Friday, 6 August 2010

How To: Digital Inspiration Boards

So, I don't know if I ever officially mentioned it on my blog or not, but I bought a condo a few months ago.   (!!! Still very excited!)  As soon as I saw it, I immediately had ideas of what it would look like once I got my decorative touch on it.  I had a pretty long closing (3 months), so I had a lot of time to think and browse for various decor ideas.  I put them all together in various inspiration boards for each room, which were a definite hit when I posted them on my facebook/flickr pages - so here's a tutorial on how to do it.  This does take a little bit of knowledge on using a photo manipulation program like Photoshop.

The first thing I did was create a folder on my computer called "Condo Decor Ideas" - and within the folder, I created subfolders for each room in the place.  I already knew that I wanted a black & white bathroom, a pink & black damask bedroom, and a turquoise/teal & neutral kitchen/living area (it's open concept) - so I began searching the web for different items that fit my vision.

While searching, I would save any items that I thought I would like into the subfolders.  If I came across any pages that didn't allow me to right click on the image, I would screencap it (ctrl + shift + 4 on a Mac) - I tried to capture the price on the image whenever possible, that way I could reference it later as well.  And when I saved the image, I would name it including the website where I found the image (ie "waterfall_curtain_urbanoutfitters.com")

Once I had all the items saved that I thought would make a room complete, I began to open them up in Photoshop.  I began with a blank canvas (about 1200x1200, and then scaled it down later).  I opened each individual item up, and deleted the background (either using the magic wand tool, or the eraser - very patiently - depending on what the background of the item was).

Once the backgrounds were deleted, I would drag the image over to the main canvas.  I'd add a text note of what the item was and what website I found it on.

I tried to scale items to what their approximate size would be in the room (IE, the bed is larger than the lamps/picture frames, etc), and I also tried to keep them in the relative location that they might be found in the room (ie, chandelier is on the "ceiling", bed is on the "floor")

When I was satisfied with the placement of everything on the design boards, I scaled them down to a size that wasn't too gigantic, but was still legible (the full size "Girlie Bedroom" board is actually 839x1032 pixels)... added a border and a name, and voila! All done!

I'm a very visual person, so even though I could picture this in my head, I found it a lot easier when shopping to remember exactly how these items worked together.  I even bought several of these exact items for my place, so I can't wait to see how it compares to my design boards once I get it all decorated!

I have a couple more design boards in my "Journey To Home Ownership" album on flickr, right here!
Feel free to post any questions in the comments, I'll try to answer them as best as I can.
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1 comment:

Jon alen said...

Agree. Marketing is ever changing and as entrepreneurs we should be aware of it. Not everything that worked in the past will work today. Consumer behavior change over time.
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