You should involve your Interior Designer In your home renovation or building plan at the very beginning of the project - along with the architect and the builder.
Your architect, builder and interior designer form a comprehensive team - each with differing perspectives that influence the finished home. Interior Designers view the building plan from the point of view of where light falls, sun entry, outdoor perspectives - all those things that make a room so much more livable. It pays to have both your architect and interior designer working as a renovation team to achieve a cohesive set of final drawings which will reflect your personality and result in a home you will simply LOVE to live in.
There are a lot of valid reasons to involve your interior designer at the earliest stages of planning your dream home.
Here are some key points that a qualified interior designer will consider when looking at your building plans:
Spatial Design - this includes the basic principals of design such as balance, rhythm (flow), emphasis, proportion and scale, all of which make up a space. When these principals are applied properly the room will feel right.
Furniture Placement - what is the purpose (or role) of the room? Who will use the room? What are the planned focal points and furniture requirements, including do you have existing furniture you need to consider at planning stage?
Example: You have a treasured piece of furniture that you want to incorporate into your home. Where will this be situated? Have you allowed enough wall space? How does it effect the rest of the furniture placement?
Traffic Flow - the design of a room impacts on how you move between spaces in your home. If you are planning a large open plan living room space, how will you divide the room into lounge, entertaining and dining areas? Consider the planned features or focal points in the room (fireplace, windows and outlook, feature wall, chair or artwork), how do you plan to use the room, and what furniture you plan to include. Considering these points will help you to define the flow and confirm how you will you move in and around/or through the room.
NOTE: Sketching a traffic flow plan onto a furniture plan is a great way to spot any congestion area's.
The Impact Of Lighting On Interior Design - There are 5 basic types of lighting - general lighting, task lighting, decorative lighting, accent lighting and kinetic lighting. Each plays a key role in developing the mood and feel of a room. While it can be difficult to imagine how a not yet constructed room might look with different lighting effects - your Interior Designer will guide you in the initial brief and manage the wiring - for example - to enable the required effects. This is one way in which Interior Designers effectively reduce expensive re-working of tradesman related jobs. The same is true of plumbing decisions in kitchen design - where plumbers will deliver the shortest route to the mains, while the Interior Designer will pay more attention to the workability of the kitchen or bathroom design.
Example: You are planning a large open plan living space but envisage a designated dining space with a statement pendant light. Before the walls are lined the appropriate wiring needs to be placed in the right spot including an appropriate position for the switch and whether or not the light requires a dimmer.
NOTE: A trained interior designer will be able to design and create a lighting plan which can be given direct to the electrician before a quote is completed so they have accurate electrical information.
Flooring - what goes under your feet plays a huge role in the acoustics of your home and also in defining spaces. The type of flooring you choose will have a huge impact on the over all decorative scheme in terms of colour, texture, pattern and style. Flooring takes up the most surface area in any room and gets used the most, therefore great consideration should be given to who lives in the house and how we wish to use particular rooms. Consider ongoing maintenance when you are choosing flooring as a wrong decision here can be a very costly mistake!
Budget - Discussing your budget up front with your interior designer will ensure their advice and suggestions are appropriate to your situation. A good designer will have resources to ensure you get a look you will love for a price you can afford and planning for this at the earliest stages of the house design will ensure there are no hold ups when it comes to fitting and finishing your home.
Other considerations include:
Window Treatments - think about how much natural light and direct sun you will have in the room, are there any privacy issues you need to be aware of and what sort of window treatments will you be wanting? Depending on what you're after, you might need extra space above the window for curtain tracks or blinds that require extra timber to fix too. These are things that should be considered at the planning stage.
Custom-made furniture - Are you planning to build in any custom made cabinetry? Built-in storage is very popular right now, as it gives us space for all our gadgets and knick-knacks while keeping a room looking clean and tidy. If you were planning on some in-built cabinetry; where do you want it to go? Have you allowed for extra timber in the walls to support this and fix too? Have you considered electronics, cables, technical future-proofing?
An interior designer would consider and focus on all these aspects of your home and can also be an invaluable negotiator in a process that often requires objectivity. Having this support will give you the clarity and confidence you'll need to achieve the perfect plans from the outset.
If you are planning a new build, or a renovation I'd be happy to offer my expertise to extend your thinking, solve any problems and provide advice.
Feel free to give me a call on 021 144 7704 to see how I can assist you with your project. Alternatively click HERE to book an initial consultation now.