Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Number One Reason We Struggle With Design Decisions

After nine years of working as an interior designer, I’ve come to understand the number one reason that most people have trouble deciding on which design path to take; Not being able to visualize design ideas. 

How do I know this? Try showing anyone (designers included) a black and white two-dimensional floor plan drawing of their new kitchen plan versus a three-dimensional rendering of the same design. My guess is that the 2D floor plan drawing will elicit a lukewarm response compared to the excitement you will get with the 3D model of their kitchen!

I know…no one likes to admit they cannot visualize how a two-dimensional floor plan will actually look like in real life. We tend to think we’re supposed to be able to visualize design ideas, such as how our living room will look like painted with color X versus color Y, or which lighting fixture will look better over our dining room table.

Once we realize we have no idea which one will look best, we become anxious and freeze. This is when “design paralysis” typically kicks in, and that’s when I come to the rescue…😊
First, I like to reassure my clients that nothing is wrong with them, and that the only reason designers can visualize better than the average Joe is because of previous experience. That's it. We also happen to constantly notice visual stuff around us, so our “visual mental library” keeps growing.

To help my clients better visualize my ideas, I've been using a combination of “visualization tools”; such as three-dimensional software for space planning. The software I’m using is easy to use. Changes can be made and ideas explored even while in a meeting with a client!
Below is an example of a kitchen renovation I completed recently, from the “before” stage, through the design phase, and finally ending with the completed project.

Here's a BEFORE photo of the kitchen

We decided to open up the kitchen to the dining and living room. Below are some 3D perspectives of the plan
The "after" photos are below. 
My clients were not surprised to see the results simply because the 3D model was close enough to the results. Yes, there was no "dramatic reveal", but they were very happy to see the plan come together, looking even better then they had expected !

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