I’ve always been able to see things that weren’t there. No, not little green men or Oompa Lumpas – but ideas, the possibilities, the outcome of a pile of junk into something amazing. Not everyone sees the possibilities and at times I have felt surrounded by the “non-seeing”. Early on I started relying on tear sheets from magazines to help clarify my ideas, dreams and style not only for myself but for others. Over the years those tear sheets transformed into design notebooks. I now have individual notebooks for interiors, exterior hardscapes, exterior softscapes/plant materials, and one for my current projects.
A design notebook can help on so many levels. It can help communicate your ideas to the non-seeing (especially if that person is a significant other). It can save you money because you will know what you like instead of think you know. A design notebook will help you save time with professionals (designers, builders and architects) that have fantastic ideas yet need to learn more about you to mesh those ideas with your lifestyle. Most of all, a design notebook will help you learn what you’re all about (at least stylistically). My tastes have changed over the years as have the pages in my notebooks but there are some things that always remain the same. From my notebooks my youngest daughter, now 8, told me I like clean lines mixed with a little funkiness. Who knew? She did because she saw it in those notebooks.
Over the past few years I created a notebook for Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage. The notebook is easily accessible and anyone may just go up to it take some time to think of the possibilities. In it are pages and pages of ideas for creating beautiful interior and exterior spaces with simple to ornate items that become a unique expression of who you are and what you value. That is because when designing with salvaged items everything is sustainable. We are not creating more; we are using the best of what was.
Look to discover who you are (or want to be). Keep a design idea notebook. Files become cumbersome and the pages fall out. Collect everything that draws your eye. I have the big grand kitchen and bath ideas in my notebooks but I will also circle a font, a color, or even a phrase. Write on the page or use sticky notes to remind yourself why you like something or what modifications you would make to a design. Refer back to your notebook for inspiration, motivation and hopefully the application. Soon you too may be seeing more than what meets the eye.