Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creativity Flourishes within Limitations

Once upon a time I won a couple of graphic design awards for best one-color design. (They were local awards, so, no biggie, and the designs are dated, so, no way I'm showing you). This was about ten years ago, before places like Vista Print, Modern Postcard and Overnight Prints had cheap 4-color offset printing.

Offset printing was expensive and each color of ink that you used effectively doubled the price of the project. In order to create pieces for small-budget clients I learned to stretch one color of ink to its limit. I actually found that the limitation forced me to be creative. Limitations made me figure out how to maximize what I had and how to make up differences in other areas, for example, we can only use on color of ink but we can use fabulous paper.

My icky little house has similar constraints. The town where we purchased the home has a definite upper-limit to the housing prices. The most expensive home on the market in our town is $325,000, it has thirteen bedrooms, seven bathrooms and is 5,878 square feet! The homes that are similar to ours are around $100,000.

Because of this we have to be very careful that we don't spend too much on the remodel because we will NEVER RECOUP OUR COSTS! Solid wood cabinets, granite counter tops, stone floors and Viking appliances are out of the question. My goal is to make the house as cute and nice as possible while spending as little as possible.

Below are the items that are going in the kitchen. All of the fixtures are under $100.00, the tile and the flooring are under $100.00 for the entire space and the cabinets and counter tops are in the IKEA price-range but are from Kitchen Encounters up in Augusta and are nicer than IKEA. Everything else is from Lumber Liquidators, Lowes and Home Depot.

My mum has a saying that I think is so true: "It doesn't take any creativity or talent to make things beautiful by spending lots of money, that's easy, it's being able to create beauty without spending lots of money that requires talent." The late, great designer David Hicks agreed when he said "Good taste and design are by no means dependent upon money."

Mum and David, so wise.


  1. I can't be the only one who wants to see your dated-yet-awardwinning designs posted. Consider this one vote towards that end.

  2. Joy, oh sorry, Anonymous, I'd have to dig them out and scan them in, I'll see what I can do :-)


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