How to Clearly Communicate Your Design Ideas to an Interior Designer
Learn how to verbalise your vision to your interior designer to get the home of your dreams
Mood boards are for the conceptual phase of your project. They determine the look and feel that you want to evoke. A mood board comprises a collection of images that gives your project a tone of voice and real personality. These images can represent emotions, colours and even some materials you love.
You can also create a mood board on your computer by cutting and pasting images you like into a word document, for example, or cut out photos from magazines and brochures and stick them onto a large A3 piece of card.
Once you have collected your imagery, decide and nail what it really is you like about your inspirational photos and designs. For example, in this photo, is it the way that all the different materials and their textures have been carefully positioned in horizontal and vertical directions, or is it the airy and secluded atmosphere that attracts you?
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The best way to get the most out of your inspirational imagery is to locate where it comes from. You may come across more revealing information that can help you with your own design.
On Houzz, photos have the name of the Houzz professional/homeowner/ photographer/blogger on the upper right hand corner of each image. This makes it easy to find who uploaded it, who designed it and maybe what their inspiration was.
What gets you up in the mornings? Where did you come from and who do you live with?
All these questions about your passions and the things you do and don’t like will affect your final design. Your space is going to reflect your lifestyle choices and it is very important that you write down all these personal things before you approach your designer about what you want.
We all like to think we know ourselves really well, but actually spelling it out to people can be hard! For example, someone in your family may get up very early for work, turning on the noisy kettle. Therefore, a functional and finalised design will mean that the kitchen is located away from your bedroom or that certain materials are used to absorb sound, resulting in a well-thought-out design.
You can bullet-point all these things about you out on a piece of paper, or even draw a circular clock and jot out the important routines that go on in your life at certain times of the day.
If you have an idea that’s not really fully resolved, do not worry. It’s the designer’s experience, skills and profession to come up with ideas and answers to your questions.
If you have a vintage sign, your mothers trunk, some old planks of timber or are still holding onto your children’s first pair of shoes, but don’t really know if you can/should or how to work the item into your new design, just mention it to your designer. Show them the item, tell them about your dream and expect them to come up with something excellent.
Always remember, sometimes less really is more. Hopefully, you will have lots of exciting ideas you want to incorporate into your design, but sometimes trying to do too much will result in a complicated and visually unpleasing design.
At some point you will have to part with ideas that just won’t work with others. Often it will be your interior designer who is suggesting what to drop (try to trust them!). You can always put these ideas or that bright chevron wallpaper sample away for another time, you might find that 12 months down the track you won’t like it anymore anyway.
There will be things you don’t like that your interior designer puts forward. Sometimes your designer can be heading in totally the wrong direction. This can happen when you haven’t been clear with what you want or if you have been misinterpreted.
Re-evaluating sooner rather than later is always best. You need to make sure you get all changes that occur in writing so you and your designer are covered with any misunderstandings that may happen (email is a great way to record everything).
At the end of the day, you are the client and you are paying for the skill set and creativity of an interior designer, so beginning the project with a clear vision is very important.
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