Checklist for an interior designer:
A new house is like a new opportunity to let your artistic mind go wild. As an interior designer you could transform the house into a home but it is easier said that done and this definitely comes with great responsibility. Families usually look forward to having a house that exudes positive energy and feels cozy. Each client has a different requirement and the challenge always remains to find a middle ground wherein you bring your own creativity but with the magic of their personalities and mind. Creative planning and presentation techniques will help you make more innovations and bring you a lot of success in your work. Here is a checklist to keep in mind before going ahead with your plan:
1. Meeting with the client or their representative to establish the scope of the project. Discussing the basic requirements and establishing the design direction based on the clients goals and operational objectives is the first most important thing to do. This requires a series of conversations and detailed communication process to bring out the values they require.
2. Concept development, Space planning, Design development and color and materials to be used on the project. This is accompanied with the generation of Floor plans, Elevations, Reflected ceiling plans and electrical layouts. Present the client with options until they approve of one and finalize it. Learn about their culture and tradition to add a touch of their native style.
3. Layout out a detailed plan – Upon approval of Client, Working and Production drawings to include :
– Specifications and house plan
– Floor plans and ceiling plans
– Lighting plan
– Interior Elevations drawings
– Color and material drawings
– Mill drawings of required areas.
Laying a basic blueprint of all the above drawings will help you narrow down the selections for the house and lowers the chances of any mistake. Once you have clarity on that then the proceed with the following-
- Space and furniture Planning
This includes allocating space for all the areas in the house based on the need and functionality of the client. Arranging the furniture according to the specified space, keeping standard measurements of design and using the correct purpose of structures and spaces. You also need to consider things like circulation and work flow throughout keeping in mind the human body movement through the spaces. Here are a few measurements to keep in mind while planning –
Living room standard measurements –
- There has to be 26”-36” as a walking space that allows people to comfortably pass through a room or 36″-48″ for an airy feeling
- If you’re covering the entire room with one area rug, leave 12″-18″ clear all around to the wall. In smaller rooms, 7″-12″ will work
- Side tables should be about 2” less than the height of the sofa arm
- For art groupings with more than one row, spacing between the images should be 1 ½” to 2”
- If using art above a sofa, fill at least 50%-60% of the 5-foot high space above the sofa
Dining room measurements –
- Chair rails should be 34”-36” above the floor
- Dining tables should be 30” high
- Allow 18” of table width per person
- For rectangular tables, you’ll need a table that is at least 48″ long to seat 6 people, 72″ for 8 and 96″ to seat 12 people
- Dining seating should be 16”-18” high from the floor to the top of the seat
- For chandelier: add the room’s length and width in feet; the sum equals an approximate chandelier diameter in inches.
Curtain arrangements –
- Curtain width should always be at least twice the width of the window for fullness. For modern rooms, just twice the window’s width or even just 1 ¾ times for a confined view.
- Curtain rods should be extended by 6”-8” past the outer edge of the trim on each side of the window
2. Paint your walls with a combination of preferences and choose a soothing palate for rooms
Choosing a right paint defines the overall look of the house. Restricting to only 2 to three colors works extremely well. It keeps your setting minimal yet loud enough. Neutral warm colors are perfect for the living room but may even work for the kitchen. The right color palate will require you to compare all the rooms with the living rooms. Usually a color combination may not work if you are individually looking at a specific color you or your client may love for a certain room. First take in the preferences for all rooms and then you could even try mixing colors to create a new combination that may fit the bill for the main hall or living room.
3. Identify your flooring based on the look you plan to showcase
The flooring can add an extra edge to your house’s overall look. You can choose a wooden flooring or add a simple marble flooring, then, add additional touches with the help of rugs. The placement of rugs here will play an important role as well. The color combination can be defined depending on the color of paint in the particular area.
4. Furniture design and development
This is going to be the choicest design decision because once you have finalized the paint and the flooring you furniture will define the design of your home be it the living room or the bedroom. Not going overboard stays the main key towards maintaining a great space. You can experiment but going old school yet getting a modern outlook can go a long way. If it works for the client you could even consider renting for a few days to make a decision.For example in the bedroom – Choose a right bed – Finalize the size, if you are going vintage then a lower bed works like a charm. Classic beds can work depending on who the room is for. Kids room could do with cool bunker beds while other rooms could get a standard bed setting.
5. Never shy away from investing in the right lighting
This can be a game-changer for the house but going wrong is usually very hard. A chandelier becomes an easy and safe option but now customers look for new ideas in the electric section to light up the rooms and the living area as they have a big visual impact on the audience. Investment may be a bit tricky as they come at a cost but usually last a long time. Experiment with Jali panel decorations or hanging lights to add a bit of finesse in the living room.
6. Add a personalized touch and style to your house project
Having a style of your own gets highlighted through in the way you place the furniture, the lighting and the showpieces. Add a bit of your own creative genius by things like a bulletin board for inspirational quotes section or having a cute coffee table with 80’s themed lamps. Add accent pillows or area rugs with color scheme of fabrics that accentuate the colors and the textures.
Art can add a lot of character in any room. You could define a set of photo frames or wall hangings in the staircase or rooms but for the living area even a single piece of artistic design tells a tale of its own. Choose something that visually works for the owners like beautiful wallpapers and wall decorative pieces which can create an emphasis for the room.
These are the main pointers to keep in mind while you get busy putting a soul into a house. Do not forget to keep it stylish and as personal as possible. It takes a lot of effort, time and patience of an interior designer to finish a house design successfully, no matter what, never give up!
’’Try to really push your own boundaries. Your home is the place to experiment and create those wacky ideas you have in your head. Whatever you do, don’t play it safe!’’- Sarah Akwisombe