One big learning for me in the last year has been how important images are when discussing ideas. I could say floral fabric and envision a muted block print pattern, while someone else is envisioning giant cabbage roses (think Waverley patterns circa 1985). Or I could say warm neutrals meaning taupes and grays, while someone else thinks mustard yellow. Sometimes, if I feel that I'm still trying to sort out the direction the homeowner wants to go, I start the ideation process with a couple mini inspiration boards to give options before developing the full plan and inspiration board for a room.
Here is a recent example from a local project (the home pictured at the beginning of this post). The homeowners had done an amazing renovation and addition to an existing home. They had worked so hard on the renovation that by the time decorating decisions came along (and a new baby, number 3) they were starting to feel tapped on creative energy. They had started to second guess what they liked and what they were buying, even though they have great style! They have an beautiful dining room that used to be the home's former living room. It has a fireplace (my dream) and space for a long farmhouse table. It is open to the family room and serves as the daily gathering spot for their family dinners. The homeowner (and friend. ;)) sent me some inspiration images to get things started. Here are a couple:
Beach Style Dining Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Tom Stringer Design Partners
Her walls are already painted a soft, pretty gray but I couldn't gauge if she was really gravitating toward a cooler palette or a warmer, neutral palette. So I gave her options:
Option 1: Warm neutrals, more traditional
Option 2: Cozy, with a cooler color palette, a little more causal than the other option
And here is how the final board came together for her room, after one round of revisions:
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However, I will always happily share sources for my own home.
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