Ideabook overload

Pinterest and Houzz ideabooks turn in to reality

We see it all the time. Clients with an overactive pinner finger on Pinterest or a Houzz ideabook stacked with images. While these ideabooks can be helpful, they can also be overwhelming! How to winnow down the endless gorgeous photos in to a cohesive design? Short of hiring your own professional designer (which most people don’t do), here are a few tips to help reign in your ideabook overload.

1) Step back.

Look at your ideabook as a whole and write down the elements that stick out most for you as common themes in your pictures. Then star the top 3-4 that most resonate or best describe what you want. You can still add some of the others, but try to prioritize.

For example in a recent Houzz book, I made these observations as themes when I looked at the book overall:

–Natural wood

–Black accents

–White as at least 1/3 of most rooms

–Earthiness/natural finishes

–Rustic elements

–Bohemian/eclectic tiles/accents

–Farmhouse/vintage elements

–Mixed materials vs. matchy and clean

Then I had the client go back and star what she cared most about – that left white, earthiness and vintage as top in importance. See how much that helps to narrow down the focus?

2) Name it

Think if you can come up with an overarching theme or phrase that best describes the style or feeling you are going for. Maybe it’s “Boho rustic urban” or “Rustic farmhouse goes to yoga in NYC” or “Natural eclectic” or “Serene and natural” or “Warm Scandinavian meets Midcentury”. While it may seem silly and arbitrary, I find this theme naming to be very useful. This phrase helps you check your finishes against it as you go and helps you winnow down choices with more confidence that it’s all connecting.

3) Start somewhere

In a kitchen, cabinets and counter tops are the biggest visual impact so I’d start there and then build upon those as you go. Of course you don’t have to do it in that order, but it helps you narrow down tile if you are placing it against the counter tops that you are already pretty settled in.

4) Decorating is different than the build phase

Remember that part of what you like about most photos in your ideabook are the finishing touches that bring them all together (decorating vs. the actual construction finishes). You can build eclectic touches in with pictures or add more wood through a frame or add pops of black/color through bar stools, etc.