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Combating Decision Fatigue and Commitment Anxiety

It’s no secret that home remodeling normally isn’t a super quick process, especially when you’re talking about completely redoing a kitchen or perhaps even a whole home. One of the reasons why the design process doesn’t happen overnight is because there are so many decisions to make regarding colors, layouts, materials, inserts, dimensions, functionality, etc. Having to make all these decisions can be overwhelming and potentially draw out your project timeline, especially if you’re someone that struggles with decision making. If this is you, don’t worry, we are here to help!

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How Do I Avoid Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue is the overwhelming mental load that comes with a lot of decision making which can lead to missing deadlines, going off budget, making poor decisions out of exhaustion, or can cause a lot of anxiety around a process that should ultimately be exciting! To help avoid this, we always recommend working with a designer and leaning on their expertise. You should start by communicating your style and project needs, and then let them get creative with that information, knowing that you can always make edits as needed. One advantage to working with a designer is that they can narrow down your search so that you’re not flooded with tons of options to sift through.

As far as the nitty-gritty details are concerned, leave those to your designer as much as possible. They are skilled in industry standards and have experience with what works and what doesn’t regarding things like cabinet dimensions, layouts and more. Our advice is to simply trust the process and know that you are in good hands! If needed, express any concerns you might have to your designer so they can put extra emphasis on that part of the design to ensure you’re happy with it. Feel free to ask questions and talk through their recommendations, but if you don’t have any reason to doubt, then try not to stress over it! This will not only save you some mental energy, but also helps keep your project moving forward in a timely manner.

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How Do I Know When to Commit to a Design?

One challenge we see some of our clients run into during the planning process is how to know when it’s time to confidently approve the final design for order. Committing to a final design is clearly a big step in the process and it’s not uncommon to feel a little commitment anxiety at this point. It may be tempting to switch things up at the last minute to try out a few more ideas, but this can cause a lot of confusion and ultimately delay your project from getting on the schedule. Now we are not saying that there shouldn’t ever be revisions, because that is a natural (and expected) part of the process. However, we recommend you do your best to avoid getting caught in a spiral of wanting to see every possible option which could lead you outside of your budget and/or push your delivery date back.

Gravel Lane Design Studio - 3D custom kitchen concept - Eureka, IL

If you find yourself feeling anxious and stressed over making sure you get exactly what you want out of your investment, you are not alone! Keep in mind, though, that you and your designer have put a lot of thought into the design, so your satisfaction has been prioritized throughout the process. It’s also helpful to acknowledge that there’s no such thing as one perfect solution when it comes to design. It can be stressful feeling like there is only one correct answer that you must find in order to avoid disappointment, but that simply isn’t the case. If you tend to think there is only one right answer when it comes to design, consider this scenario:

You have an important event coming up and you want to make sure you look good, so you decide you should purchase a new outfit. You already have an idea of what styles you gravitate towards, so you start there. You pick out a few items and start trying them on. After seeing each outfit, you land on two finalists. Both look and feel great, but they are slightly different styles and two different colors. So, now you have to decide- how do you choose which one to go with?

Well, since you like them both, the answer is either one! Simply considering that there can be multiple right choices to a design problem gets rid of the stress of trying to find the “one perfect solution.” With any design decision, you will always have other options that could work, but just because there’s another design you like, doesn’t mean your original one is wrong. Just as there can be two nice outfits that look great for an event, there can be multiple kitchen designs that you love. So, to answer the question of how to know when it’s time to commit to a design- the simple answer is as soon as you find a design that checks all the boxes. Once all of your wants and needs are built into a design, there’s no need to look for more options that will eventually over-complicate the process and leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Gravel Lane Design Studio - pinterest design inspiration for custom kitchen to avoid "design fatigue" - Eureka, IL

At the end of the day, you will know if you don’t like a design and be able to pick out the parts that aren’t working. So, if you’re sitting with a design and feeling anxious about committing to it but are searching and searching for what could be wrong, perhaps the answer is nothing! Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little anxious about starting a project as big as a home remodel, try not to let that feeling scare you into not doing it or creating a mess of stress for yourself. Instead, lean on your design professionals for reassurance and try to focus on what you love about your design and get excited for your new space!

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