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How To Feel Confident About Your Interior Design Style: Creating A Vision Session

You’re ready to build your forever home (yay!!) and can’t wait to live in a space you have always dreamed of. This is exciting, but it also means it’s decision-making time; you’re going to have to commit to some major decisions and provide direction to your Design Team.

Enter panic and self-doubt, and the question anyone can relate to:

‘Will I get sick of this?’

We are oversaturated with beautiful imagery everyday that it can be so easy to fall in love with trends, until the next new trend comes out that has us changing lanes.

I too am totally guilty of Interior Design Infatuation!

The result of this can have you feeling a bit uncertain about what it is you actually like and really want in your space. You’ve waited a long time for this to happen – the last thing you want to feel is uncertain and hesitant about something so permanent.

Enter our tried, tested and true Vision Session process that will help you hone in on what it is you actually love, leaving you feeling confident and ready to commit to design decisions.

Enter our Vision Session – a tried, tested and true process that will help you gain clarity on what it is you actually love aesthetically, how you want to feel in your space, and what story and experience you want your surroundings to tell. Being able to have clarity on the aesthetics, the feeling and experience of your space will leave you feeling confident and ready to commit to design direction for your Dream Home. Because let’s face it - trends come and go; timeless design is whatever speaks to you and pulls on your heartstrings no matter how ‘in’ or ‘on trend’ it is in the world.

Fun fact: we implement this process with all our clients as it helps us establish the overall design aesthetic and narrative at the start of the project, making it ultra personal and accurate to what sparks you joy.

This process should be FUN and is all about self-discovery.

I’ve broken it down into five steps:

Step #1: Shop Your Home

Step #2: Collect Images That Spark Joy

Step #3: Create A Vision Session

Step #4: Reflect, Edit + Summarize

Step #5: Establish Design Direction


Step #1: Shop Your Home

Infusing your personality and your story in your space is given at APD.

What better way to do that than to look first at your own personal belongings, from artefacts to your closet and everything in between.

By artefacts we mean anything and everything you already surround yourself with that spark joy. For example, a sculpture that might be sitting on a bookshelf, a favourite painting, a family heirloom that recalls special people or memories.

Then start to look in your closet at some of your favourite clothing items. Your clothes are usually a great reflection of your style and colours that you like. Chances are if you can wear it, you can live in it. Choose some capsule pieces you wear over and over or those more unique fits you pull out on special occasions.

Step back at all of the items you love the most and consider if there are any similarities among them:

Do they share similar colours, shapes, texture, or other qualities?

How do they make you feel?

What drew you to these objects in the first place?

Do they recall certain experiences, or a memory of a place of person that you think of fondly?

For example - we love this organic plinth we have in our home (Image 1).

Every time I look at it I feel happy, so I extract its qualities like: High Contrast, organic veining, simple form.

Really take the time to reflect on what those objects make you FEEL and any physical characteristics they may share (and don't forget to write it all down!)


Step #2: Collect Images That Spark Joy

Whether its saving posts or taking screenshots on Instagram, creating a personal Pinterest board or tearing out sheets in magazines, start collecting any and all images that spark joy.

These can be any type of image – interior spaces, landscapes, ethereal, furniture, literally anything at all.

Save an image if you like everything about it or even a small part of it – just any and all imagery that makes you feel inspired.

I strongly recommend doing this step over an extended period of time, instead of all at once. By doing it over time, your image collection will likely be a truer reflection of things that really speak to you.

Time also allows you to ‘park’ things and sit on them for a while. This is very helpful because when they are recalled later (Step #3) your gut reaction towards them will be really telling about what it is you really feel.

There is no limit to the number of images, but I’d say no more than 30 to not overwhelm this self-guided process.


Step #3: Create a Vision Session

A Vision Session is a focused brainstorm meeting that helps define your aesthetic goals and desired experience – specifically through the interior design of a space in this instance. It’s an easy, fun, and effective method to discover and pinpoint what it is that really speaks to you and gain clarity.

How to set up your Vision Session:

1. Print all the images you saved in colour and tape them up on a wall. There is no specific order for the images – you can group them by room type or just randomly together. Tape them all up and make sure they are visible on one wall.

Printed images taped onto a wall
APD Vision Session - Step 3.1 - Printed Images taped to wall

APD Vision Session - Step 3.2 - Assign Sticky Dots or Post-Its for Yes/No, 5 per person

2. Establish a Yes/No system with sticky-dots or post-it notes

Each stakeholder should have one dot/post-it colour for ‘yes’ and a different dot/post-it colour for ‘no’.

If you’re the only stakeholder:

you will only need one colour set.

Give yourself a limit of 5 in total

If there are multiple stakeholders:

Grab one different colour of sticky dots/post-its per person for ‘yes’, and one colour for ‘no’. For example: 5 green ‘yes’ dots for Adriana, 5 blue ‘yes’ dots for Kevin. Both Adriana + Kevin get 5 red ‘no’ dots each. You can mark initials on the red dots for discussion.

3. Set a timer for a maximum of 10 minutes

4. Place your dots: Make your yes/no selections

Place your ‘yes’ dots on the images you like the most, and your ‘no’ on the images you like the least

a. If more than one stakeholder, do not talk to each other during this process, just channel your own intuition and trust your gut. You don’t want to be influenced by someone else’s decisions

b. Do not go past 10 minutes for this process – the goal is to act on gut reaction and not overthink it

c. You CAN put a like/dislike dot on the same image as others

d. You do NOT need to use all of your dots if you don’t want to. Remember it’s been some time since you collected these images, or the first time you’ve seen some of them. You’re allowed to change your mind and that’s the point of this exercise.

Printed colour imagery on wall with coloured dots on selections
APD Vision Session - Step 3.4 - Place dots on images for yes/no selections

5. Collect all of the images that have dots/post-it notes on them and group them together for the next Step

Grouped images on wall with coloured dots
APD Vision Session - Step 3.5 - Group all dotted images together


Step #4: Reflect, Edit + Summarize

More likely than not, there will be similarities between the images that you selected. Take some time to reflect and discuss your findings with yourself/stakeholders.

Get really specific and summarize what those reflections are. Focus on the feeling and less about the materials themselves. They could be around the materials, the colours, elements, or the general feeling that they give you, whatever comes to mind. Write, it, down.

Take a look at your Step 1 journal findings. Are there similarities here? Make note of those too.

Consolidate all of this good information and the final photo selections, and start to establish goals like:

The desired feeling of the space.

The palette you’re drawn to.

The functional elements you don't want to live without.

For example, our selections show we like High Contrast, organic pattern + geometry, colour, and natural materials. Our selections also show we don't want something too modern or bright.

Any and all observations you make are relevant to what speaks to you and can be used to establish your design goals.

Step #5: Establish Design Direction

You will now be able to feel more confident about what it is you actually like and want to feel in your Dream Home. You can communicate these findings and images with your Interior Designer who will synthetize this information and curate everything from top to bottom to create that dream!

With a little bit of time, intention and reflection, you can get a clear sense of what really pulls on your heartstrings, leaving you feeling confident in what you want for your Dream Home.


Love the idea of a Vision Session but don’t have the time to make one yourself?

Let us handle the Vision Session and everything before and after for you. Fill out our Contact form to set up a Discovery Call with APD and learn about our Full-Service Design Service.



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