How to get the best from your interior designer.
B. Sc. (Architecture)
How to get the best out of your Interior Designer
Written by Jennifer Guz, Interior Designer
An Interior Designer is the key component in shaping your interior design vision.
Your interior designer should set your mind at ease and structure the interior design component of your renovation or new home build.
Firstly, it’s important to understand; why you want to work with an Interior Designer, the process and the stages we use. You may already understand this process, but let's refresh.
Interior design - client brief
Interior Design starts with a ‘feeling’ you have. We ‘dig’ that feeling from you, and shape it into something tangible. This is done by listening to your answers to our many questions in the early stages in order to understand your needs. We refer to this as 'the client brief'. After we have chatted and made notes, we send out the client brief for you to review and provide feedback. Once we have ensured we are all on point, you can agree to the brief.
Mood board - colours & more
Interior design is a visual and tactile world and includes; carpets, curtains and tiles etc. We create a mood board to translate ideas (sometimes virtual and others physical). This is a collection of imagery which may include photos of; doors, curtains, tiles, barn doors, PC items, lights, cabinetry & other furniture. This imagery represents the end result that we are working together to achieve.
Interior design budget - The dreaded price point!
Let's not pretend the elephant is not sitting in the corner. Everybody has one. Let's be real. If you’re very clear with your Interior Designer and set out the terms you want to work with, the journey will be very fulfilling. A great Interior Designer will thank you for setting the cost and budget parameters for your interior design project.
Recycled hardwood king post truss
Measure up your home - bathrooms, kitchens & more
Now let's measure up (go ahead and skip this step if an architect is involved this should have already been done). We need the foot print of your project. Computer aided drafting (known as CAD) is great when a client needs a ‘visual’ (here's that word again). We can do amazing stuff with the 3D world in Interior Design whether we are designing a new bathroom and kitchen or renovating your existing bathroom and kitchen. I once had a couple fighting over splashback tiles. We threw an image of both tiles into the 3D kitchen... and boom!... they could see the winner easily.
The design process
So...We've picked your brain, got the mood board organised and have shaped the overall design. Now we whip out our sketch pads and create a mind map. We think as if we are you, we work the space, tracking the movement of how it's set to be used. This is generally drawing the top two ideas in CAD and try them out for size. Now, some Interior Designers don't use CAD so sketches and using tool such as colour wheels, butter paper & pencils are also great. I'm a little bit of a tech head so.....
This is the part where we present our ideas to you. Hot tip: most designers are nervous at this point. And we should be, because if you don't love it then we didn't listen! Here's your chance to talk to your Interior Designer and if you're not feeling it, sing out and let's work it together. We generally iron out a few things here (amendments) and - voila! Happy client, happier Interior Designer.
Neutral colour pallet for lounge area
Selecting finishes and fixings - sample boards & more
So, we reached a design. We shaped her, let's dress her! Pats on the back all around. Selecting finishes and fixings is, depending on the size of the project, an overwhelming process when looking at the whole. So we need to break it down. Remember the mood board is for all styles including; hamptons, ultra modern and traditional. Refer to it because you, the client, have a plan! You know the look and each selection needs to tie in with the mood, whether it’s a door knob, tap, or window. The best part of working with your Interior Designer is that they can do the unimaginable. They can turn your vision into selections. As a designer it really pays off to offer the client a few options, for items like baths and sinks, but once we get approvals from you, we begin to see your likes and more importantly, your dislikes. We're listening and taking important mental notes. This is when samples come into play. A sample board, or tray, is collated for your touching and feeling delights.
Pop the sample board in an area that you walk through at different times of the day. View the colours in morning light, afternoon light and in artificial light. They will change throughout the day....
Documentation - schedules are fun stuff
Now, it should be noted that each of the stages above will have all been documented for you, as well as for your builder and the other trades, to utilise and to refer to on site. You’ll be able to provide them with the documents to answers most of their questions. This way everybody is working towards the same outcome.
Renovating and building a new home can be one of the most stressful times oßf your life. A well planned and well documented design will alleviate the stress and open you up to an amazing experience. The end result will be a harmonious design that bends and flows with your life, that you controlled through your vision for the space. Use your interior designer as a malleable tool that will help bring that very early ‘feeling’ to life.
We are available to consult in the following areas - Central Coast, Newcastle, North Shore, Gosford and Terrigal (as well as distant locations as required)
Modern open plan kitchen