Remembering every intricate detail of a décor project is nearly impossible. A design idea book solves this problem, allowing you to organize your thoughts, no matter when you're struck with inspiration. Follow our quick and easy guide to help you get your renovations done right-the first time.
Create a book full of decorating possibilities with a binder organized by the rooms in your house-or even just the one room you're planning to redo. This also works if you've decided to build your dream home or you're planning a large-scale decorating project-now, or in the future. With an idea book, you'll have the chance to play with design possibilities before you spend any money.
Here are some places to find ideas for your design book:
- Tear out pictures from magazines and catalogs.
- Photocopy from books.
- Take photos on home tours.
- Make rough sketches for present and future inspiration.
- Collect paint chips-even if you've just found a paint idea or color but you're not sure where you want to use it.
- Assemble wallpaper and flooring samples.
- Collect fabric swatches.
- Compile information from websites from products that cater to do-it-yourselfers, such as flooring, plumbing, cabinets, and other products. Even if you don't plan to do the work yourself, it will provide inspiration and make you more knowledgeable about terminology and specifications.
As the project evolves from idea to reality, the design idea book is a great place to keep all the pieces together. You'll want to include:
- Your final decisions on wallpaper, flooring, paint, and so on.
- Brick or other exterior selections, roofing, and any other choices you make if you're building a house-some builders will supply a final checklist so there are no debates later; keep your copy in the binder.
- Floor plans.
- Estimates from contractors.
- Pictures of the project as it evolves; before and after pictures are great fun, and you'll really feel a sense of accomplishment.
A friend once called and pointed out that she had just finished redecorating her bathroom, but even though she liked the wallpaper, vinyl flooring, and matching shower curtain and towels, all the pieces together didn't have the effect for which she had hoped. Of course, this could happen in any room, but putting all the pieces together in the design idea book makes you focus on them and prevents this from happening to you.
Perhaps, you've decided that it's finally time to remodel your kitchen. You need new appliances, new flooring, new cabinets-basically everything! You're even pondering combining the kitchen with an existing living space to make one of those combined kitchen/family areas so popular right now. Use the design book to compare the cost of the two projects and decide which is right for your lifestyle.
For inspiration, you can't beat upscale kids catalogs. But, if you don't want exactly what they have, or you don't like paying the full price, just combine ideas from different places for inspiration. And keep in mind that sometimes those catalogs focus more on aesthetics than on practicality and safety. One person we know followed an idea from a catalog and put a cabinet and quilt-hanging bar over the baby's crib. It looks nice, but she'll need to move it to keep the baby safe, especially when the baby can pull himself up.