Renovating with a dataviz mindset

In the past months, I started putting my creativity in different places to stretch my comfort zone, and to give myself a little rest from dataviz, so that I can come back full speed when the time feels right again. I also realized that dataviz became such an integral part of my life over the past years that even if I think I’m not doing it, I’m still very much doing it. I select different fonts to embroider my custom T-shirt collection, design my handwritten recipe book based on dataviz design principles or reorganize my bookshelf based on color palettes. And my favorite activity these days: home renovation!

Everyone says that my excitement about the reno project will soon turn into my biggest nightmare but let me tell you, I highly doubt it. The excitement of buying my first home, planning the layout as it makes sense to me, selecting those furniture pieces that I want to have for the first time in my life cannot be compared to the small setbacks of the project. But this is where the data analyst thread comes in: I dived into this project at the beginning of November, and everything is going super smoothly because I’m an analyst:

  • I might be the only person in the world who enjoys data collection and data cleaning, but it’s a relaxing activity. I spent weeks googling the price of different phases of the renovation, adding the plans to a Spreadsheet, selecting the furniture… and by the time I got the official offer from the building contractor, I wasn’t surprised at all. My estimations were in a 5% error range from the plan, and that’s all thanks to data collection.
  • Due to the time I spent learning how to design vizzes, I could make some of the wall decor pieces myself, and save money.
  • In 2019, I made a floorplan visualization of my apartment, so I had the thought to make 100% accurate measurements and place all the furniture in it to see how they’d fit. With this step, I’ll have no surprises: the sofa will fit the width of the living room. (Btw, I had professional help designing the electricity, construction, and deconstruction – I’m just stepping in for the aesthetics.)

The floorplan

I decided to make 1cm – 1px in Illustrator so I can size everything accordingly, and if needed later, I can still enlarge them together. This was a crucial step because most of the furniture (like the whole bathroom) has to be here by the time the reconstruction starts, so I needed to know if the pieces I chose fit the space. And the other thing I wanted to check was if the colors were matching each other and had enough variety in the design.

Floorplan layout
Dining room first draft
Dining room pinterest mood board

But of course it’s always best to have professional help when you renovate. I have an interior designer friend who rendered these plans and I don’t think I could’ve done the rest without seeing the promise that this will work at the end.

Since almost all my furniture will come from IKEA, I’m super happy that I managed to get hold of some original pieces that will add personality to my flat. It’s quite hard to search for good-quality retro accessories for a great price, but if you put in a lot of time, you’ll succeed in the end. There are some pieces I made based on my own idea, and some that I copied from someone else and tweaked so that it fits the design better. I take no pride in the latter, but since I’m not selling it and it’s only for my pleasure, I guess that’s okay. Here’s a photo dump of the art pieces I already have for the new design:

My favorite project so far was the rubber frame, what is it if not dataviz? I had to measure and tetris all the different parts to the frame.

New artists I discovered

And of course, as I’m a big fan of arts and small businesses, here are some new artists I discovered in the past months, thanks to the renovation project:







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