“I take away the stress and ensure the work is completed on time and in budget”
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I help people creating a beautiful and practical interior where they can relax and enjoy their life… in style!
I think that before going to design school, designers should have to study psychology, as designing an interior is very much about understanding people’s needs, way of life, tastes… Unlike what you might see on TV, my aim is not to create something that is going to jump to your face or look like a magazine cover. My aim is to create a beautiful interior that is also easy to live in.
This is where all my experiences as a scientist and when living abroad and meeting all sorts of people is invaluable, and help me to understand my clients.
The Interior Designer should be involved at the beginning, they can help plan the different jobs needed during a house refurbishment or redecoration. An interior designer plans everything ahead. An interior designer is a stress reliever, a time saver, and also a money saver preventing people from making costly mistakes and passing trade discounts prices on many materials…
It all starts with a design problem, and somebody calling me to see if I can help. After a first phone conversation we have a first meeting, free of charge, where the potential client and I talk about their project and assess if we could work together. It is necessary for a potential client to feel comfortable working with me as trust is the base of a relation between a client end his/her interior designer.
It happens that both the potential client and I feel it will be difficult to establish a good working relationship, and in this case I always have a nother good interior design to recommend, that would suit them better.
The important thing for me is to have happy clients only
After we have established that we are suited for each other, the new client and I sign a contract. As a BIID Associate I follow the BIID directions (the BIID Interior Design Job books) and use two contracts according to the size of the project. For bigger projects I use the BIID agreement for interior design CID11 (or for even bigger project the ID10). And of course, the fees are explained in the contract
This meeting is the occasion to know more about the project and the clients. It is important for me to fully understand the needs of the clients, how they live, what they like and what they don’t like in order to create the best scheme that will suit them perfectly.
I very often think that there should be a module in psychology in the Interior Design school, as designing for people is so much more than assembling colours and texture because it is about people’s life. This is why I take it so seriously to understand my clients, their dreams and how to help them transform their house into their beloved home.
This part is probably the part that requires the most discipline and forbids you to be creative, as it aims to take and accurately record every measure that will be used to draw an accurate plan and any needed elevation drawings.
This can be considered as an extremely stressful task as you are not allowed a mistake as the rest of the design work will be based on the drawings that result from the survey. I sometimes have to indulge the paranoid side of me and re-take some measurements just to be sure!
(In a previous project, I have measured the same wall at least 5 times; just to make sure the ordered furniture will exactly fit in the space… no need to say that the measurements were the same each time!)
After the brief, I can digest all the given information and analyse the design problem given by the client in order to solve it in the best possible way. At this stage I also make any needed research; yes, every project is different and if you want to address it properly you have to update your knowledge. (This is also why I like the BIID so much, as the institute is also behind you to remind you that you have to take a certain number of CPDs every year! Interior design is a life-time learning process)
Thanks to the measured survey the scaled plans can be drawn. In every design solving stage, space planning is an important part, and having accurate plans is necessary to plan the space efficiently.
With the plan we can also draw what we call a furniture layout. It is a plan on which we indicate where the furniture goes. The furniture is drawn to scale as well. This flat representation allows checking the traffic flow and will be used later as a shopping list.
This is a good occasion to mention my love for lightings. A fantastic design scheme will only appear average if the lighting is not good, whereas an average scheme will appear fantastic when the lighting is right. Too often, lighting is forgotten or even worst left to the end, when it is too late to rectify as you certainly don’t want the electrician to come and chase cables in the walls after the decorator has done his job!
Lighting plans are created according to the furniture layout. What is the point of creating a lighting plan if you don’t know there is an art piece to light on a specific wall, or if you don’t know where the dining table will need to be lit to create this intimate atmosphere while allowing seeing what is in your plate?
Let say it again, lighting plans need to be made according to the furniture layout and has to be considered from the beginning of the project!
Curtains play a very important place in the design as they give the overall atmosphere in a room. They can create a modern feel when kept simple with modern fabric, or give a very luxurious feel when drape over poles or swags and tails are used etc.
Curtains have to be designed for a specific room and according to the wanted final result.
Sometimes a property can have some unusual windows placed in a weird corner, and the owner simply doesn’t know what to do with them. If it is the case, I am always happy to take the challenge and find a design solution for awkward windows.