Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Get an Ah-ha Moment

Inspiration Board by Natalie Larsen, Larsen Interiors
There was an ah-ha moment when I was putting this inspiration board together.  I literally put my hand to my mouth and gasped.  I gasped quietly so as to not wake the sleeping 2 year old in the next room, but I definitely gasped.  Then, there was a flurry of activity between me, the internet, and olioboard.com.  The finished product is above.  I was so carried away and inspired that I forgot about music class for my 8 year old.  We were a half hour late.  I was in "flow" as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has explained to the psychological world.

But before that afternoon, I was just working with what I knew needed to go in the room: things already owned by my friend (the curio, mirror, table, chandelier) and the idea of putting a rug in the room.  But the curtain color?  Rod pocket curtains or pinch pleat?  And what style and colors for the rug?  How to pull all of the brown colored things together to make everything look good?


Adeline RugDorian RugSafavieh Heritage Blue/Beige 9 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft. 6 in. Wool Area Rug - HG811B-10 at The Home Depot

Then I Googled "green curtains" in an image search out of frustration with not finding a great color selection on the Google shopping tab.  Up came these beauties:

countryliving.com, Decorating with Green

access.decorati.com, Practically Perfected: Palmer Weiss

Then came the squeal!  Suddenly the whole room was so clear--and it isn't even a living room!  I'll have a rendering soon showing how I'm going to implement the inspiration for a dining room.  But here are some hints (from afabricoasis.net chain flower, and countryliving.com):

  Chain Flower  

1. Set aside some time to work on the project.  Do a little at a time if you feel overwhelmed.
2. Plug in what you do know and get as far as you can in your design.  For me, this is measuring the room and furniture and comparing that to how the room needs to function for the people who will use it.  Then I lay out the furniture and getting the scale of the furniture right.
3. Ask yourself where the design is lacking, and be honest with yourself.  Sometimes you have to put the project down for a couple of days before you can have this clarity.
4. Look at lots of images using Google image search.
5. Go to local stores to see what is available and realistic with your budget.
6. Keep going!  Put it down for another couple of days if you have to, but keep going.  Ask yourself if you have any mental blocks that are keeping you from being creative.  With our bedroom, I realized that I was keeping myself from progressing with the design by refusing to spend what I thought was a large amount of money on carpet.  But we could afford the carpet with the money we had set aside for the project.  Things came together.
7. Respect your ideas when they come.  Eric Maisel talks about this in his book, Coaching the Artist Within.  Keep a sketchbook with you or do something to honor the idea that comes when it comes--even if you are in the middle of lunch in the park.
8. Enjoy the process and pat yourself on the back when the inspiration comes and you follow through on it.

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