Visualize Your Ideas, Part 2

It’s that time of year again, when we take inventory of unfinished projects and brainstorm additions/remodeling. Sometimes it helps to mock things up full scale, or see your ideas in multiple ways. We’ve written about this before here – to help you along here are a few more strategies that have worked for us:

Backsplash Mock Up

Draw on Your Walls:

You have our permission. Take a piece of chalk and a damp rag and draw your ideas full scale onto your walls. Erase them with the rag. *You may want to test this first so you can guarantee the chalk is coming off completely. Be sure to include any trim, knobs, switches, outlets, curtains, door swings, etc. This really helps to reveal any potential difficulties with your design, for example: in the above photo I have to decide how high to make the back-splash in relation to the window sill and the window division; should the tile end just short of the orange wall or go to the corner and how will the top trim piece terminate? And this is just one corner of the kitchen…

Bath remodel

We used the same “draw on your walls” technique for the wainscoting in the bath. It eliminated a multitude of design issues in advance. See the whole post at Craftsman Bathroom Remodel.


Mocking up the proposed kitchen cabinet. See the whole post at Remodeling a Small Kitchen.

Build it Full Scale With Cardboard and Tape:

This works especially well if your considering adding something like a kitchen island or built-in and you’re not sure about the dimensions. It doesn’t need to be fancy. You should plan to live with it for a few days so you can decide how it works for you. (Do people run into it? Does the dishwasher or oven door clear the cabinet? Is it out of scale? Could it multitask even more ie: hide the dog dish, store the broom, add a bookshelf, hang a towel, charge your devices, organize your papers, add recycling? I could go on…)

Tape the Floors:

Are you moving walls or dividing a room? Draw the outline of new walls and openings with tape. Painters tape will work best and if installed for just a few days it shouldn’t leave a residue.

Take a Photo:

Print out your photo and either draw directly onto it or use tracing paper for multiple versions. This is a handy tool for playing with porches/decks, re-painting exteriors, adding additions, or observing how it fits in with the neighbors, landscaping, etc.

Here’s a copy of a drawing we used to experiment with colors:

Do you have techniques that work for you? Share with the class, we love new ideas. Here’s to a happy and productive 2014!

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5 thoughts on “Visualize Your Ideas, Part 2

  1. Good suggestions, I especially like the cardboard mockup to live with the size for a while. The wall of chalk bricks look so good, I might be tempted to leave it like that, LOL. I dread buying a house that needs reno’s actually. On one hand it’d be great to make it how you really want it. On the other hand, with the economy going like gang-busters, it’s hard to know who you can trust to do the work. So many shysters out there ready to rip you off. I need some skills :D

    • We have lived with the chalk for longer than I want to admit! Starting to act on that project now, you heard it here! Which means I better actually do it…somehow it has morphed into painting the walls and the ceiling and repairing a long broken ceiling fixture. Funny how that works!

  2. Pingback: simple steps to take to Visualize Your Ideas, Part 2 | NostalgicByNature

  3. You know the chalk thing is awesome. I need to draw shelves on the wall that I have been trying to get the Mister to put up for about a year now. He is a carpenter, you wouldn’t think it would be that big of a deal. Where is my chalk?

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