Tips For Creating An ‘Idea Notebook’ Filled With Home Design Ideas

file-folder2.jpg Ever since our first year of marriage (7 years ago), I’ve been collecting ideas of things that I want inside my dream home.

It started as just an idea file… in a drawer… that I stuffed random ideas, pictures and articles into.

Then, when we got serious about building our first home together (a traditional 2-story brick home… on a cul-de-sac… in a subdivision), I pulled out that fold and began to organized all the ideas into categories.

At the same time, I started picking and choosing random things that I’d like to incorporate into that house. Once we actually started the process of building our “stick home”, I realized that many of the best and coolest ideas would have to wait …for a time when we had more money and a better grasp of where & when we’d be building our “real” dream home together.

Fortunately, I continued to add to my “idea folder” through the years. Here it is almost 5 years after we build our first home now… and we are preparing for the building of our first log home together. This will be our ultimate “dream home”!


“Idea Notebook” To The Rescue!

We knew from Day One that our first home would simply serve as a starter house for us. A place to establish some roots and further our careers, all the while fine-tuning exactly where we’d like to build our dream home and quite possibly retire.

And that’s where we are now… Our dream home is finally on the horizon and we can see it more clearly with each passing day.

We’ve set the wheels in motion toward designing and building our custom log home. And my Idea Notebook has been a lifesaver! It’s filled with home decorating ideas and all my favorite things seen in house plans, magazines, newspapers, and online.

Here’s what it looks like now:


And here’s where I keep all the things that I still think are interesting, but not likely to appear in our dream home:

These are the categories I use:

Doors & Windows
Laundry Room
Closets & Organizing
House Plans
Miscellaneous Building Ideas

My Idea Notebook goes everywhere that I go!

It usually stays in the car, but I always have it handy should I need a measurement, a color, or a description for someone who’s helping us make this home a reality — such as a bank lender, blueprint designer, or cabinet installer. Or, if my friends & relatives have a question or make a suggestion “on the fly,” then I just grab the Idea Notebook and add it to my collection of great ideas.


Why I Love My Idea Notebook:

  • It’s easily adaptable to our changing tastes and ideas.
  • I’m a very visual person — I need to “see” things in order to fully grasp them.
  • It makes it easier to relay to builders, designers, and installers exactly what you want.
  • It keeps everything in one place, where it’s easy to find — just grab & go!
  • It stores away nicely and looks great on a bookshelf.



Tips For Making Your Own Idea Notebook

1. See-thru page protectors are the secret. They enable you to switch out pictures and ideas, as well as rearrange and prioritize your favorites.

2. Always keep blank paper and a pen in the notebook for jotting down ideas on the spot.

3. Use those tiny sticky notes as temporary bookmarks or as tabs to label ideas.

4. Keep a few empty page protectors in the 3-ring notebook so you can just stuff things in there temporarily, then put it where it goes inside the notebook later.


A Look Inside My Idea Notebook


UPDATE: Check out my idea file today!

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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