One of the benefits of a new home is you get to choose all the finishes, and don't have to think about renovating directly after you move in. Over time, homebuyers have discovered a number of useful ways to explore the finishes they want. Our home design center gives buyers a good place to test their ideas, and we’ve listed a couple of other great ways to get suggestions and inspiration.
Here are our favorites:
Create an Inspiration Board
Developing an inspiration or vision board is a time-honored way of collecting your thoughts and ideas. There’s a reason why in police dramas they pin photos and clues up on a board and connect them with lines! A vision board for your ideal home is a collection of the pictures, ideas and colors that represent the look and feel you want to achieve.
To start your board, gather some home design magazines you enjoy reading. You can do this online, too, but for maximum effect you’ll need to print out the items you want to pin up. Alternatively, you can create an online board using any one of a number of websites, including Pinterest and Houzz, but there’s a certain charm in being able to touch the materials and see the colors in real life.
Set up your board, which could be made from foam, poster board or cardboard. Foam works well because it’s sturdier, and you can insert and remove pins at will while you’re testing out the ideas. Collect the words, phrases, photos and swatches that draw you in. It’s not essential to understand why you like them at this point, or how they will fit with each other. Just gather them all together and pin them up in groups or categories for future sorting. Keep anything you don’t know where to pin in a folder or a box so you don’t lose it.
Once you’ve collected enough to make a good start, lay everything out on the board in what should be considered a temporary arrangement. That will help prevent you getting bogged down in indecision, if you know you can change things later. What’s important at this point is simply to get everything up. Perhaps a room-by-room layout will work for you, or for a two-story house, create a layout by level. If you’re considering ranch style house plans, put the floor plan in the center of the board and “branch out” your ideas from there.
Play around with the positioning of the pieces before you attach them with a pin or glue stick, until each area on the board represents the space, colors and atmosphere you’re aiming for. Once you have everything attached, prop it up or hang it on the wall in a spot where you can relax and take your time looking at it. You’ll be surprised at the number of ideas and connections your brain will form by having access to this visual feast.
Follow Design Websites and Blogs
Not everyone posts on Pinterest and Houzz when they have great ideas. Some blogs and websites worth following for suggestions include those of “experts” in home design, such as:
There are other blogs written by prolific home designers, however, that aren’t quite in the league (or cost range) of the websites listed above, which can also give you very good ideas.
Amber Interiors: this interior design blog is great for interior images with a modern bohemian aesthetic. You’ll find before-and-after narratives, latest trend scouting, home designer highlights and some excellent tips for accessory shopping.
Coco Kelley: for those who want interior trends and beautiful images to follow in recreating the looks.
Coco Lapine Design, where Danish designer Sarah Van Peteghem shares clean, modern and softly romantic ideas. Great for inspirational home tours and mood boards.
Apartment 34 for décor, entertaining and home design shopping. This is a great resource for a refined, pared-back and minimalist esthetic.
But don’t take our word for it! Bookmark these blogs and check back regularly to see what’s new in the world of the experts. Or subscribe on our website for news, updates and the latest trends, from our desk to yours.