Overchoice or choice overload is a cognitive process in which people have a difficult time making a decision when faced with many options. The term was first introduced by the author, Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book, Future Shock. (Wikipedia)
If you are approaching a remodel or new home build, you know what Toffler is talking about. Choices abound in every finish category: wall covering, flooring, lighting, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, appliances, fabric, siding, roofing, fencing, etc. . . . not to mention Color! There are several ways to go about organizing your thoughts and decisions.
Hire an Interior Designer
One avenue is to hire an expert in the field. The right interior designer, who has experience in remodeling and new home builds is worth their weight in gold. They can skillfully help you find your style and the environment you want to create for your new home, remodel or addition. They will provide several, but not too many items to choose from and they have the resources for your style and budget. Designers can also be a great help in pulling people’s ideas together when working with a couple or family. When choosing a designer, find someone that you’ll like to work with. It’s like finding a doctor or dentist that fits well with you.
Just like most cities have furniture stores, they also have kitchen, bath, flooring, lighting, tile and appliance specialty stores. These stores have professional designers and sales staff that are versed in their specific products. They are there to help you choose and educate you to various product collections and new features. Make a list of your questions before you shop and don’t be afraid to ask them. Product lines are improving and changing every year and we are offered so many options. So it’s hard to keep up. Ask your professional. Most of their services are free.
Going it Alone
If a design professional is not for you, the internet is at your disposal. Let your fingers do the walking, but don’t walk too far. Use a few good sites and limit yourself to avoid overload. Houzz and Pinterest are great to find ideas based on a specific style or design trend. Then you can make your own file of favorite items you’ll want to review again.
You can also go one step further and create your own “vision board” for the home or for each room. Use your favorite shelter magazines or print pictures from websites. Don’t forget specific manufacturer websites if you know a brand you like.
Beware of Too Many Cooks
Yes, too many cooks spoil the broth in many projects including interior design. While collaboration is fun and very rewarding, asking too many people what they think or like can lead to confusion. In the end, rely on your own intuition first. Your friends, relatives, and co-workers will all have their own personal style. As they say, “be you, everyone else is taken”. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Have confidence in your choices and consider how you feel when you are looking at something. You’ll know if it’s for you or not.