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July 16, 2015

The "Idea Book"


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The longtime magazine scrapbook has been replaced by digital image cataloging. The growing popularity of websites, such as Houzz, have identified a new, highly informative, communication tool to convey aesthetic preference. Our clients, and potential clients, now have the ability to find and share images almost instantaneously with their design team.

As architects we certainly have thoughts regarding the proper aesthetic for a project, but having a client’s “idea book” as a basis for client preferences is a hugely useful tool. The images can help inform day-to-day design decisions made by the design team. At Whitten Architects we have developed our own “idea books” of precedent imagery to efficiently communicate the look and feel of space without over drawing.

A few of our favorites:

Pinterest – This defines the very concept of “idea book” of online imagery. Pinterest allows the user to create boards in order to catalog and comment on digital images from any website. What makes this tool so powerful is the ability to follow fellow pinners. Upon login a live feed indicates new pins by those you follow and other images Pinterest thinks you will find interesting. They are surprisingly effective at this.

A few pinners to follow or websites to visit for your own inspiration catalog: My Scandinavian Home, My Domaine, Home Adore, The Design Files, Modern Thrifter, DeZeen, ArchiDaily. You can also follow Russ Tyson and Jessie Carroll, members of the WA team on Pinterest.

*Do note once a board is created you cannot make it private. You have to instead make a private board and re-pin and delete imagery from the public board. Not great!

Houzz – Is a super powerful source for residential project imagery spanning project scales and styles. There is a project for everyone on this site and it can take some patience to find the great ones. Whitten Architects does have imagery on this site and its high volume traffic has been a significant asset to our office. Houzz has its own “idea book” for gathering images specific to their own website. (Check us out while you are there! Houzz- Whitten Architects.)

Remodelista – I simply cannot say enough good things about this website. I consider the site my own designer secret for image and product sourcing. Their imagery is carefully curated and speaks to a simple, Scandinavian aesthetic that I wholeheartedly admire. They also post exclusive articles including High/Low design where they identify the low cost alternative to trending pieces. Their Steal This Look section includes inspiring spaces and identifies products used. So useful, when they showcase really wonderful spaces. Upon registration you can sign up for daily emails which are well worth pursuing. Their sister website Gardenista is equally as inspiring.


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