Finalizing the Design
Designing furniture is a lot like climbing a tree. We start at the base and climb upward toward a solution, thinking it will be a straight line to the top.
Somehow, we seem to veer off unexpectedly instead onto interesting but unrelated branches, exploring options not originally conceived of. These branches can yield fruit of their own, of course, and sometimes they take the entire project in a different direction.
But often as not we return to the trunk to continue climbing. The branches soon begin to thin out, as options are considered but rejected. We arrive at the top as the ideal options finally become apparent.
At least that's one theory.
Not every design project fits this neat simplification. Sometimes the "tree" branches in two different but equally appealling directions, forcing a reluctant choice between several styles or shapes. One way to solve this dilemma is to include aspects of both of them and create a design that is a hybrid of the two.
Other times, the design process might seem never-ending, as ideas and possibilities float around the drawing board but nothing seems to gel into an attractive design. Sometimes this is the result of not allowing oneself to actually like a particular design, because there's another idea over the hill that has yet to be tried. Or it could be pressure to pick something, anything, so that the process can move along.
It's helpful sometimes to walk away from the project for a day or two and let the mind chew on it...often the right solution will become more apparent with distance.
One problem with hesitating and dithering too long is that the design process begins concerning itself with smaller and smaller details. Often, the details of a design can be worked out during the process of construction; beyond a certain point, any further designing produces no new results. Worse, it can discourage us from doing anything. It might be time to stop drawing and get to work building the piece.
One thing to check first, though, which is probably the most important thing: do you like the design? Does the thought of having the finished product excite you? If so, then the design is complete!