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!

Sisal Rugs: Agave Is Not Just for Tequila Anymore

The agave plant has a rich history in relation to food: it is the mother of the popular alcohol tequila and recently has become the base of many natural sweeteners. But agave’s use goes beyond food, it extends to interior design.

Sisal is a natural fiber extracted from the agave plant and is used to make area rugs. Its use is actually older than tequila and sweeteners, beginning back in Ancient Egypt. In the 19thcentury sisal cultivation expanded into the Caribbean, Florida, and South America as well as parts of Africa. Nowadays, Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sisal fiber and rugs.

The plant fibers are very durable yet soft, making it a natural choice to weave into area rugs and broadloom.  It is naturally fire-retardant, sound absorbing, and antistatic. Sisal is also a stronger fiber than flax, jute, and hemp, other materials commonly used in rugs. But its superior qualities make sisal a better and longer lasting material for rugs.

Sisal has been making a comeback in popularity because of the green movement in interior design. It is considered environmentally and architecturally neutral, meaning that production of sisal products does not leave a carbon footprint on the atmosphere. Rugs made from sisal are also naturally colored because of the differences in the fibers, which reduce the need for artificial dyes.

Area rugs made from sisal are an excellent design choice for an environmentally conscious client. As it has grown in popularity, it also has been dropping in price, so right now is a great time to find deals on sisal-based textiles. With its durability, environmental benefits, and design possibilities, a sisal area rugs is a solid investment for your client’s design.

Top Design Colors of 2013

Just like fashion, health claims, and the economy, colors follow trends. Each year brings new attention to a portion of the color wheel, and it is important to stay abreast of these trends as an interior designer.  After all, being trendy is highly valued by consumers and entire rooms are redecorated to reflect what is “in” versus what is rapidly becoming “out.” A major challenge in design is predicting the trends and recognizing what may become a classic and timeless design, and what will be dated before it is even finished being implemented in a design.

So what are the colors of 2013 and why were they chosen? Each color evokes its own mood, energy, feeling, and overall vibe intended to be played out throughout the year. They are a prediction of sorts, but whether the predictions are accurate has very little bearing on their popularity in the design world.

Pantone’s Emerald

Pantone is considered the leading color trend creator in all color-based industries: design, fashion, makeup, etc. For 2013 the Color of the Year is Emerald. Intended to represent liveliness, radiance, and lushness, Emerald brings elegance and a sense of luxury to a room. As for the intended feelings associated with Emerald? A sense of well being, harmony, and balance will supposedly follow utilizing this jeweled green.

Sherwin-Williams’ Aloe

Also a green—though a less vibrant shade—this Color of the Year softens the mood to simplistic prettiness. More mid-century modest rather than modern flashy, Aloe is intended to mimic its plant inspiration by soothing and calming a room’s energy. It also nicely complements neutrals and pastels, making it a versatile choice in the design scheme.

 

Benjamin Moore’s Lemon Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet’s selling point as a Color of the Year is its role as a “transitional” color. Benjamin Moore has predicted that 2014 will be the year of the pastels, and as such Lemon Sorbet is a perfect bridge from the current saturated color tones.  The color brightens an atmosphere without overloading the senses, akin to tea’s mild compared to coffee’s powerful dose of caffeine.

Color trends are fun to incorporate and really make a space feel trendy and fashionable. Even so, when designing a room, it is important to keep in mind that trends fade and the colors of today will be replaced a year from now. Thus it is a good tactic to use Colors of the Year primarily as accent pieces such as lamps, clocks, throw pillows, and such or as part of a more overall color scheme (for example Aloe lends itself well to pastel yellows, blues, and browns that can characterize a child’s room or nursery).  Knowing the color trends is exciting and inspiring, and integrating them into your designs will keep your work fresh and your clients happy.

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