How to make house planning a breeze with this one tool...

There is an old saying, "If a marriage can withstand building a house together, it will last forever.“ If you've ever built a house, or undergone a major remodel, then you are undoubtably nodding your head in agreeance right now. The fact that these huge projects put a great deal of strain on a marriage is no secret, and it really shouldn't be all that surprising either. Not only is your communication constantly being tested by the numerous amounts of decisions that have to be made, you are likely also dealing with money, weather and my all time least favorite...time! I've noticed a common theme in house building over the years. There is always a rush to make decisions. Either your builder tells you that you need to pick out your lighting by the end of the week (if he's being generous), and points you in the direction of the one, maybe two stores that you can shop from.

The best piece of advice I could give someone who is going to build or remodel is to plan ahead. Dream. Get to know yourself...your likes and dislikes. Figure out what things are most important to you, your “must haves” if you will. If you can get your husband to do the same, you’ll be even better off.

Back when we rebuilt our old farmhouse, I didn't have the glorious internet tools that are available today. There was no Pinterest, no Houzz. So I went about creating my own (old school) version of Pinterest...behold the mighty 3 ring binder!

For three, very long years this thing was my lifeblood. It contained measurements, sketches, samples, and about a million tear sheets (magazine articles) all neatly organized in clear, plastic page protectors. My "boards" were tabbed dividers that organized my tear sheets by room, and a gallon sized ziplock bag held my hundreds of paint swatches.

Please join me for a moment of silence as we honor the loyal, Pre-Pinterest Planner and say goodbye.

And now, as we move forward, we embark on a new path. One of little red buttons with white letters, calling out to, "Pin Me". A path where we don't have to go broke buying stacks of magazines or strategically toss a few in the grocery cart so that your husband doesn't realize that you've purchased (yet another) house magazine. A place where we can go to dream, learn, and be inspired. And a place, where we can neatly organize all of the ideas we find and enjoy. This magical place, is Pinterest. 

When used with thought and purpose, Pinterest can be a very helpful tool in the house building/remodeling process. Are you a little overwhelmed and not sure where to begin? Not sure what your style is? No biggie! Just start by doing a general search on the Pinterest home page. To the right of the search bar (at the top of the screen), there is a tab with three horizontal lines and a little triangle pointing down. Click on that and choose Home Decor. From there, you can choose a specific style to peruse, or just start scrolling down the page.  There are no rules to how, or what you pin. Just remember:

*You don't have to like the entire room or picture to pin something...just make a note of what you do like about it in the comments.

And as a side note, please remember that the photos people share are actually created by a human beings. They are the product of someone's hard work, their home, their projects, and YES, they can see all of the comments people add to their descriptions. It is not necessary to point out the things in a room that you cannot stand. If it's that bad, I'm sure you wont need the text in the description to remind you that you are repulsed by it ;-) 

Think about creating boards for different rooms and/or areas of your dream house. One for finishes you like, flooring that makes you drool. And fixtures that you can't live without. Have fun with it, it's like having all of the best magazines right at your fingertips! 

Once you have compiled a good amount of boards with at least a handful of pins (the mo' pins, the mo' betta), you can go board by board analyzing your findings. You'll start to see some common themes, and eventually your very own style will emerge. Maybe all of the exterior photos that you've pinned are the same color, or they are all dark shades with white trim. Maybe nearly every single pin in your Kitchen board has butcher block countertops. Are you seeing rooms with the same color schemes pop up? Is there a flooring that is consistent among your pins. 

Identifying these things, and getting specific on what you like will make a huge difference when it's time to make choices. 

Don't be afraid to go crazy creating boards. The more specific you can be, the easier your life will be when you need to make a decision. Take myself for instance...I have almost 160 different boards and 6,500 pins! If you'd like to see my boards, you can click on the image below...and if you like my style, feel free to "follow" me (or anyone who has a style that you love). I try to keep it fresh and add new pins daily. And it just so happens that I'm on a roll lately since we are hoping to sell our house and build our forever home.

Having Pinterest in my life has made such a huge difference in how I plan. I am more organized, I can add to my boards any time of day or night, no page protectors necessary, it gives me a neat, clean way to visually communicate with my husband, and helps me have a clear vision of what it is that I like (which is always changing). 

Still struggling? Having a hard time putting yourself in one of the design style categories? I'm working on a little project that will help you discover your own style. If this sounds like a breath of fresh air (And trust me, it's going to be awesome!), be sure and sign up for the newsletter so that I can notify you when it's all ready.