As an Interior Designer, I am always looking for new ways to clearly present my design ideas and concepts to clients. How can I show them what their space will look like before we even begin? How can I make them see what I see?
Thanks to a new online tool, a smart phone app and some creative thinking, I was able to get an immediate YES and go ahead on two recent Interior Design projects….no questions asked! Take a backstage peak into a couple of my latest design projects and learn exactly how I used these new tools to “show” my clients their new spaces before we even began. The online tool that I’m excited to share is Olioboard and the App that I’ve been using to enhance my photos and presentations is Instagram.
Project #1: A client hired me to furnish her newly constructed basement. A corner fireplace and built-in bookcases were constructed (covering up a window mind you) without any thought given to the furniture layout. It’s a tight, small, challenging space and my client didn’t want to make any mistakes with her new furniture purchases. She saw the challenge ahead and brought me on board immediately.
The two main difficulties that I saw were how to configure the furniture grouping without impleading the flow of traffic and the scale of the furniture absolutely had to be just right, well thought out and planned before a single purchase. Here is the current space as it looked the first day I saw it:
They are a family of four and wanted a seating layout that would accommodate and give everyone a place to sit. I had to keep the foot traffic flowing around the grouping and not a direct path through the seating area. After much thought and several layouts, this is what I came up with as the best result:
Once I determined the furniture plan, I wanted to “show” my clients exactly what their new basement would look like with my newly proposed layout and furnishing selections. A Designer friend of mine, Stacy Naquin, was telling me about a wonderful “moodboard” creating tool that she was using called Olioboard!! She had shown me some of the amazing projects she had put together using it, and I was blown away. Check out some of her moodboards here.
I decided to put together a “moodboard” using Olioboard to show my clients exactly what I had in mind for their space. I used a photo that I took of their actual room as the background in my moodboard and just started layering my furniture selections on top. It’s so easy, if I can do it (and have the patience to do it), anyone can. Here is the beginnings of my Olioboard moodboard:
Because we are ordering custom furnishings, I couldn’t find the actual furniture pieces with the exact fabrics that I specified, the moodboard was looking a little distracting and busy…..not very appealing! Designer Tip: A technique that I often use when showing clients a piece of furniture that is NOT in the specified fabric or finish is to make it a black and white spec sheet or photo. When you take color out of the equation, this helps people to see the furniture piece for what it is and not the fabric that it’s upholstered in on the spec sheet. So wa-la, here is the same moodboard saved as a jpeg and transformed into a black and white image:
Now isn’t that a little easier to “see”? You’re not distracted by the big yellow lamps or the plaid ottoman….all you see is the layout for what it is meant to be! And then I thought it would be fun to take it one step further and manipulate and share the black and white photo in Instagram. This has been my new found fun find!! Instagram is a fun app that allows you to quickly and easily share photos with friends and family, but the fun part is that you can choose one of many filters to transform it’s look and feel.
My clients were thrilled with the presentation and knew immediately that the furniture layout and selections were perfect for them and their new space! Once all of the pieces are in place, you better be sure I’ll be sharing after photos for comparison….I’m thinking it will be tough to tell the difference between the moodboard and the actual room. What do you think? I was also able to take the moodboard concept one step further and add my own color to it:
Project #2: This client wanted their Guest Room completed ASAP in preparation for some upcoming guests that would be arriving very soon. Needless to say, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to mess around with other more time consuming presentation processes. I put together the moodboard using Olioboard in a matter of minutes. Due to both of our schedules, we didn’t have time for a formal presentation so all was done over email. I sent over this photo and furniture plan with my usual pricing package for approval and within 10 minutes, the client responded with an “I LOVE IT….ORDER EVERYTHING!”
Do you prefer the moodboard in color or black and white? Maybe you like both for different reasons. Whatever the case, if you’re an Interior Designer, Decorator or homeowner these two tools can be extremely beneficial in many ways. I am always looking for new and clearer ways to communicate with my clients and these two tools are at the top of my arsenal. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer. And if you don’t already have an Olioboard account, you should head on over and give it a try. You can also check out my Olioboard profile here. Let me know what you think….I would love to hear your feedback!!
If you’re a home or business owner that is looking for some assistance and help with any of your home or office Interior Design needs, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (678) 316-0113 or feel free to email me anytime here and we can set up a time to chat….look forward to hearing from you soon!