Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MY FAVORITE DESIGN TOOL


If I was a real designer and had a bag of tricks, this one would be at the top of my list!  I'm such a visual person, yet indecisive at times, that when I have an idea I really like to see what it might look like for real in my space.

So, enter....photo editing!  With a photo of the space I'm working with, I turn to this tool over and over again.

Last week when working on an arrangement for the artwork for my dining room, I played around on the computer before I framed one print or hammered one nail.



Trying several different arrangements really gave me a feel of the look I wanted.  Clearly this would have been going overboard...


I liked this one o.k. but it didn't add any height-everything felt short and squaty.


I finally settled on this arrangement.


Then I used painter's tape to put the prints on the wall, just to make sure I liked how it was looking in real life.





And, the final product:


Here are a few other projects that started with a mock-up photo.  Yes, these are VERY rough mock-ups, but they confirmed my plans and motivated me to proceed.

I imagined what it would be like to have a big green box in the dining room...



and what the backs of the bookshelves in the living room might look like painted in a dark color...







and what the shelves in the office would look like if I painted the backs to match the walls and left the rest stained wood...



and what my daughter's wall might look like with stripes.



I don't have Photoshop which would give more detailed results, so I use my normal editing program, Picmonkey.  If you're not familiar with it, it's an online super easy program.  There aren't specific drawing tools, but I use the "Overlays" tab on the left side and then the "Geometrics" category and choose the shapes I want to get close enough results.  Most of the features are free but there are some that require a membership.  I get along just fine without it.  Really all you need is a program that will let you play around with shapes and colors.

What's your best design tool/trick when thinking about a new space?

Linking up with:

27 comments:

  1. Love you dining room! Seriously, you aren't far from Dallas and that is your warning that I will be bribing you to come and decorate our next home :)

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  2. Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much for letting us know about this "tool" you use for visualizing projects. I have used PicMonkey but never would have thought to use it like this...genius! I love all the projects that you (and your sister) have done since I got a chance to catch up on your blog.

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  3. thanks for the tip. i've used picmonkey, but never thought to use it for this. great idea. i'm visual too and need to see things to make decisions. hoping this will help.

    ps - love your style!

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  4. Thanks for sharing that! I literally went straight over there and tried it out with an arrangement I have been thinking about in my living room. Yay!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I just played with it a bit for the first time and that is SUCH a great tool! I have been trying to figure out how to add cute labels and banners to photos…..and the idea of using it to figure out a room layout or design is genius!! Thank you for sharing this Jennifer. I can't wait to play with it some more!

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  6. Such a great tip! I would have never thought of doing this. I am also an extremely visual person - this is a much better method than holes in walls. Will have to try this next time!

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  7. I've never used Picmonkey - need to get with it!!

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  8. I use Pic Monkey a lot but have never thought to try this method. You're brilliant!

    xo
    Pat

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  9. I love what you have done with your dining room Jennifer! Has it been in a magazine yet? Cause it should be!

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  10. This is a great idea, Jennifer! Though sometimes I just know, most of the time I'm like you and very visual. It really helps to "see" it. I've never used this trick but I'm going to now! Thanks!

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  11. I love this idea - why have I never thought of it? I am the crazy one that puts a million holes in the walls and then realizes that i am not really liking it! It keeps my spackling skills up to par though ;)

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  12. Oh yes, I love Picmonkey! I've used it to try out different front door colors, but never thought to use it this way. Great idea!

    Warmly, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

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  13. Oh, yes! I do the same thing using Photoshop. I'm, very obviously, a visual person. It makes it so much easier to make decisions. I just did it the other day about some desk options for my studio.

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  14. This is so awesome! I have the same dining room chairs- love them!

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  15. What a great idea ... and I am in looove with your green hutch!!!

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  16. Hi Jennifer! What a great idea! I love pic monkey and can't wait to try this. Saw your feature on Home Stories A-Z. ~Kristie

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  17. You are a genius!!! And I love that it's so easy to do that even somebody like me who is not at all tech saavy can do it! Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous idea.

    Visiting from SSS.

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  18. Okay, this might very well be the most useful blog post I have ever come across! I was wondering what program you were using as I scrolled down through the post. And then to find out it's picmonkey! What a great idea! I LOVE IT! I am going to use this idea so often from now on. I am a new follower and I hope you stop by and check out my blog too! www.mendezmanor.com

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  19. So, so helpful! What a smart gal you are. I'm definitely going to try this, and picmonkey is something I can do. Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful day!
    P.S. Your home is beautiful!

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  20. What a great idea. I'm going to give this a try. Sure beats the holes in the walls.

    - The Tablescaper

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  21. Great post. Glad I found you at Savvy Southern Style I am a new follower!

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  22. What a great idea! I've been struggling with how and where and what to put on my dining room walls after the board & batten goes up and I think I need to try this trick! I find board & batten and art challenging. Do you hang it above? Below? In-between? All of the above!

    :) Linda

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  23. That is so clever!! I'll definitely remember this trick!

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  24. Ohh...I love this idea. I use picmonkey all.the.time, but NEVER like this! You're a stinking genius! ;) Thank you lottsa!

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  25. Thanks you for this post. I will use this so many times. As a matter of fact I remembered this post and just searched for it and found it on your blog and used it to create a collage on my dining room wall. It turned out great! I will be posting it on my blog soon! Yay!

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  26. This is such a great idea! I'm an avid PicMonkey addict and I never thought you could use it to help with the layout of a gallery wall. I'm going to pin this so I can use it when I get some wall art done! Could you share this on my blog hop? Thanks!

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  27. Oops...I might need to give you the link ;)
    http://carriethishome.com/2013/03/frugal-crafty-home-blog-hop-15/

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