see the furniture all together on one page. This, in combination with the inspirational images, helps clients fully understand the design and overall potential of their home.
Here are some quotes about getting out of your comfort zone in order to achieve something beautiful:
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." -- Soren Kierkegaard
"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -- Andre Gide
See the slideshow for some images that may spark your imagination!