How We Figure Out Your Design Style



If you've been here since this past summer, you may have read our post about design vision, the second phase of the design process. We mentioned a few things involved in our questionnaire, but today we're going into a bit more detail about the most illuminating questions, and how we think through visual inspiration for every design project.



Asking Lifestyle Questions


Design projects are a long term relationship - we have to get to know each other pretty quickly to see if we can be partners on this big part of your future for at least the next 12 months. This questionnaire becomes something we can refer back to months down the line when we want to incorporate something very distinct for you and your family. Some of the most revealing questions on our questionnaire are:


  1. What do you like to do in your free time?

  2. How often do you entertain?

  3. What is your favorite drink and place to vacation?

  4. What color do you not want to see in your house?

  5. What is your expectation of me as your designer?


The first question tells us if they choose to be in their home when they can spend time elsewhere, or opens up a discussion about what could be incorporated into their home that would promote spending more time there. The second question can determine a lot of spatial decisions and the amount of furniture this family needs to promote small, intimate time with family or large gatherings with tons of friends every weekend (post-pandemic). The third question is a great way to get to know them, and maybe find out if we're fellow Tito's and travel lovers. The fourth question is actually a great litmus test to read once we've gone through a client's Pinterest board to see if the answer holds up - sometimes it's very clearly true, and other times it's a variation of color tone that changes the answer. The last question is a great conversation starter to make sure responsibilities that fall under other specialists are communicated clearly, and both of us are truly clear on what we will be doing throughout the design process!





Cleaning Up That Dusty Pinterest Board


Because Pinterest has been around for over a decade, most of us have boards that we started back in our first apartments, with ideas for art and our dream spaces pinned on multiple boards. But just like our closets, our boards need to be cleaned out at least maybe once a decade, right?


When we're in the middle of the design vision process, we always insist on clients pinning fresh images that reflect their current style, leaving comments on the pins that specify exactly what they like within that photo, and creating room by room refined versions of their Pinterest boards.



looking for patterns


Once these new boards are established, we pull an image off each board that evoke the same feeling and a similar look. We ask ourselves what is repeating itself a lot - is there a dark and moody vibe, or do most images stay away from contrast? Is a specific texture repeated in different elements throughout the photos? These mood boards become the built in checks and balances system for us to make sure we are on the right track all the way through a project timeline.


Have a look at your Pinterest boards and see if you're consistent in style, or if you need a bit of an overhaul! Send us a screenshot on Instagram! I'd love to see what you're pinning and what styles you're all loving! And you can always follow along with us on Pinterest here!



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Hi, I'm Madi!

When I'm not designing beautiful homes, I am at home in Ventura with my husband and three dogs. You will find me biking along the ocean, kayaking in the harbor, or looking for the best local tacos. 

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Madison Nicole Design is a full service interior design studio located in Santa Barbara, California. Madison and team take on projects of all sizes, from furniture styling to large scale remodels, locally and abroad via e-design services.

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