A few posts ago I wrote about Starting a Renovation just as a bit of a primer to the next few posts. We looked at four key areas in the first stages when looking at renovations and today I want to discuss how you can help your designer by gathering some ideas. A fundamental part of the Design Programming phase is to find historical images that reference or speak to a particular style or detail that is a point of reference for the project. At CKID, we include the inspiration or historical images in our Project Proposal to you so we can all begin to speak the same visual language and build a cohesive design vision. My firm, like most other designers, has moved away from creating Inspiration Boards (sometimes called mood boards) because it is more time than most clients are willing to spend. With the proliferation of shelter sites like Houzz and Pinterest, you can look through many interior images for inspiration and ideas. We simply want to begin to integrate those images and ideas early on into your project.
Using Houzz Ideabooks for your inspiration
Houzz is great for finding millions of images on the residential built environment. You can create a profile and then create Ideabooks, but that's not the cool part. You actually have the ability to type in your thoughts about the image you're adding to your Ideabook and that is more important to me than you might think. By adding a note, you can clarify what you like about the image so that we don't misinterpret that to be something else in our back-end process. Brilliant.
Let me add a small bit of advice: What Houzz does not do well is filtering through the "Johnny Annoying Commenter" problems where someone who thinks they know the answer comments on all the questions in the forum. Design and product advised should always be sought within the confines of a design agreement. Due to liability and unforeseen circumstances, there are far too many risks for the end user (you) and the designer when answering questions without a complete site assessment and agreement. In my firm, we do not disclose product, material, or other selections because they are customized to you and this is why you've hired CKID - to design - so don't always believe everything you read as it may be subject to regional availability or municipal building code.
Using Pinterest for your inspiration
Another excellent resource for you is to establish a Pinterest account where you add photos to a digital bulletin board - or pin board. Much like Houzz, you can add your comments and notes to be clear and direct us to what you're looking at. What's cool about Pinterest is that with the Chrome plug-in you can pin an image from anywhere on the internet and keep the source location. It's cool to offer your designer with some products you like, believe me.
Using the Analogue method for your inspiration
If you're the type that likes paper, or maybe you've saved inspiration images for a long time, you'll want to look at developing either a soft copy (digital) or a hard copy (printed) of your inspiration. Much like the virtual inspiration stores above, you can add sticky notes, write notes with a marker, or get all crafty and put it together in a binder organized by room.
The largest take away for you is that by providing us with some inspiration, it will save you billable time and help streamline the process. I'm not staying that you need to be detailed and think of every single thing, we are professionals here and this isn't our first project, but providing a jumping-off point helps me move quickly and visualize in three-dimensions at a blink of an eye.
Oh, and one last thing: mention "it" even if you don't think "it" is important because it may be more crucial than you realize.