Design Dilemma: How I Work Through Design Decisions

Making decisions turns my brain into mush. Especially when I'm forcing myself through decisions that I normally sleep many months over. But when you're working on a 6 week long challenge to overhaul a space, you have to force yourself to think fast. Because I do a lot of my shopping online, I can't physically hold up options of compare them side by side before committing to a big decision. Here's how I've been working through some big decision in the dining room remodel:

The big decisions I'm trying to make are wallpaper and statement artwork. I've narrowed the wallpaper down to two choices and the artwork I've narrowed down to 6 different pieces. So I saved each of the art pieces and a room shot of each wallpaper. I opened up two tabs of Picmonkey (just my editing tool of choice of the moment, you can use whatever you like) and opened each room up.





And then I use the overlay tool to place the images of art over the wallpaper. My vision for the space doesn't involve the art directly overtop the wallpaper but since they're in such close proximity, they need to play well together.

Artwork Option 1: Red Flowers Bouquet




Yes, but... ✓

Artwork Option 2: Pink Flamingo

designcombo4  Yes. ✓


Yes, but something's off.

Artwork Option 3: Springtime In Marseilles

designcombo6 "Meh." Too Floraldesigncombo5  Thumbs Up ish

Artwork Option 4: Rainforest

 designcombo7 Nope.


Too jungalicious (is that even possible?)

Artwork Option 5: Dancing Peonies


I like it.


Too busy on busy.

Artwork Option 6: Golden Palm Tree

designcombo11  I love it. ✓


I don't love it.

And once I get through playing with the photos and making notes. I'm usually at a point where I've either completely narrowed it down or I've got it narrowed down to one or two. And then I have to have to have a serious heart to heart with myself. Do both of these wallpapers match my specific aesthetic? Will it flow with the rest of my home or am I picking it because I like it by itself? When I peek through the doorways leading from my living room to my kitchen to my dining room, do they make sense? Once I've got my furniture in front of and around these pieces, will I still love it?

And honestly, while I do love the copper peonies wallpaper, I don't think I will love it in my home. I feel like choosing that will just be my way of trying to channel my inner Melissa Michaels, when that's not actually how I enjoy decorating my home. I feel like a lot of really great designers would use it and it look stunning with the way they decorate, but me? I don't have that particular style. I will say though, the descano flower green botanical is a lot like the Justina Blakeney wallpapers I've been gushing over admiring but can't afford. So it's a really cool compromise to come down to.

But then I decided I didn't LOVE any of the original art choices I narrowed it down to. But I did start to have a vision. So I jumped back into the art search game and here's what I came up with. It really has to look good to YOU. I find playing around with lots of options like this shows me what I like.

back to the drawing board

Top Right, Bottom Right

Ha, it's crazy what my brain goes through. But this is exactly what I do! And if you're in the middle of a design dilemma yourself, maybe trying these techniques out will help you get closer to your own decision and vision.

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How to work through wallpaper and artwork design challenges

1 comment

  1. LOVE THIS! I never thought about using picmonkey for this. I get the biggest anxiety about doing rooms since I don't like to change them afterward. Great post.


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