“For Crying Out Loud”, I remember my Mom saying when I was a kid!
What exactly does that mean and where did that saying come from? Per the internet (so it MUST be true, LOL), it says that it is an adverb ‘Used to express frustration, exasperation, or annoyance’. Well, that certainly describes my Mom when she said it to me, when I was a kid! (of course, I was an angel….NOT). Anyway, somewhere over the years, I morphed that term into ‘For Designing Out Loud’! It too, is an adverb, but instead, it is ‘Used by Patti Wilder Dallarosa to express designing-out-of-the-box when all conventional design is not solving the current design dilemma at hand.’
This usually comes after several attempts to fit 10lbs of ‘stuff’ in a 5lb bag! (I think that you have heard me say that before.) Sometimes it is best to step back from things to get a fresh perspective, which occasionally means turning the sketch paper around 90 or 180 degrees to literally look at the drawing from another angle. It could also mean that the conventional way to solve the problem is not ‘cutting it’, and it requires the ‘creative-hat-on-head approach’ in order to conjure up a truly out-of-the-box solution.
I used to love that Isuzu Rodeo (August 1992) Commercial on TV where the kid (girl) is coloring with crayons in a coloring book in class and the teacher is saying, “Stay within the lines.” She then starts coloring like crazy outside of the lines and it then shows her as an adult driving her new Isuzu Rodeo off-road. Being a ‘Jeep Girl’, I could totally relate to that! This has always been my approach to problem-solving in life. Try what you know should work, and if it doesn’t, then you ‘go outside the lines’ to solve the problem.
Funny enough, I have found myself using a colored array of PaperMate Flair felt tip pens as my preferred sketching and note-taking tool. It helps me to have multiple colors when looking at different layouts and options and keeps me in a creative mindset when using them. When looking through my current project files, I can locate sketches quickly, based on remembering what color ink was used for the sketch.
I like to have my clients be involved, as much or as little as they would like, during the design process. Some folks want me to figure it all out and just show up with what I think they asked for. But, most clients really want to be involved in the process and feel excited about being a part of the evolving layout and design decisions. Clients being invested in the process is the best way to have a completed project that really speaks to them.
In design meetings, I tend to use different color pens for each layer of sketch paper, which helps to visually separate the drawings on each sheet of paper. I think that this is also a mental trick that I use to help keep the design elements as separate pieces that can be rearranged in an endless number of configurations, mixing and matching the parts of each sketch that we like and want to include in the final layout.
A quick example of this is a project where I was trying to get a larger Master Closet in an already space-challenged layout. After rearranging the bathroom and closet numerous times, I ‘borrowed’ space out of the adjacent garage to gain an additional 30” for the closet. This added a whole new row for hanging clothes! VOILA! A decent sized Master Closet, which had a 30”cantilever into the garage above the front ends of the cars. We have done this as well for Kitchen remodels that need to have another 24”-30” to make the Kitchen layout great! Using a cantilever addition saves on foundation costs and really helps the budget for smaller projects.
Look at whatever method you choose for expressing yourself and see if you are ‘Staying Within The Lines’ or if you are comfortable with stepping out of the box occasionally. You might find that although it can be momentarily uncomfortable, you can really achieve something amazing, every now and then, by challenging those lines ‘FOR DESIGNING OUT LOUD’!
Contact me and let me know if you are ready to ‘Step Outside of the Lines’ on your project for amazing results!