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Lake house transformed ... part 2, the look

Perhaps the most important part of ensuring a re-design/re-invent/re-decorate goes well is having a clear vision of what you want to end up with. This helps all players stay on track from start to finish and avoid mishaps.

Today there are so many ways to get that clarity. I always advise clients to start with Houzz. It's a great resource with wonderful search functionality and stunning pics. Whether you simply need photos or want well-written articles to inform and inspire, it's one-stop shopping. And, you can actually shop there too ....

The web is also a great place to get inspired. Creative searches yield lots of drool-worthy ideas. And my favorite tool for organizing it all is a Pinterest board - or ten, depending on the size of the project. That way, my client and I, their kids, their best friend, and whoever else they feel the need to involve can all pin, comment, and collaborate. This is even more important further down the road when it comes to selecting particular finishes and furnishings for the space. So if it's

five AM, I'm up and caffeinated, and I've found the perfect storybook cottage with just the right dose of industrial elements, I can pin it to the board and have it waiting for a busy mom of three who was out late at last night's softball double-header and not going to have time to get to the computer until the kids are out the door again.

In this case, all photos pointed to ... well, nothing for sure. This client's style, especially for this home, is best described as eclectic (which sounds like a cop-out, but ...), pulling together elements from a range of styles: beachy, boho, industrial, transitional, and contemporary. In this case a big part of my job was to help narrow and focus that range of interests to come together in a cohesive form that accomplished their objectives of space, flow, and use, and communicate that to all of the partners we would use to get to the result.

At the end of the day, if you can't figure out what you want, you won't be able to communicate it well, and you'll stumble your way down a bumpy road to a messy result, misspending along the way.

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