The very first appointment for a potential design project can be the biggest and most thrilling step of the entire process — for both our designers and clients! There’s excitement in examining the very beginnings of a project, there’s nervousness as both the space and budgets are examined, and there are a lot of questions as the designer tries to nail down the client’s vision.
Wait, vision? Isn’t that what your designer is for? What if you don’t know what you want for your space?
We’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of resources below of both popular design and social media sites that can actually assist with the design process. While your designer is there to help with logistics, technical concerns, project management, and, yes, material and color selection, they also need to learn your own style and preferences. After all, a “white kitchen” means two very different things when you’re talking about transitional vs. contemporary design styles!
At Bella Domicile, more than anything, we want your design process to be a smooth and welcoming experience. We want you and your designer to speak the same language. One of the most helpful things a client can do is compile a gallery of images that speak to them for their new space. It doesn’t mean we’re going to make your kitchen a carbon copy of the one you saw in Magnolia Journal, but it does help to give us a direction.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for design inspiration, here are some of our favorite resources:
This is the first place we send clients. Not only can you see Bella Domicile’s own Houzz page of completed projects, but the entire site is dedicated to professionals in the design world. Every high-quality photo represents a real project. Their search feature is also fantastic: you can search as broadly as “kitchen remodel” or as narrow as “kitchens with quartz countertops”. You can search for spaces with a certain color scheme or a specific type of tile. This feature is incredibly helpful in narrowing down everything from design style to materials to space plans.
Houzz also has the ability to save favorite images to “ideabooks”. You can create different ideabooks for different projects or design styles – however it works best for you to organize your own project. You can share these ideabooks with your designer, too, which is especially helpful even before your first appointment!
Pinterest is a site that compiles images from across the Internet into a single site. Searching for a “gray bathroom” will return hundreds of photos from across the web, and clicking on the image will take you to its original source. Their search function is also wonderful and gives you suggestions for narrowing the scope of your search across the top of the page.
One of Pinterest’s most helpful features is the ability to create “boards”. Similar to the ideabooks on Houzz, you can “pin” images that relate to your project all in one spot to refer back to later, and even share your board with your designer. (Psst…we also have our own page!)
It’s worth noting that unlike Houzz, Pinterest returns images from all across the web, which means you can find everything from high-quality architectural images all the way to the blurry photo someone shared of their home remodel to their blog.
As a photo-based platform, Instagram excels at giving visual stimulation. While their search feature isn’t as sophisticated as the ones on either Houzz or Pinterest, it’s still an excellent resource. The best way to utilize this as a resource is to follow accounts of designers with a similar aesthetic to yours or brands you might be interested in, such as Dura Supreme, Cambria, or Kohler. (Also our page is right here!)
Don’t let the name fool you: this site is full of beautiful homes, both owned and rented. We recommend starting at the House Tours tab to gather inspiration.
This is another site that offers full home tours as well as room-specific galleries of kitchens and baths. They also get into the nitty-gritty of design resources for everything from kitchen countertops to small bathrooms.
We hope you’re feeling inspired! If you find some ideas and want to see how they would play out in your own home, contact Bella Domicile to meet with one of our talented designers today! Call (608) 271-8241 or fill out an appointment request form here.