Design Process

I started working on this little room just for fun, and to play around with pastels a bit (practice practice!). As I was about halfway through I realized that some of you might think it's interesting to see how I come up with a mixture of items like this... though it was too late to grab screenshots of the process, I think I can write it out for you... Here's the room:

 

happyroom

 

I started with the mint sofa. It's totally cute, right? Then I started searching for an arm chair or pair of chairs, deciding that this room would be happy, feminine, and a little quirky... I thought if I could get a room as a birthday gift, what would I love? These floral chairs quickly won out - I think they were about my third option. I knew then that a black and white striped rug wouldn't compete with the seating and would modernize them a little. I tossed the sconces in about then too, since they tied into the rug.

Then I started looking for a coffee table... when I don't have a really great vision of what I want in the mix, I just start dumping different ideas in and then move 'em around until I like how one blends with the other pieces. That's why this is fun to do in Polyvore because I can sift through hundreds of options in just a few minutes. (I don't use Polyvore for client work, just for little experiments like this - for clients I lay things out in Photoshop). I did manage to get an instagram capture of the coffee table process (I think I added two or three more before finding this one and clearing them out. I liked that this looked relaxed  (to contrast with the formal shape of the seating and the rigidness of the stripes) and I like a little natural texture in every room.

 

I always like to have another element to a living room space like this, be it a console table or desk area, and I decided to go with a desk (at first). I tried a lot of different options and mixed in a few chairs, but everything felt too heavy. Finally I decided something glass or lucite could be interesting... but then the chair had to be really fantastic. I tried gray, I looked for pink, looked for klismos chairs... basically trying to find something that would contrast with the desk, bring a shot of color to that corner, but not be too matchy with the other seating. I tried a few upholstered french dining chairs but it looked SO one-dimensional with the other feminine seating that it was super boring. Then I thought, why not a bench tucked under like a console?

I found this bench and a little pale pink and white striped Dorothy Draper number and couldn't decide. So with both of them still on the board I started searching for lamps. I found this brass one and a bright pink ceramic one. I left both of those on the board while I started looking for artwork. I was mostly searching for an abstract with a color palette that worked with the floral chairs, but then I found this paint-by-number and just about died over the quirkiness. While I liked the contrast of the pink lamp against the painting, the brass lamp felt a little more sophisticated and toned down the cute vibe. With the color from the lamp gone, the turquoise bench was the obvious choice for a splash of color. Finally, the board was full of a lot of cool tones (mint, blue, more blue, black and white...) and the pink in the florals was getting lost, so I found a pink pillow for the sofa.

And voila!

Whew, if you made it through that rambling mess, I'm impressed! Now you know a bit what it's like inside my little designing head! Lots of trial and error and "what would be interesting or unexpected HERE" going on.

Is this similar to how you design a room? Would you have come up with something totally different? And isn't this the happiest little room ever? Or do you think I'm nuts? Wait, don't answer that...