Finding Your Design Style | Minneapolis Interior Design, Kitchen Design and Bathroom Design

Finding Your Design Style

Our services - What I can do for you as your interior designer

As much or as little help as you need is what I provide. Whether it's building your new home, a renovation or a one room make-over, I can help. Most of the time people bring me into a project at the beginning. If you are thinking of building a home or vacation home, this means either before home blueprints are drawn or soon after. If you do not have plans I can assist you in obtaining them and if you already have architectural drawings I can review them with the advantage of one more set of eyes. My review may help you with small but important details such as sightlines and design for good furniture placement. A building or renovation project can be overwhelming given all the choices that you are faced with. From the design of spaces to floor coverings to millwork, plumbing, lighting, tile, appliances, cabinetry, countertops and then there's color! All of these selections build on one another and for most people this process is confusing and sometimes no fun at all. So if you want to turn a dreaded project into a journey that's fun, I can help. First, I assist you in defining your design style so that the decisions we make are effective in reaching your vision for the design you are dreaming of. When we know you're design style the selections we make build on that style direction. This design system removes the confusion and provides a process that makes sense. Once I've listened to your goals and dreams and helped you identify your design style I create a written plan that puts on paper your goals and my design plans to achieve those goals. Dependent on the size and scope of the project this written plan may be two or three pages or fifteen to twenty. Then I include your written plan in a 3-ring binder that has sections for all the components of building and remodeling. There's a section for millwork and cabinetry, a section for lighting, a section defining colors for every room, a section for drapery and so on. This binder serves as our organizational tool so that as selections are made they can be included in the binder. This is really helpful in that, as questions arise during the project you can have ready answers. If you involve a general contractor, I can provide a planning binder for them as well. As needed, I can meet with you and your contractors to review plans and answer questions about details that frequently arise during the project. My clients have found this personal attention in helping them make decisions to be a frustration remover and confidence builder. Knowing that you have a professional interior designer to help you along the way can give you peace of mind and makes the process more enjoyable. Also included in the planning binder is a timeline for making selection appointments so that selections can be made ahead of the time when those materials will be needed. This helps keep the project moving smoothly especially when multiple contractors such as floor layers, plumbers, electricians and painters are involved. Next, you can be comfortable in knowing that when you need help with selections, I would be available to personally assist with those selections. This includes; flooring selections such as hardwood and carpet, tile selection and design of backsplashes, kitchen and bath design, cabinetry and millwork design and selection, plumbing fixtures, lighting design and selection, granite, marble or laminate selections, hardware and paint colors. Finishing touches such as custom blinds and drapery are also a specialty of mine. A huge selection of materials and fabrics are available through Decors by Daniel that you will find to be beautiful and creative finishes to your home. When the space is finished I can also help you furnish and accessorize it. Decors by Daniel has relationships with many furniture resources that offer quality furniture. By working through Decors by Daniel you have the added benefit of having a personal designer assist you in obtaining the right furniture and fabrics that will complete your overall design and make it a wonderful place to be. These are resources only available to designers and with me, they are available to you. I can help you furnish your entire home or simply help you complete a room with a couple pieces of furniture, some art or drapery. On a few occasions, I've had clients who had just moved into a new home or were having an event like a wedding shower or holiday and engaged me to do a one or two week makeover. In these cases we made significant changes by simply repainting, rearranging furniture or adding some accent pillows, accessories and art. Often the question comes up - "Do I have to be prepared to complete the whole project at one time?" The answer is "No". In fact, one of the real advantages of having the written plan that I provide is that if you begin with your highest priority portion of the design and then wait a few months to complete the next stage you will have a plan to help us all remember what our goals are for the completed project and the steps we have already planned and agreed on to get to a successful finish. So, wherever I come into the picture my goal is to help you achieve the home or office of your dreams. My design philosophy is that every room should have its own personality and all spaces should be in harmony to create a place you truly want to be.

Step One: Finding Your Design Style

So how do we get started on creating good design? Getting rid of confusion is the first step toward achieving a great design that really works. Most of the people I work with know what they like, but do not know what they're style is or what style they want to have when they are finished. Hint - Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen are not styles. Its "OK" not to know your style now but it can be disastrous, and expensive to begin a building or renovation project without knowing your design style because your design style should provide direction to your decisions so that we achieve a beautiful result. So, before you get started we should answer the question of design style so that you avoid costly mistakes and purchases that result in a disappointing project. By defining your design style we then have a guide for all of the decisions that need to be made when designing a space. Now it's time to get started on designing the home of your dreams. Let's give your spaces great creative personality and have fun along the way. The most important thing that you can do in getting started is to identify your design style. Are you;
  • Traditional
  • Victorian?
  • Old World?
  • Art Deco?
  • Country? (American, English, French)
  • Contemporary?
  • Transitional?
  • Eclectic?
No, Eclectic isn't Latin for "anything goes" Eclectic is actually the hardest style to do right. Good eclectic happens when we achieve a design that has a common focus that is accomplished with stylistically different pieces that work in harmony. It is not simply a combination of stuff we picked up at garage and estate sales. My design philosophy for great design is for each room has its own personality while working in harmony with the rest of the spaces. So, here's a formula I follow to assure successful design:
  • First, we identify your personal style.
  • Next, we deign rooms to be functional.
  • Then, we pay attention to details that will make the room feel right.
  • Last, a successful designed room exhibits a sense of harmony both in the elements found in it and with the spaces around it.
This simple Four-Step Method is the secret of every interior I have ever designed. If you are unsure what your "design style" is, here are some tips:

An Easy Way to Find Your Design Style

First, gather as many home and decorating magazines as you can find and start cutting out pictures. Cut out what you like whether it's a piece of furniture or a color combination, a tile, a lamp, whatever. Even if you can't put your finger on exactly what it is you like, cut it out of the magazine. For instance, if the photo just makes you feel good - cut it out. Next, take a look at the collage of pictures you have and look for clues of a trend that should be developing. If you begin to see a trend but can't put a definition to it, now may be the time to meet with an interior designer. Of course, I would like that to be me, if that is possible. Once we have a clear style definition to the style direction you want to go such as Tuscan or French Country than you are ready to move forward. The question to ask at this point is; "Can I put all of the elements and colors together to achieve the kind of room I've seen in magazines or in my dreams?" For most people this is a tough proposition and for many, interior design can be overwhelming. Never fear, this is a good time to call a good interior designer. So let's take a look at what that process looks like. My first step with a client is to listen. I listen to your goals, how you want to feel in the space, how you plan to use the space, what will be most important about the space and how they would like to prioritize the project. Then, we take some time to study the pictures you have gathered from magazines that will lead us to discover your d├ęcor style. Knowing your design style is critical to a great outcome because it allows us to work together with an understood goal and with the parameters of a defined style that will keep us on the road to a great new interior.