You know Spring is in full bloom (despite our mercurial weather) when your inbox is full of invitations to interior design and garden show house tours throughout the state.
This season is like the Academy Awards of the design world with each participating professional spotlighting their creativity and taking their walk down the red carpet to crowds of admiring attendees.
And the best part?
The majority of the tours raise money for worthwhile local charities. So it’s a design lover’s trifecta: touring fabulous spaces, boutique shopping and raising money (all while sipping delicious wine). Sounds like a perfect day to me!
Now you may be shaking your head and thinking right missy! “The reality is I go to these tours, gather ideas, fantasize about what my home could look like, get depressed about what my home does look like, dog ear pages in the glossy tour brochure, file the brochure, grab some ice cream, watch more TV decorating shows and get even more overwhelmed with ideas! And then…another year goes by and I haven’t made any progress on my dream kitchen or spa-inspired master bath. But I have a lot of great ideas!”
Well don’t despair, I’m going to share with you six quick insider strategies to maximize your next design show house tour and parlay that inspiration into getting your future remodel completed. In 2016!
Great design evokes a visceral emotion.
That being said, when you enter each space on your tour, pay attention not just to the look of the beautiful space, but how you feel in each designer’s room. Why? Because your body has physiological reactions to the built environment. Your mood, mindset, blood pressure, alertness and disposition are influenced (negatively or positively) by your surroundings whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. And of course you want to re-create elements of spaces that make you feel serene, happy, uplifted or whichever feeling is priority to you.
As designers, we strive to create that “Oh-my-gosh-I-could-spend-the-whole-day-in-this-room feeling” for our clients. And that’s my goal for you with this suggestion.
So ask yourself: Are the colors the designer used in the room making me feel relaxed or agitated? Is there too much going on visually to feel comfortable? Does my eye have a place to rest? Would this space make me happy? Do I need more/less “drama” or “wow” factor? Are my other senses such as touch, smell, taste or hearing engaged?
Take note in your tour brochure of your observations and this will be your first step in honing in on your true design preferences, as well as provide valuable information should you hire a professional to help you.
If at all possible, attend during off-peak hours as the day you go can really impact your enjoyment and ability to view the spaces without too many people crowding you. Call the organizers and find out which days of the week and time slots have lower attendance rates. This way you can really enjoy being in each room, see the true scale of the space, assess the furniture layout more accurately and not feel rushed to move along. I typically try not to attend on the weekends as they’re often quite crowded.
Don’t wait until you’re home flipping through your tour brochure to really look at the BEFORE pictures of each space. Studying the before pictures will teach you creative solutions that you could apply to your own home or garden for that matter. Also, you’ll feel a deeper appreciation for the new show house space when you see how far it has come. Continue reading