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4 Key Elements for an Awesome Digital Design Board

I wish we all had free access to the awesome software that Joanna Gaines uses in Fixer Upper. It would be amazing to see 3D images of a space before making any changes or buying furniture. But, that's just not an option for design enthusiasts like me. I'll bet it isn't for you either!

I have loved design forever. I didn't want to choose it as a career but I've taken my fair share of classes. Many years ago, I moved into a hip, newly renovated condo in Atlanta on the famed Peachtree Street. I needed help with the design so I enrolled in several classes at the old Art Institite of Atlanta. It was a blast!

Before there was widely used interior design computer software, we made marquettes. So, basicllay, you would do a design inspiration board and a design schematic. Then, you would build a 3D model of your room in foam board (by hand). Lastly, you would put the actual elevations on each surface. While fun, it was time consuming and tedious!

I don't have the eyesight or the patience to make models of each room in our vacation rental but what I can do is an electronic design board. If you're with me in wanting an inspired way to lay out your room designs, I've taken a play out of the designer's notebook to come up with a super easy approach to making your own digital design board!

Step #1 - Who are you decorating for?

This post is really directed to the reader designing for him or herself. But, hey! We don't always lead the most glamourous and adventurous lives 😂 Sometimes we need to channel our alter ego or our aspirational selves....And in my case, I'm decorating for a vacation rental so I'm only halfway decorating for myself. I'm also decorating for my guests. So who are these people?

I think that they are active, fun, ski loving families with a love of the outdoors (nature, plants, animals) and an appreciation for luxurious rustic decor with all the comforts of home. Who are you decorating for?

Step #2 - What inspires you?

Look around for inspiration! I love the rustic theme but I realized that it can mean so many different I've tried to channel a variety of inspiration sources to add depth to my design. For my sample board below, I chose Rustic Industrial - think gears, rust, old gristmills... and Voila! Instant inspiration.

Step #3 - Get organized

I think 2 or 3 panels work best depending on how specific you want to get. The first panel is all about who you are designing for and what inspires you. The second panel shows your selections for color, art, furniture, lighting, accessories, etc. The final panel (not shown here) would be an itemized list of things you need to complete the room. I like to divide my list up into 3 categories: already purchased, to build/make, to buy. This part of the process includes scouring the internet for photos that represent what you're looking for!

Step #4 - Put it all together

I used PowerPoint to lay out a basic design board. PowerPoint allows you to easily copy and paste your images and provides you with maximum flexibility. My finished boards are below! Time to start shopping!

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