Where Do I Start?

When thinking about a design project, we have all faced a similar question — Where do I start?”  At Your Modern Cottage, we believe that all good design starts with the people using the space.  On the surface, this seems like a simple thing to do.  How hard can it be to understand your own design needs? The short answer is very hard.

Before starting your design project, it is essential to get know yourself.  This is the key to creating a design that not only works, but will also look great.  The first question that you need to ask yourself: “What is my real design challenge?” or What is the problem I am trying to fix?    

What’s your challenge?

The challenge here is to diagnose the real problem and not just respond to symptoms.  We hear things like this all the time: I need a new kitchen. I just dont have enough counterspace to work.”  The immediate reaction is a new kitchen (which costs a boatload), but the real solution may be reconfiguring appliances to gain counterspace where it makes the most sense. (Moving a toaster oven is free.)  So first, define your real” challenge. 

Your Style

Youll also need a solid understanding of this second question: What is my design style?” or What should it look like?  This is where the Your” part of Your Modern Cottage comes into play.  Truly grasping your own design aesthetic is a very hard thing to do.  Our designers spend the first half of every design project getting to know our clients.  We call it Discovery!  And, you need to do the same thing.  The good news is that we have many resources to help you in this effort.   

Some Tips

Here’s what we suggest:  surf the internet and social media pages of Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram.  These are repositories of awesome design stuff.  While fantasizing about other people’s projects, you will start to see trends in the imagery that you like.  The common threads are the basis of your Design DNA.  Identify your DNA and stay on track. 

Starting a design project should be fun.  However, for many, it can be stressful.  So, start each project answering, “What is the best way to fix my functionality issue, while at the same time doing so in a style that is me?” 

For more information on understanding the design process, download our free guide, “5 Quick + Easy Steps to Design.