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Creating a Design Plan: Balancing Vision & Functionality

You are not alone if you tend to lose track of where you are heading during a renovation project!




I will be the first to admit: there have been times when I renovate a room only to realize how far from the original vision and concept I have slipped during the process.


And while it may be a pretty room, it is not on track with my goals. These fly-by-the-seat rooms also tend to look suspiciously like other rooms I have designed!


The struggle of distraction and focus during a long-term project is real, so how do we avoid this trap? We do so by following a strategic design plan!


Our last discussion was about how to create a design plan for re-purposing a room to serve a new function in your home. Today we discuss strategies for choosing the decor - paint, storage, furniture, accent details and lighting - that will work harmoniously with your vision of room functionality.


Here are a few strategies I utilize when creating design plans that account for both the vision and functionality of space:


 

C H O O S I N G T H E R I G H T P A I N T



An enormous canvas within your room is the walls.


But most people whip up a colour "that looks pretty" without stopping to consider the psychology of how it will affect their mood while in that room.


When you visit Pinterest or Instagram for colour palette inspiration, have an idea of the mood you're trying to cultivate - one that works in conjunction with the room function you have chosen.

If the function of your room is to escape and the mood is relaxation, for example, choose a soft colour palate. On the other hand, when the function of your space is creativity and growth, it is best to choose colours that leave you feeling alert and passionate. Our reaction to paint is a window into our psyche; it directly affects how we feel.


And good design works with the human experience, not against it!

With colour palette inspiration in hand, head to the hardware store. First, stand 5-10 feet away from the paint swatches, scanning the colours for sections that are similar to your inspiration. Then, come closer to these sections and inspect for shades that stand out to you within your parameters [note: you don't have to like every colour on the swatch card, which sometimes have 2-4].


Bring home twelve paint swatches in total - six colour swatches familiar to you and your comfort zone & six swatches that are wildly different but exciting [and yet still mood appropriate].

Taping the swatches to your walls with a distance between them, enter the room at different times of day for a week to assess how they appear in various lighting. Also, pay attention to how the colours make you feel when you look at them. At the end of the week, begin taking down swatches that look and feel wrong - a process of elimination.


We can now take one of two routes:
  1. Trust yourself. Choose your colour(s) & go for it!

  2. Buy a small can or sample of paints in consideration. Next, apply a 3'x3' section to the wall; repeat the above steps until comfortable with a selection.


 

T H I N K S T O R A G E N O W



Everybody has "stuff" - what we do with it matters in interior design.