Have you ever gotten stuck on what to do with your space? Does staring at four white walls feel completely overwhelming and you just don’t know where to begin? Here is a little secret…designers feel that way too! One of the ways we work through the brainstorming process is utilizing what we call a Design Concept.
A design concept can be a phrase, a statement or even a series of images. Its the driving force behind your design or layout. It essentially becomes your mantra for the space. Whenever you reach a point where you just don’t know what to do anymore, you look back to your design concept for inspiration. It often starts as a single world, develops into a sentence and ultimately becomes a paragraph, depending on the complexity and size of the project.
A Pintrest board, magazine or another image search is a great place to start you concept. Its something that you likely have already been doing and it provides a point of reference for your end result. As a designer, I find that often times my inspirational image search has a unifying theme, as if I am subconsciously designing the space in my head and naturally gravitate to similar imagery. If this isn’t the case for you, don’t be discouraged. Once your image search has been completed, group all of your pictures together and think about what it is that you like about that space. After asking yourself these tough questions you will find that there are indeed similarities between the seemingly different spaces. Keep in mind that your image search doesnt have to be interior spaces. It can be shapes and forms that you find interesting or even fashion. The layering of colors and textures found in fashion imagery can be very powerful in creating a design concept.
Much like Beyonce or Madonna, design concepts are stronger as one word sensations. These singers are so successful that they don’t need a last name to be known as powerful industry players. Think of strong adjectives that start to describe the space such as “Open”, “Airy”, “Connected”, “Relaxed”, “Colorful”, “Organized”. Next, think about what you want to do in the space such as entertain, study, converse, create, recharge, sleep. Now you have both decided the action to be completed in the space (the function of the room), and how you want to feel (the aesthetic for the room). These are big steps, congratulations!
Now take these ideas and turn into a sentence. You want to create a space that “_____”. The answer to this is your overall concept statement. For example you could say “I want to create a space that feels connected to nature.” You can start adding layers to this by saying something like ” I want to create a bright and airy space that responds to nature so I can recharge from a long day.” This simple statement has created a series of design rules that suddenly gives your space direction. If the item you are looking at doesn’t make you feel relaxed, then it doesn’t work for the space. If its blocking natural light and keeping the room from feeling bright, then it has to go.
A focused design concept can be a powerful tool to utilize as you start a new project. It can inform your path if you don’t know how to get started and it can bring you back to your overall purpose if you stumble into a roadblock as your project progresses. It is a simple tool that professional designers frequently use. Try it and let us know how it goes! Until Next Time! -D