Beginning a complete remodel of a bathroom can be a daunting proposition. Especially if you are your own designer and general contractor like I often am. It can be tempting to dive right in and haphazardly start buying things that catch your eye, but by taking the time to thoroughly plan your design strategy, you can make inspired choices that give you an end result you’ll love.
Inspiration for your plan: Turn to the experts
The variety of design options can be overwhelming unless you have some idea what you want to achieve with your remodel design. Fortunately, there’s a simple and fun way to inspire your design. Start by doing research to help you decide what you like and what you really want.
I know what you’re thinking…”Research, ughhh!”, but stick with me for a moment. Thumb through a few of your favorite magazines. They are a great source for pictures of projects done by professionals and other homeowners. Or, try perusing a handful of online sites, such as HGTV and DIY (and Home Design Evolution, of course). They offer vast numbers of photos of bathrooms created by top designers. These sites make it easy to narrow your search by
color or by style, such as traditional or modern, transitional or contemporary. And if you haven’t narrowed your tastes down yet, finding photos that look and feel “right” will give you a well-defined starting place for your project.
“What did that faucet look like?” – Using a Project Notebook
Once you start finding elements you like that you could incorporate into your room you need to save them so you can find them again later. There are several good ways to do this, and you can combine several organizational strategies to suit your personal style.
The most essential tool is your project file. You can use your project file to keep magazine
cutouts, printed pages, paint samples, and other design elements together for convenient reference. Make sure to clearly label each element with its source and prices – this information is invaluable to have handy when you’re ready to make your purchase decisions.
Another useful tool, especially if you’re doing the bulk of your research online, is using software to create a project file on your computer.
My personal favorite software program for organizing my design ideas is Microsoft OneNote. (If you don’t have access to OneNote you can try free alternatives like EverNote that you can download online.)
To use OneNote, set up a project file with subcategories that group your design elements together for easy comparison. For a bathroom project you might have subcategories that include sinks, faucets, cabinets, and mirrors.
With your OneNote project file set up, you’re ready to browse the web for ideas. When you find a picture online of a room design that you like, right click and copy the picture. In your OneNote file, paste the picture. Then add any comments or notes you want, like what you liked about a
given design, and which elements you want to try to incorporate into your room.
You can also copy and paste complete information on items like faucets or sinks copied right from the website of the source where you might buy the item. This way you can track where you found project components, and include details like size and dimensions, and color choices. This also makes it a breeze to compare prices from various sources at a glance.
When you invest the time to thoroughly plan your project, you can easily keep track of the ideas and inspirations that are guiding your project. Organizing your thoughts into a project notebook is a great way to ensure that all the elements of your design mesh well stylistically, and you’ll love the ease of combining your ideas in different ways. Not to mention the money you’ll save by finding the best prices on the items you want. Best of all, you’re one step closer to making your dream bathroom a reality.
Where do you go for inspiration when you are planning a renovation project? Have you planned a project and come up with some great ways to organize your plan? Write a comment and share your ideas with us.