Friday, December 16, 2011

Design Fun

Folks, I am on a roll this week! 5 productive posts, each with something I've either made or assembled.  I can only hope this streak continues throughout the holidays!  But all self congratulatory remarks aside, let's get down to business.

A few months ago, my friend Sarah (remember her from here?) introduced me to Olioboard.  Olioboard, if you haven't heard of it, is a website that you can visit to create your very own mood boards to try items out before you buy them.  Particularly handy when testing color schemes, furniture ideas, wall decor, and even flooring! 

The last time I attempted something digital design-y (yes that is a technical term I just made up myself) I ended up giving it to J and making him figure it out.  But this I was determined to get and really, it wasn't that hard.

First, you create your account.  Then you click "Create" and you are taken to this screen:

From here you can pick the type of room or decor you are looking for: bath, dining, living, lighting, flooring, etc.

Once that is chosen, you are presented with over 130,000 (and that is a factual number listed on their website) items from some of your favorite designers and stores.  I noticed Restoration Hardware was not on the list of searchable vendors, but rest easy folks!  You can install a toolbar button called "Add to Olioboard" and anytime you are on a site and see something you'd like to add, you simply click the button and then on the picture that you'd like to add to your library.  It asks for a brief description of the picture and voila! That Italian Cypress Paisley bedding is all yours.

As you see that box on the right populate with items, you simply click on the desired product and drag it to the white space on the left.  You are provided a toggle button where you can rotate the item, make it bigger, make it smaller, and readjust its position.

And if all goes well, you end up with something like this:
1. Said items from which you can create your board
2. The round toggle button that lets you pivot and resize everything
3. When you click on the item you are working on, a box pops up letting you know the item name, color, price, and where to buy--GENIUS!

And for the finished product without bright green arrows:

Think of it as the Polyvore of home decor.  Ahhhh yes, you're all getting it now.

Before I depart, it's probably fair that I break down the pros and cons of this tool:
+130,000 options
+assortment of colors
+wide variety of items: paint, rugs, wall decor, sculptures, furniture, the list goes on and on.
+the ability to track down the products you are looking at
+very simple to use, even for a newbie like me

+some of the pictures are lacking in fullness--that white circle under the round table? I didn't put that there.  and I deleted a couple of rugs to find one that didn't have a random wood floor under it
+you cannot pivot the furniture fully or square it up to make a 3D room
+the images you select are small so you often bring them to the board to make them larger and then end up deleting them when it's not quite what you had in mind

As you can see, the pros have it.  Ease of use is big for me and I enjoy the real life application of being able to buy what I put together.  And I should probably mention that you can search for items within a certain price range too--fantastic for those of us on tight budgets!

Happy Friday everyone!  I've got the sister in town this weekend to go shopping and J wants me to finish the bathroom decorating project started here, so between that and the baking, girl has got some work to do. 


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