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Monday, September 30, 2013

Indecision Meets Design

Jessamyn West once said, “I am always jumping into the sausage grinder and deciding, even before I’m half ground, that I don’t want to be a sausage after all.” How often has that happened to you? You thought you wanted sausage but in the end, it was really something else. There is nothing more disappointing than a collision of indecision and a lot of unhappiness about the final results.
Are you jumping into the design process? This straightforward advice may seem too simple for some, especially the linear type, but it is the ultimate make or break of an overall design. Know what you really want. First, before stepping off the design deep end, there are certain factors (i.e., topography, wind exposure, site conditions, wetland restrictions, septic system etc.) that can’t be changed or altered and influence the design criteria. But once this is determined, the rest of the design process is truly about your lifestyle and budgetary choices.
Seems like simple advice but when given a palette of design options, many folks hit decision overload, forgetting what they like and how they live. An indecisive person ultimately picks things he or she doesn’t even want. It has nothing to do with the design or the process. It has more to do with what makes it into the grinder in the first place. In the end, you didn’t want to be a sausage after all.
There is no cure for indecision but there is hope when you need to make design decisions. Understand your lifestyle, your habits, and what you want to draw inside and out of your home. A design team helps weed through this process with pros and cons but ultimately the only person that knows what you want is the person immersed into your lifestyle everyday – you and nobody else. Don’t jump into the sausage grinder and decide half way through, it was ground beef you wanted or better yet, tofu. There’s nothing worse than ending up with the wrong sandwich and ultimately, although many things can dictate a design, you, the homeowner, are ultimately in design control. And as Jarod Kintz reminds us about this process, “I couldn't decide whether to take a nap or not, so I did what I always do when thinking over a decision—I slept on it.” This is the best advice for anyone on design decision overload.
Image by Ann Bilowz ©  
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)