Designing or renovating the interior of your home can be incredibly daunting. Humans are intrinsically creative creatures—when we start brainstorming, we often become overwhelmed by the volume of our own creativity. So, as an experienced interior designer, the question Michelle Reid is frequently asked is “how do I determine a starting point for a design project?”

Her answer is, just like any other form of art, to start with one element; just as a painter might set out knowing she/he wants to work with acrylic blues or oil reds. Michelle starts with one design/decor piece and builds up; like an inverted pyramid. However, the base (or in this case, peak) is always different and unique to the space in which she is designing.

For example, for one of the Rooftight model homes three years ago Michelle purchased a multi-coloured wool rug for the great room. She built the whole main floor design and decor around that rug. “I was so in love with it that it inspired the rest of that area,” Michelle explains. “So you see, it doesn’t always have to be a principle piece that starts a design plan.”

Another example of the inverted pyramid design plan is in a condo renovation Michelle did a couple years back. The design inspiration was a piece of art that the owners had purchased at a Montréal auction. “That painting directed the room’s colours and the built-in cabinets that framed the art. It was the focal point—and every other element in the room was chosen to compliment that piece.” Michelle explains.

It was not just the aesthetic appeal which lead to that piece being the starting point, it was the sentimental value. The home is a sacred place, after all; it is practically an extension of a person’s being. That piece had such meaning to the owners that it was worthy of being the “peak” of the condo’s design.

This, Michelle stresses, is really where you should start with any design process in a home: with an element that has both aesthetic and sentimental value. The room then becomes personal and comfortable for the residents, as it evokes the memories which are inlaid in the design.

All in all, Michelle explains that when approaching a design project you should always have a specific starting point. Your starting point can be an art piece, a rug or a unique light fixture. There is no right or wrong answer, but it should be something you absolutely adore. That way, your overwhelming brainstorm of ideas is limited only to what would compliment that which you already know you love.

If you want to learn more about what Michelle does, please visit the Our Team section of the Rooftight website or check our her Instagram page. If you would to see some of Michelle’s design projects, please look at the album below.

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