BY far the most inspiring thing I did when designing and renovating my last home was to create a substantial, all-encompassing vision board.
A vision board, also known as a mood board, is simply a collection of images, samples and even text presented collage-style, and constructing one can create an inspiring reference for your home design.
For our last, major renovation, I create a life-sized vision board spanning the entire width of our living room wall! (See a section in my dodgy photo above!).
Image upon image of everything detail from windows and door furniture to farmhouse sinks, bed linen and paint colours was on display for everyone to see.
Gardens, exteriors and architectural features were all on show, so there was absolutely no doubt about what I wanted to achieve for our renovation.
Creating a vision board is fun, easy and brings to life your grand design!
So why is a vision board crucial to renovating success? Let me explain:
1. A vision board enables you to construct a cohesive room style, conveying to everyone involved in the project the ‘look’ you are trying to achieve.
Each section of your home can be assigned to a particular section of your collage, which I did, or you can create new vision boards for each individual room.
Your vision board for your bedroom for example, should feature images of bedroom furnishings and linens, floor coverings, window and window coverings, paint colours, lighting - every last detail, right down to occasional chairs and cushions if you plan to use them.
That way, everyone is on the same page, especially if you have someone helping you shop for products.
For the kitchen, compile images of bench-tops and tiles, ovens, stoves, fridges and other electrical appliances. What sort of kitchen flooring do you like? What about window coverings? A farm-house sink?
The more specific your vision board can be the better.
Do you like two-drawer dishwashers or one? Should your fridge be a French door? What do you and your family require? What sort of cook-top do you prefer - gas, electric?
Your board doesn’t need to contain details like brand names, its purpose is simply to create a vision, to clarify what you are stylistically drawn to and identify what you would like to feature in your design.
Vision boards can be created for every room in your home, even the tiniest one. Our powder room was one of my favourites in terms of style, it was simple yet elegant and featured gorgeous black and white tiles (more about that in a later post!).
Don't forget to include the garden, and of course paint colours and fixtures for the exterior of your home.
I was delighted with my own gigantic mood board - it was an impressive sight if I say so myself - and I had a lot of fun putting it together.
2. A vision board clarifies visually what style you are attracted to and helps you to identify what your decorating style is.
Standing back and appreciating my painstakingly prepared collage, it was very apparent that I had an overwhelming love of black and white, neutrals and timber, which became the basis on which I designed our home.
It was clear and apparent to everyone who looked at my mood board that I was attracted to a simple, classic and casual decorating style.
3. Creating a vision board can be the most significant contribution you can make to your project.
Unfortunately perhaps, I'm not the most 'hands-on' renovator!
I mean, I work hard and try to play a role physically, cleaning up, painting if necessary, gardening, but I'm such a perfectionist that I am slow and quite often ineffective!
I might as well get out of the way and let someone else do most of the physical stuff.
My forte is research, styling and shopping!
Creating a vision board was easily the most significant way I was able to contribute to our most recent renovation.
It allowed me to demonstrate clearly to everyone involved the image I hoped to achieve, and it clarified their specific role in helping to achieve it.
Ultimately, it resulted in achieving a cohesive Hamptons’ inspired style for our home.
AND I LOVED IT.
Our home literally came to life, just as I had imagined, right down to the last detail.
4. A carefully constructed vision board can indirectly help sell your property, if that’s what you eventually hope to do.
I credit my vision board with having a very positive influence on the eventual sale of our property. By creating a distinct, cohesive style - our home was very attractive to lovers of the same style of home.
Once deciding to sell, we were able to achieve a successful result within a relatively short time frame.
Now, I would not even consider undertaking renovation project without a vision board.
5. Mood boards can play a pivotal role in bringing to life your dreams for your renovation, especially if you are having trouble articulating what you hope to achieve.
Aside from improving functionality, we primarily renovate because we want our properties to look a certain way, consistent with our tastes and desires, and as they say:
“A picture paints a thousand words’.
A vision board allows you to effectively convey something you may have difficulty verbalising, especially to a tradesman or supplier.
Often something you are trying to convey style wise can be "lost in translation".
Every time I needed to clarify or explain something to one of our contractors, I would check the giant vision board, and I could point out almost exactly what it was I was hoping to achieve.
For example, no one seemed to know what I meant when I said I wanted 'Shaker Style' kitchen cabinets - a quick trip to the vision board had it all sorted.
6. Vision boards allow you to cost your project more accurately.
Creating a vision board and then sourcing the products that form part of that vision will enable you to cost your project more accurately.
It allows you to compare similar products that fit your design for a particular room, and then calculate the total cost, making sure that the cost of the individual fixtures when combined doesn't exceed your budget.
It may mean replacing one product with another less expensive version to achieve the desired look, enabling you importantly to stay financially accountable.
7. Using Pinterest, especially as a mobile mood board, can dramatically affect how smoothly your project runs.
For me, discovering Pinterest not long after we commenced our most recent renovation, literally changed my life!
I could now shrink, refine and ultimately transport my vision-wall wherever I went, showing it to suppliers and taking it shopping with me everywhere, which enabled me to stay on theme and not be tempted to make unnecessary purchases!
Pinterest of course doesn’t give you a tactile appreciation of your design, however its ability to assist you in designing your home is nonetheless invaluable.
I have no doubt that using Pinterest was pivotal in achieving the desired outcome for our project.
There are many more digital methods available for creating vision boards, which is very exciting for renovators.
Tearing images from magazines and combining them with fabric, tile and bench-top samples, paint swatches and so on is also a lot of fun too!
It was very satisfying and incredibly rewarding for me to be able to achieve the ‘look’ I desired for our home, in keeping with the “Hamptons/British Colonial” style I adore.
A friend who came to inspect our completed project said, in a somewhat surprised tone, that our house looked very much like the collage ‘wall of inspiration’ I had assembled on the living room wall many months before.
What a compliment! (At least I got that plan right!).
Largely due to the vision board I had constructed, the ugly, neglected house we purchased was transformed into a charming white beach home, with black accents, timber flooring and neutral furnishings - simple, homely, elegant.
It was my dream home come true.
And trust me, using a vision board effectively will help you achieve the desired result for your renovation too!
Renovating with love,