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How To Center Your Design

You need a starting point that gives you butterflies...it's the fuel that the project needs.

All good designs starts with inspiration. My design projects are fed by this spark. That spark is the thing that moves you emotionally.

Interior Design is a highly emotional process. We want to lean into those emotions. I want to know what gives you butterflies and alternatively what gives you that ICK feeling. I want create that "north star" that jumping off point the allows all of the decisions to flow together.

Think of it this way, if someone was to ask you what kind of birthday cake you wanted, you would choose based on your gut, your desire, or perhaps what you're craving. The other decisions around the cake would evolve easier (i.e frosting type, filling, tiered? cherry on-top?) when you know what kind of cake is being created.

This is basically what I want us to do. I don't want to start talking about the frosting, until we know what kind of cake we're baking together. We need to go back to the basics and find that spark that we will center our design on.

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Now that you're in the project "mode" I ask clients to get into the "design head space". I want you to start thinking about why you like certain places. Why do you love a certain room in your friend's house? Why do love that restaurant? Why do you love the vibe in that TV show? And alternatively, why do you loathe certain places or colors? I want you to keep track of these things in your phone or in a journal. I have an album on my phone titled, "Inspiration". Every-time I see something that gives me butterflies, I snap a photo of it and file it away. It's amazing what you find inspiring when you're in that frame of mind---Portland, Oregon is seeping with inspiration.

Gather Inspiration and Keep It Stored on Your Phone


Our brain needs a way to file away the sheer amount of content that we're exposed to on the daily from the internet.

If you are currently using Pinterest or other social media platforms, then I don't need to explain to you why they're an amazing tool for keeping track of all of the digital inspiration that comes our way. If you're new to Pinterest, then welcome to this delightful invention. If this thought overwhelms you, I suggest just going to my Pinterest page and looking at the designs that I have saved. You can browse my saved photos of Kitchen Ideas, Bath Designs or other boards and make notes on what tickles your fancy.


If you don't want to deal with the internets, then get inspired the old school way--BOOKS! I personally am a sucker for magazines and books. My home office has stacks of them. I'm always flipping through them and making notes of the littlest things that I'm loving. One day it may be a vase and the next it can be a piece of hardware that I never noticed. You will be surprised at what images create an emotional reaction inside of you.

Best Design Books via Cosmopolitan

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