Oftentimes one of the most daunting tasks for our clients is choosing their selections – the flooring, paint, doors, windows, cabinets, lighting, plumbing fixtures, just to name a few. Not only are there countless options to choose from, there are details you did not even know existed for each selection! Where do you even start??
The task of selections doesn’t have to be overwhelming though. In fact, it can (and should be) fun! Here are a few tips for breaking down the selection decisions into bite-size pieces:
1) Take it a room at a time. A runner doesn’t complete a marathon in one go. They train, slowly, but surely – building up their mileage from 1 to 26.2. Likewise, if you are building new or remodeling an entire house, you need to take it in chunks. Tackle a room at a time, one element at a time.
2) Figure out your vision (and budget) for the space and write it down. Answer this one question: what is your goal for your space? For example: How do you want to feel in your new home, bedroom, or kitchen? Do you want to be energized and productive, or relaxed and carefree? Maybe you’d like to use your space for something more – like encouraging family time or reducing your carbon footprint. Take some time to figure out what the purpose of the space is and how much you’d like to put into it financially. Then, write it down. When you’re in the middle of the ocean of options, you’ll have a tangible reminder to point you in the right direction.
3) Look at pictures and save ones you like. YES! We are giving you permission to procrastinate (within reason). Set aside some time to look at pictures of other projects similar to yours. We typically recommend something like Houzz so it is easier to save your images, but magazines and the classic Google Images are also great resources. And of course, we have tons of photos in our gallery of the hundreds of projects we have completed. Save pictures that stand out to you. Somewhere between 5-10 images is a good amount. Once you’re done, flip back through the ones you saved. Figure out what about the particular photo struck you and write it down. You’ll begin to notice a theme to your photos. And you’ll also have a starting point to begin narrowing down products.
4) Work with a designer or product salesperson (A.K.A. YOUR FILTER AND GUIDE!) The unspoken job description of a designer or salesperson is to be your filter for ideas, methods, and products. He or she will sort through what will work with your project and vision and help you narrow down options. Share your pictures with them, what you generally like, your budget, and your vision for the space. They’ll be able to answer your questions, narrow down your choices and maybe even give you a completely different option that you didn’t think of and end up liking better. And then, of course, have them write it down so you can remember everything you talked about. (Bonus hint: If you aren’t sure where to go for products, ask a friend or someone else you trust. A company can “talk the talk” on their website, but do they “walk the walk” with their clients?) Narrow down your options based on your vision and aesthetic preferences. When working with a designer or salesperson, they will typically be able to narrow down your options to five choices or fewer. Use your own preferences to continue the elimination process. If you have them, bring other finalized selections from the room. (You may like that one bright pink carpet, but put it next to your forest green couch pillow…not such a great idea.)
And there you have it – a guide to the selections process! Feel better? I’ll leave you with a final reiteration: Your designer is your guide.
We at Meadowlark understand that the building and remodeling process can be exhausting. We are here to lead you and try to make it as easy and enjoyable as we can. So relax. Let us take care of the details.