What to Do When You Get Designer’s Block

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With any creative venture, sometimes you just get stuck. You know the answer is within reach, but you seem blocked and can’t seem to figure out exactly how to resolve a problem area or what to do next. Writers call it “writer’s block” when the words and story just don’t flow. Everything seems off. It can be the same with designing. Luckily, there are some things you can try to break through and make that room design come together like you know it can!

#1 Go Back to Your Inspiration

Your design was inspired by something, whether it was ideas on a Pinterest board, a magazine photo spread, or even something simple you came across in nature. When you can’t figure out how to move forward, it can help to move back and revisit what inspired you in the first place. Look at what inspired you and then look to see what is lacking in the room. Is there anything in the room that fights against the inspiration – like a sleek and shiny vase in a rustic country living room? If so, remove it. Edit your work. Find the right balance and harmony between all elements to complete the desired look.

#2 Remove a Big Element

Yes, a big element, like the curtains or a piece of furniture. A significant element in the room may be blocking the full realization of the design; removing it and stepping back to take a second to look at the room’s potential can add a whole new perspective on how the room needs to come together.

#3 Expand What You Love

Pick a part of the room you are designing, such as a corner or an arrangement on a wall that you really love and use that part to transform the rest of the design. Note what works and what makes you love it and try to spread that idea throughout the rest of the room. Expanding upon this idea may help you add the cohesive look the room needs.

#4 Throw a Curveball

Add something that obviously doesn’t go with the room and see what happens. You may end up with several realizations, and all of them can inform you as to which direction you need to take. For example, either it will be so wrong for the room that it shows you how to make it right, or it will surprise you and be exactly what the space needed! Just take a chance.

#5 Take Pictures and Walk Away

Staring at the walls, while struggling to break through a designer’s block is not only frustrating, but it probably won’t stop you from feeling stuck. Instead, take a few pictures of the room and leave. Go do something else for a little while to clear your mind and then go to a neutral environment like a coffee shop and look at the pictures in thumbnail size, like you would see them if they were on Pinterest or some other website. Getting that distance and a different perspective may give you the ability to see the whole picture (literally), and inform you about what’s missing or not working.

#6 Doodle (Yes, Doodle)

Those pictures you took? Print them out and bust out the Sharpie. Doing something tactile, like drawing, can unlock that creative part of your brain. Drawing allows you to try out ideas that aren’t feasible or financially possible when it comes to working with real items. Doodle fun patterns, furniture pieces, places for artwork, etc. You may get a spark.

Don’t let Designer’s Block get in the way of achieving a perfectly designed room. Just try something new and you’ll break through the block!