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By Melinda McQueen – Melinda McQueen Design

Interior Design Tools: 5 Tips Why You Need The Humble Notebook

The Humble Notebook as an interior design tool would definitely be called old school, especially in this Hi Tech World we live in. It’s the humble notebook, but don’t underestimate the power of spending time cutting & pasting styles & pictures you like.

The Humble Notebook An Essential Interior Design Tool By Melinda McQueen | designlibrary.com.au

In fact it can be addicting, much like Pinterest, but the notebook is a hard copy you can go back and revisit later. I can remember our design lecturer stating that the notebook is a perfect extension of your brain & memory keeping resource. But over the years it’s something more, a record of how my design style has developed & evolved.

The Humble Notebook An Essential Interior Design Tool By Melinda McQueen - Line Drawings | designlibrary.com.au

In one of Richard Branson’s books he states that he keeps & stores all his notebooks with all his ideas & entrepreneurial thoughts. For me my notebook, is more of a release of ideas: a downloading process. But at the same time it’s creating, it’s a physical piece to look at. In my profession you’re always going to have too many ideas. Sometimes ideas don’t work out for a particular home due to site or design constraints, so this is where I keep them – my library vault of ideas.

Why keep a notebook / scrap-book?

:: 1. TO DEVELOP YOUR STYLE! NOT A TREND ::

By keeping all your ideas in one place. You realise your style over time if you don’t want your home to look like a 1 season department store. Finding your own design style is tricky, the humble notebook will help develop your style. Go to the local library to look at design books, what styles have lasted over the years, scan/print from books you are drawn to. Trends are great for a few pieces here and there each season, but shouldn’t be the basis of your ‘big buys’ like lounge, dining table etc. By having a clear design aesthetic you’re able to justify your investment in the right pieces that align with your style.

The Humble Notebook An Essential Interior Design Tool By Melinda McQueen - Develop your style | designlibrary.com.au

:: 2. PUSH YOUR BOUNDARIES ::

Cut and paste pictures of furniture, rooms & colours you love. But try to push the boundaries as well, are you an all white walled person? ( – yep this is me too, white works well with our sunny, casual Australian style, but in my renovation I’m going to push to paint a few walls.) Pop a few paint swatches in your notebook you might consider, even consider using paints in half strength. What have you got to lose? All can be easily erased & painted over.

:: 3. REUSING YOUR EXISTING FURNITURE ::

Now that you’re developing a clear story of your style, maybe you can re-purpose your existing furniture to fit your new style direction. Personally I don’t like to have all the furniture too ‘matchy’ like it all came from a latest department store catalogue. You might consider what colours can could paint existing furniture or maybe just update handles? What types of timber are you drawn to? Maybe re-staining items could work – going for dark timbers, a raw pine look or even white washing could work?

The Humble Notebook An Essential Interior Design Tool By Melinda McQueen - Design Therapy | designlibrary.com.au

:: 4. CHEAP DESIGN THERAPY::

It’s therapeutic, if you have a lot of ideas or are overwhelmed by the amount of choices when building or renovating. Your notebook is a great start & if you need further help with decisions a designer will be able to use it as their starting foundation. The designer will be ale to see your story. You might just need slight guidance with the overall scheme and ideas where to purchase your items.

:: 5. THE NOTEBOOK DEVELOPS AS A STORY – AND NOW NEEDS A CLEAR PLOT LINE : THE MOOD BOARD ::

As you develop your notebook, you should have plenty of idea’s and this brings you to the part of creating a clear plot line – which is the mood board.

A clear mood board states what needs to be purchased, re purposed & painted. This process goes from an overwhelming amount of ideas to a clear path in your design process – because it’s connecting all your ideas & pieces together to create a cohesive look. Highlighting if it gets too ‘matchy’ – does that make sense?

The mood board is your clear plot line to get the interior you love and that represents your style.

If you want more info to creating your own quick mood boards using free software program click the image below to download my free e-book.

The Humble Notebook An Essential Interior Design Tool By Melinda McQueen - Create a Mood Board | designlibrary.com.au

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