Yes there is a process to creating great spaces. It is the creative process. And I’m sorry to say it does take time and resources. And then there is the systems to implement the designs, also time consuming and expensive.

TV has given the consumer an unrealistic view of the process, systems and timeline of just about any remodel or new construction project. It seems over the last 6 months I have experienced a deluge of potential clients all wanting a home that Joanna Gaines would design. I love the style, don’t get me wrong, but we are in Florida and ship lap was just not used that often. I just want to say, “please make it stop.” Regardless, the client gets what the client wants.

All us regular folk designers do not have the luxury typically to go into a space and do what we love. That gosh darn budget is always in the way. Oh and can you get it done by Christmas.

The reality is that any good designer will create an amazing space close to the budget with the client parameters at the forefront. This is the Client’s home, not mine. The goal is always to create a great space they will use and appreciate for the next 20 years, or be able to sell on  a dime for more than what they have into it. There is still the creative process that goes along with it.

My goal with this blog is to create and educated client base, simply because when expectations are realistic the entire project goes more smoothly and problems or issues are addressed with grace and resolved creatively and timely.

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas. Thus, we can say creative thinking is the task of recognizing relationships between concepts.

In The Creative Process: For a More Creative Brain, Follow These 5 …

  1. “Gather new material. At first, you learn. During this stage you focus on 1) learning specific material directly related to your task and 2) learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind. During this stage, you examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. At some point, but only after you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.”

Here are the basic four stages, according to Kaufman:

“• Stage 1: Preparation. You might think creativity starts with an idea, but the truth is that ideas don’t arise in an intellectual vacuum. If you want your brain to come up with innovative notions, you need to feed it materials to work with. This essential but under-celebrated stage of the process is simply called preparation and involves trying to learn lots of things. At this point, rather than searching for magic leaps of understanding, your brain is using attention, reasoning, and planning to gather information. ”

In design this is when we are trying to gather as much as we can on our clients, their family, their lives, their styles, wants and needs. We’re creating a profile. We are looking for what inspires you, the client. and hoping it inspires us the designers.

“• Stage 2: Incubation. …Then there is this important stage where you let it go,” Kaufman explains, stressing that “it’s really important.” This stage is the one where you might actually want to climb into the bathtub or go for a walk and stop consciously thinking about the problem you’re trying to solve. Research shows that letting your mind wander in this way leads to greater creativity.”

This incubation period is real. So when you are hounding your designer for designs immediately, I revert back to this, your project is not a 30 minute show, it took months to some up  with the ideas and concepts. It took a team of designers and their assistants to coordinate and create all you see before you. Give your designer space, give your designer time, let them breath your design, let them think and stew. You will get the best space if you allow the process to happen like this.

“• Stage 3: Illumination. …This is the scientific name for that classic “eureka!” moment when “connections automatically, subconsciously collide and then reach the threshold of consciousness,” says Kaufman’s words. “You’re like ‘oh my God! That’s the idea!'”

For us at Mangrove Bay Design, this happens over and over as we move through the design process working with clients to get their input on their priorities. This happens for me when I am driving and thinking through my projects. Thank goodness for the cell phone technology where I”m able to take notes verbally into Evernote to go back to and implement our ideas.

• Stage 4: Verification. Laypeople may understand creativity as pretty much ending with the thrilling light-bulb moment of the illumination stage, but Kaufman insists that at that point “you’re not done.” For creativity to reach others and accomplish anything, you need to once again use those critical thinking skills to think about your audience and craft your message or idea. “Some of the greatest creative ideas of all time can easily be lost because they’re not packaged in the right way or consumable,” Kaufman warns.”

This is where we have to get organized and prepare presentations and construction documents to help our tradesmen and contractors execute our ideas concisely. Again this takes a ton of time, experience, technical skill, education, code awareness, and much more. And if you want it in 3-D rendered capability, even more so.

The Four Stages of Creativity by Stillman… Read More

I am a huge advocate of creating educated clients. I truly want to be given the time to create to the fullest potential of the space and understanding that we are not machines. Good design is a very personal thing that happens for each and every client. All of our Clients lives are so different and we try our best to accommodate their schedules, demands, hopes and dreams.

It is our goal as designers to bring what you think you like and elevate the design of your home adding value and experience.  This is not a 30 minute tv show and Joanna Gaines has a huge team and takes a ton of real honest to God time and energy to create what she does. If your expectations are based in reality, your experience with a a designer will be amazing.