There are numerous options when it comes to the starting point of renovating or designing your new home. You’ve probably already started by disappearing down a black hole on Pinterest ending up being overwhelmed by the endless options. Pinterest is great, it gets the creative ideas flowing. However, it can be a distraction that keeps you stuck from moving forward.
The first question you need to ask.
The first question you need to ask yourself and define is - “What is it exactly that I need and want?”. This is what is called ‘the brief’. The brief gives you a clear understanding of what it is you want to do. At first, this might sound simple, but often requires a lot of brainstorming and pondering to refine your thoughts.
You might simply start off by listing the practical big-ticket items that you need. But we can’t stop here, we need to dig beneath the surface. We need to get to the essence of the reasons ‘why’ you want or need these particular things. We don’t spend enough time asking ourselves the question ‘why'?’.
I’d encourage you to grab a cup of coffee (or preferred beverage) a pack of Tim Tams (because one is never enough) grab a note pad, a pen and get ready to brainstorm every thought that comes into your head regarding your project. The goal is to see all your thoughts laid out on a page in order for you to refine and distil your greatest hopes and desires for your project.
For example, you might start off by simply listing your needs. An additional bedroom for the kids, a larger living space, and a new deck to the back yard. But when you start to ask ‘why?’ To each of these needs, your underlying priorities start to surface. The thought process might look like this.
‘We need a new deck’
‘Why do we need a new deck?’
‘We have a large extended family and love having everyone over for large Sunday lunches outside in that back yard’
In this exercise we can see that what you really want is a great space outside to host your family for large gatherings and a strong connection to the back yard is important.
This exercise gives clarity to what you really want, whilst keeping your options open to how that might come about. You don’t want to limit your creativity or ideas to just a deck when there is a multitude of other possibilities that can be explored.
Give yourself the time to come to some rock solid conclusions on what it is that you really need/want. This will form the foundation for your decisions moving forward. It will give you and the people you work with the clarity required to complete the tasks well.