Hello friends. We are on our last day of the week here. It is Saturday and a holiday weekend as well. So, I'm going to try to make this as quick as possible so that I can get back to my family and it's gorgeous out so I want to go for a nice walk. But I wanted to make sure that we finished our design process. It has been a week full of information and we I wanted to make sure that we finish this off great and strong.
I'm Becky Bonnell, owner of Lykke Haven Design a purpose-driven interior design company in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. We have been taking the week to go through the big and scary design process. We started with the discovery stage where we're really getting into empathy exercises and defining what room and what we're doing to that room. Then, we moved into the explore phase which this is where we are today. We looked at design. How to get in your creative zone, be further inspired, getting that color palette together, and figuring out those zones that you need in your space. How can your space serve you? And we took all that information and we applied it and made a floor plan. From that floor plan, we got our shopping list. What furniture do we need? What lighting do we need? What art may we need? We are now in what I like to call the prototype phase and this is another thing that came from the engineering world.
A prototype is kind of like that minimal, viable product or that low-level product that just helps us test out what the real product could be. A lot of people love to dive into selections and get started when they're on their design, but I have found that if we take the time at the beginning, that's why we've gone through this whole design process, there's so much information, so much rich good data to take in that when you are able to do that, you have a design that is more intentional, that is richer, that is completely, uniquely created for the family. I find if you take the time to do this, you actually spend less money trying to test out things that you've already bought or trying to smoosh them into a room, then, if you would have just taken time at the beginning. You're creating that room that is very intentional for the family. This is why our design process takes long time. This is why we have so many steps. However, you come up with a much better design.
Today, as I said, we're going to dive into that prototype process. What does it look like from an interior design perspective and how do I get to ordering? How do I get from floor plan to ordering the furniture for a room? The prototype for interior design looks a little bit different. Some examples I've used in our own home or even clients is, if you have your floor plan and you're creating walls or you know the approximate size of the furniture, start taping it out on your floor. Tape out those furniture pieces, add boxes to them to create the height and start walking around. What would be your new living room or a new bedroom? Does it feel like there's flow to it? Does it work still? Because if you test this out beforehand, then, you know if your furniture selections need to change a bit. Maybe it's the size that needs to change. Maybe it's a piece that can't really fit because there's no room to walk. This is why we do this prototype phase. We're trying something out, creating the very minimal, viable product that we can from cardboard and tape to make sure that it's going to work in the end when we launch our design. I know when we were ordering our sectional for our living room, we weren't sure what size to get even when we are messing around on our floorplan. It's hard to sometimes see or feel what's on the graph paper. So, we actually took all the poles from our kids tent building toy that they have and we had connected all the poles together and made our sectional. Then we could move that sectional around the room easily to see where it actually fit the best for us.
Another thing is, we're in the middle of building lofts for our girls and we already have a bunk bed loft for a twin bed, but the girls’ lofts were going to be full-size beds and the ladder was going to be in a little different location. So, what we did is we took our twin loft and honestly, you just look around the house for things. We took the bin tops from some of our big plastic bins, and we extended the loft so that it was more like a full-size bed. We had the girls go underneath that and kind of curl around to where the ladder would be to see if it worked for them or if it was going to be too cramped. This is how we verified the design of this loft that I was having custom made.
There are so many different ideas that you can do to test out if there's something that you're like, I'm just not sure if what is on paper is going to work in real life. Test it out, prototype it with boxes, tape, bin tops, whatever you need to practice. If it's when it comes to organizing, maybe have bins that you normally use for toys or whatever. Put those in the area that you're looking at adding onto. See how big of bins you need and how many do you need? How much stuff fits in a bin? In that way, you're testing it out before you buy even more bins. This goes for samples. I and a lot of designers will get samples. That is a normal part of the process and that goes with this prototype phase. You're getting the fabric samples. You're getting the curtain fabric, the couch fabric, any pillow fabric. I've got in little panels of the furniture that I've selected whether it's a wood or a painted finish. Get the hardware even for your drawer poles or anything that's coming into your space. Maybe it's the metal of the light fixture. Making sure that the sample colors all come together and that they mesh well and don't clash together before you start ordering all the stuff. This is what the prototype phase is.
When it comes to selections, the normal phase for interior design, I wish I could give you a formula. I really do. I love formulas. This is more of a creative process. It's picking out furnishings and lighting and art. I always start with the bigger stuff. So, it's picking out the couch and possible fabrics. Checking it with the mood board and the intention statement. Does this fit those words and those pictures? Then I move on to another bigger piece. Let's say that the chair is for a living room. I'll pick those out. Okay, now, do these go with the intention statement and mood board? And does it also harmonize and go with the couch? And then you pick the third piece and you just keep going back. It's an iterative process. You're picking out the key elements. Checking it to the intention statement and mood board and then checking harmony together in all the pieces. And as you start to fill out that shopping cart if you will of all the furniture that is on your floor plan.
I like to pull it together in the same place so you can use PowerPoint for instance, and you just start pulling it together. I call it a selection board. Pull it together in the fabric that you're going to choose so that way you can see all the pieces together in one place. That way you can check the harmony. Do these still go together? Do these still fit the mood board and the intention statement for the room or not? Did I miss anything on my floor plan? Is this going to work for how we want to use this specific piece? You're really doing a check and balance of all the things that we've done so far in the design process and you're pulling together that shopping cart little by little, tweaking in pieces. Maybe you have your couch selected, your chair selected, and then you're picking out the rug for the living room and the rug, you found one you love and it works but it doesn't really go with the couch. Well, maybe just tweak the couch fabric a little bit and choose a different one. This is why I get a couple that will work. That way I can tweak it in depending on some of the other textiles in the design. And that's how I do it. I know it's not a fun and fast formula necessarily. It is just a creative and iterative process. But it's so beautiful when it comes together because you've taken so much time at the beginning of the design process.
When you take that time at the beginning, you have a more intentional, purpose-driven design for you and your family and there's less changes. It becomes something that is beautiful to you and something you love. You've took taken the time at the beginning of the design process. And when you're going through the selection process, don't forget, there's the mission piece of creating a Lykke Haven. What mission do you love? What mission does your family love? How are you going to pull it into your home? Maybe it's in the room you're working with. Maybe there's just a little piece of it in the room you're working with. Make sure to take time and figure out how am I going to pull in this mission into this home. That way it has this bigger purpose. This bigger meaning to it. It really just elevates your space to become that Lykke Haven.
As I said, I wish there was a formula, but really just start prototyping those area you need to prototype, test things out, and start going through your list on your floor plan of furniture. You have to select furniture, lighting, and art - you just start the iterative process. Choose a couple of things and check harmony, check that it matches the mood board and intention statement, pick a couple more, put all together onto one PowerPoint slide. That way you can check the whole design. This is what we call a selection board.
Now you're ready to present it to your family or yourself if you want to. The design presentation that we have after all of this before the implementation phase includes everything we've gone through. It includes the empathy exercise. It includes the home assessment report. What room are you going to select in the first place? It includes the second round of empathy exercises specifically for that room. It includes the intention statement, mood board, and the color palette. It includes the zone report if you like, what zones do we need in this space? What ones are the ones we want and what ones are the ones we need. It includes your floor plan which has your furniture list and your lighting list and any bigger art pieces that you need. Then from there, you have an assessment of how did the prototypes go. What did you learn if you want to include that? How did you tweak things? Just to show that things were discovered during that prototype phase. Then you have your selection board. As you see the combination of this, the selection board, putting the furniture in about the places that it will be on the floor plan, you can see the living room come to life before you start to order. And I actually do some 3D renderings so clients can walk through their space on the computer. And it really helps give the full picture of the design but you don't have to do that. A lot of designers have the 2D on the PowerPoint as their selection board or they call it the mood board. Everyone has a little bit different language, but in the end, the selection board is all the furniture that will be in your design. So, check to see if it comes together.
Then, you start ordering and you hope your stuff is in stock. Unfortunately, right now, we all are struggling with supply chain things, but I hope that you're able to order your things and that they come in a reasonable amount of time. You start bringing your room to life. I hope you are able to choose an example to take through this week. If you haven't, go back to these videos and take a room in your home through this. To see what it's like to go through the design process.
Your actions step out of this video is prototype what you need to prototype and start that selection process. The iterative process. Start pulling together that PowerPoint slide of all the selections and then you can start to order.
I hope that you have found this super helpful. I know there's been a lot of information this week but I hope that with the action steps, you are able to make movement towards creating your own Lykke Haven in your home and that you are able to get inspired or insights into what it's like to go through the design process; especially with some of the unique things that I love to pull in from being an engineer previously.
As always, I would love to hear how these action steps have been going for you. Please message me, ask me any questions you may have as you're going through it and then, please share these videos with other mamas you think would be interested. I just would love to see our community grow and how I can help you all. I am looking forward to taking the weekend and celebrating with my family and getting back to this nice warm weather but join me next week. Next week is going to be fun. It is kid-friendly rooms for your home. How do you live with kids? I would so love for you to be there. I know I have personally struggled with living with four little kids. How do you do that? How do you reduce the anxiety that sometimes that brings? We're going to go through how do you live with kids and we're going to go through different rooms in your house and give you those kid-friendly tips and tricks for each room. I hope you're able to join me. As I said, please share with your other mama friends and I will see you guys next week.
Have a fantastic Saturday.
Lykke Haven Design is a full service, purpose-driven interior design firm serving clients in West Michigan. We work with clients from Ada, to Grand Rapids, to Holland (and the occasional out of state). Our mission is to create Intentional Interiors curated with a Meaningful Mission that Cultivate Connection. We do this through a process driven by Human-Centered Design. We would love to discuss your next project and how we can help.
Please check out our services to learn more!