This post is a follow up to our Determining the Potential of your House from September 2013. In that post we advocated starting an image library to collect images to hone in, and eventually communicate, what you like and dislike in a home.
The image library is meant to allow you to hone in on your likes & dislikes, and to eventually communicate this to us so that we can design a home specific to you. And with the resources available to you these days, such as houzz.com or pinterest.com it is easier than ever to do this.
Below is a list of four things that I tell my clients to avoid while assembling their image libraries.
1. AVOID INCLUDING IMAGES FROM ONLY ONE RESOURCE
Coming into a meeting with me with images from only one house that you love, doesn’t give me too much information. It is much better if the image library is composed of images from many homes, and multiple images of each space. Even better is to include images that you take yourself. If there is a bathroom that you love on one of your vacations, snap a photo and include it in your image library. Your images don’t even all need to be of houses. It is really interesting when our clients come with images from fashion, photography, commercial architecture, landscapes, etc. along side of images of homes, spaces and even plumbing fixtures. Really, include anything that moves you. This gives us a matrix of likes and dislikes to discuss and really hones in on your specific tastes.
2. AVOID INCLUDING ONLY IMAGES THAT YOU LOVE
You will never find “your home” in an image or in a portfolio and trying to find that will mean that you are passing on a lot of images that can help us communicate your specific ideas. We think it is also valuable to include some images that you hate or images that get 75% their. When we go to start your project, knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing what to aim for. The goal here is communication - and anything to help with communicating and focusing in on your project is helpful.
3. AVOID CLIPPING IMAGES WITHOUT TAKING NOTES
This happens all of the time. A homeowner comes to our first meeting armed with their image library and cannot remember why they included an image. We suggest that you take a quick note to highlight what you like or dislike in each image. If you rip an image out of a magazine, either write something in the margin or circle something in the image - even a post-it note helps. On houzz.com or pinterest.com, take a note with each image. If you don’t want the general public to read your notes, make your image library board private so that only you can see them. Many times, these images are collected well in advance of our meeting, and it is understandable that it is hard to remember back when you clipped the image.
4. AVOID TRYING TO DESIGN YOUR HOUSE THROUGH IMAGES
We touched on this in our previous article Determining the Potential of your House. It is our job to design your house and limiting your image library to only those images that you think you specifically want included in your house is a mistake. Not collecting an image of a fantastic breakfast room space because you don’t think that it will work with your kitchen will limit your exploration and our communication. And, designing a house by cobbling together images of other projects will not lead to a successful project.
Also, you don’t need to be literal in choosing your images. Your image library shouldn’t just include this stair, and that handrail, but it should have images where you simply like how the light spills down the stair from an unknown source. This information helps start to give ideas and concepts of your space as opposed to just a shopping list if items.
OK, there’s our list of things to avoid when assembling your image library. Have fun with it.