The Value of Sketching It In

It’s been over a month since we moved into our newly renovated house and it’s been quite a journey. The first few weeks were really about adjusting, getting used to how things work and, honestly, trying not to ruin anything! When we found our bravery and started settling in, it quickly became apparent that making ‘home’ was going to take time. It’s going to take time to become familiar with our new home, to figure out how we want to live in it and what it wants to be.

As we make a start, one of the most helpful things we’ve done is to use an approach that’s rather like sketching in a first draft.

For example, let’s look at our dining room. This is what it looked like when we first moved in.

As we imagine how we’d like this space to be, there are many considerations. We don’t own a dining room table or chairs yet. We have a limited width to work with and a sideboard we’d really like to use. We’re also thinking a rug might work well but we’ve never had one before so we’re really not sure. To help us decide, we’re sketching it in using what I’m calling ‘placeholders’ to figure out how things might work, look and feel.

With curiosity and no attachment, we sketched it in.

We put the sideboard in place. We added the one table we happened to have to give is an idea of proportion and placement. My sister Suzie had a rug that a friend had given her so we put it in place to get a feel. Suddenly it was much easier to get a sense of what’s possible.

So often we stay stuck in our heads because we can’t quite see the possibilities before us.

We spent a lot of time thinking and talking about what might work in this room but as soon as we sketched it in, the picture became clearer. Now we know that we don’t want a table any wider than this one. In fact, a little thinner would be even better. We’ll probably need to escape the grip of the strong sense of centre in the room and scooch everything over to the left. Maybe we’ll save some space with a bench under the windows instead of chairs. And even though the rug isn’t what we’ll end up with, using it as a placeholder sure let us know that a rug works in this spot. It immediately warms up the space and adds a sense of welcome.

Putting something in place, sketching it in, taking a bit of action, all of this can make the picture clearer. Sometimes that’s all you need to find your way to the next step.

Where might ‘sketching it in’ offer some clarity to you?

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