Residential Interior Design – A Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Everyone wants their home to be a place where they feel comfortable and which looks beautiful. That is why they call it ‘home’. In order to achieve this feeling of well being, they undertake some form of residential interior design.

The choices available to the consumer or home owner is to employ a professional or to use the resources at their disposal, decide on what they want and go it alone. Some people decide to go this way and there are online interior design courses available enabling them to fit this training into a busy schedule. Either way is fine if they are successful in creating an environment which supports their happiness and well being.

This article will attempt to briefly examine these choices of residential interior design with the end result in mind.

Home Decorating

Nowadays with the advancement of technology and an ever expanding economy, some people are fortunate enough to earn a living from home while others spend many hours at work and cannot wait to arrive home to relax. In either case, they must ‘feel’ comfortable where they live. People need to be in touch with the psychology of the design elements which they choose. Rather than decorating to impress anyone, it is important to choose the color, specific lighting, sounds, furnishings, patterns and other design elements of residential interior design that will provide security and happiness in a homeowner.

Home Design Software

There are software packages today that can do just about everything except tie your shoes. As one might expect, there is software that gives the homeowner the freedom to play the residential interior designer. They can start anywhere in the house using editable templates, customize the dimensions and move through every room in the house. Most programs have several built in features with easy to use interface to help with the design process. They can examine two and three dimensional views which offer daytime and night time walk through, cutaway and multiple camera views.

This gives the homeowner a ‘feel’ for the design but can they handle the whole project?

Home Decor

The homeowner now has the ideas but is a little hesitant about where to start in their implementation and whether the ideas will work. They have items of furniture, paintings and accessories and they are not sure whether they will fit into the room or match the color combination, fabric, proportions and style. There is major work to be done that must meet building codes. The cost of the work must all meet a budget. At what stage does the homeowner call in the professional?

Residential Interior Designers

Residential interior designers are creative, licensed, professional business people who are qualified by education, training and experience. They encourage their clients to express their own individual personalities as this is considered the most important design ingredient. They pay attention to the wants and needs of the people in the house and ensure a successful residential interior design.


More people are undertaking residential interior design projects. They are considering the traditional elements of design and are including the psychology of design in the planning stage. Some are utilizing software that is available and if required employing the services of a licensed interior designer. In the end, it is all a personal preference with end harmonious result of happiness and well being of the homeowner in mind.

Making The Most Of Your Smart Decision To Hire An Interior Designer

So you’ve decided to hire an Interior Designer–good move! Now what? Before you start planning your “reveal” party, you’ll need a basic understanding about the process to ensure that you get the most design for your dollar and that you have a fun and fabulous experience, no matter what type of project is ahead of you.

You’ll need to learn the basics of choosing the right design professionals, establishing a budget, outlining the details of the contract, considering your lifestyle and communicating your challenges.

Choosing the Right Designer: Beyond the Portfolio

Professionally trained Interior Designers have undergone extensive training in the various elements of modern and historical design, art and architecture. They have a basic foundation of knowledge that allows them to develop concepts in a variety of styles that range from traditional, contemporary, art deco, eclectic–or a combination of several styles.

That being said, not every designer’s talent is right for every project. For yours, you’ll want to choose someone whose portfolio “speaks” to you in a positive way. As with every profession, designers tend to develop personal styles that carry over into their projects. It could be the sense of clarity and order you see in the furniture arrangements, or maybe it’s a color palette that’s used in a unique way. It could be the modern touches worked seamlessly into a roomful of antiques, or the interesting textures of the fabrics.

Referrals are the best way to find a designer, so if the home of a friend or colleague appeals to you, by all means ask them for the designer’s number! You can also visit Web sites to get a better feel for the designer’s talent and personal style. Expect to spend a bit of time on the phone discussing your project with the designer and/or completing a questionnaire that will give them a better feel for your tastes and your project prior to the kickoff meeting.

You’re looking for someone you instantly trust and respect, who communicates excitement about your project, no matter how big or small, and who trusts and respects you as well. After all, this person is transforming your most sacred and cherished space!

Establishing a Realistic Budget

Everyone has a budget, so don’t feel bad about setting yours in stone…or tile, or brick. No matter what the amount, your designer should help you get the best value and the highest quality possible. Be wary of anyone that summarily dismisses your grand ideas based on budget alone: A first-rate designer will work hard to achieve your key design goals, perhaps by spreading the job out over time or suggesting alternative solutions for your project.

A great benefit of using a professional designer is that she has access to materials unavailable to the general public, so no matter what your budget, your home will feel unique and very “you.”

Your designer will also manage the entire process, whether it involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, selecting finishes or monitoring the construction and installation of the project elements.

Outlining Terms of the Contract

Make sure you read and sign an official contract before any money exchanges hands or work begins. In addition to the legal aspects, a contract summarizes the plans you’ve been discussing such as your budget, design fees, accountability regarding subcontractors (painters, carpet layers, etc.).

You’ve selected the designers and signed the contract – now comes the fun part!

Considering Your Lifestyle

Your home environment should complement and support the way you and your family really live – or really want to live. For example, if you’re starting a home-based business, you might turn your cluttered garage into a functional office. If your spouse loves to cook, you might knock down a wall so the under-used formal dining room becomes part of the kitchen. Many families make the mistake of letting the layout of the home dictate their activities vs. reorganizing the space to embrace their lifestyles.

To ensure that your designer understands how you live now and how you want to live, share as many details with her as you can. Also share your personal tastes so she can incorporate them into the designs. If you hate plaid, tell her now, before she gets too deep into the first draft.

To help you better prepare yourself, answer these questions before you have your first meeting with the designer:

  • Are you a creative person? In what ways does your home limit your creativity or your hobbies?
  • Do you like the present color palette? Does it need updating?
  • Are they any rooms that feel cramped or stuffy? Any rooms that feel empty, cold or unwelcoming?
  • Is adequate, well-organized storage a problem? Can you find things when you need them?
  • Are your bathrooms functional, pleasing spaces? Do you or family members have special needs (e.g. grab bars, easy-entrance shower stalls, etc.)?
  • As you walk through your rooms, jot down your favorite qualities about each. Do you like the proportions? Is there adequate ventilation and lighting throughout your house?
  • Are there any rooms that you don’t use regularly? Could any of these rooms be used for more than one function? Could any of these rooms be used for a completely different function?
  • Does your home balance open space and private areas?
  • Does the entryway do its job of setting the stage for the rest of your home by welcoming guests and making a statement about the people who live there? If you normally come into your home through the garage, does that area welcome you?

Focus on Your Challenges

A designer works best when you share your “wish list,” express your ideas, and then keep an open mind. That means communicating how you want to live in the space and then entrusting the designer to make it happen. After all, you hired this person for her experience, talent and vision!

For example, one homeowner hired a designer to help her reorganize her tiny office so she could be more productive. Instead, the designer suggested that she move her entire operation downstairs, into the den she used once every two months to watch movies. She did, tripling her space and doubling her productivity in just three months.

Contrary to TV, where designers admonish clients for questioning their plans, real-life designers understand that you’re the person who ultimately needs to love the space. They want you to be happy and want you to give your input so you’re absolutely thrilled with the results (and so you’ll recommend them to your friends)! That’s why they do so much probing upfront about your tastes and how you live, then incrementally present their ideas throughout the process.

Hiring a designer is like giving a gift to yourself! You made the smart decision to hire an Interior Designer, you’ve been smart about the planning process, and now you can rest assured that the time, money and energy you spend returns truly smart, stunning results!

How to Begin Your Interior Design Career

Are you serious about an interior design career? Many people have a romantic idea about the interior design profession. There is a lot involved in the industry. It is not just about designing attractive looking homes and buildings. You have to be a businessperson and a sales person. You must be very attentive to detail and make sure that everything is perfect to keep your clients happy.

An interior design career can be very rewarding and fulfilling but it can also be very stressful. Besides designing, you must ensure that all building codes are met for your local municipality. An interior designer must be very organized in order to keep everything running smoothly.

In an interior design career, you must be able to sell yourself and your ideas. Interior design allows the individual to express their creative side and interact with like-minded people.
People are just getting too busy to do their own decorating and many people have the money to pay someone to come in and do the work for them. Many Businesses also hire Interior Designers to make their offices more appealing to clients and employees.

At one time, there were virtually no programs in universities or colleges for the student who wanted an interior design career. Now an accreditation process ensures a program will teach the proper principles and interior design practices at a high standard.

If embarking on an interior design career, you will be licensed much like an architect. In order to acquire this license you must take a test administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. To qualify to write this test you must have a combination of six years of work experience, four years of work experience plus two years of schooling or four years in an accredited school plus two years working experience. As you, can see this helps create credible, educated interior designers.

Software such as AutoCAD would greatly enhance your interior design career. Other courses that could help your career are sales, marketing courses, and even theatre classes to help in your sales pitches. Obviously, art classes and drafting classes would be ideal as well for the person interested in an interior design career.

Your interior design career will develop as you progress in your career. You could begin as a residential designer and evolve into a commercial designer or a little of both. Once school is finished you may want to consider an internship to get into the business.

Planning In Interior Design – Is It A Job For Experts?

During the revamping of a house’s interiors, it becomes vital to hire experts that can execute the project efficiently. The best interior designers discuss the project details with the clients, should listen to their wants and ideas, and eventually create a design that is most suitable to their preferences. It is not right to hire amateurs with zero designing experience to take charge of the project. Professional interior designers are the best people that you have to talk with when it comes to planning in interior design.

Planning Your Dream Home

The chief element in designing a dream home is to look for the best interior designing company. A design team can easily take care of furniture selection; setting up plumbing fixtures; installing walls, lighting and floor finishes. Add to these the tasks of cabinetry construction, putting architectural details and space planning and you should be more than willing to look for the best people to accomplish the project. After all, every aspect of your home must harmonize with each other. Also, your original idea should not have been coated so thickly that it is no longer identifiable. In short, the design must still reflect the homeowner’s personality.

If you love playing with your home’s interiors, say, altering the color schemes every now and then or having the furniture moved around, then you should have a keen eye for balance. The best designing companies can take care of such revamps from start to finish.

Planning in interior design should be a process where the client is still the one who is in charge. All that the designers have to do is to fuse their design ideas with the client’s preference. This must be observed throughout the entire process from choosing furniture fabrics down to putting up the right wallpaper.

You can go for different looks in different rooms of your home since family members may have varied preferences. Just remember that each room must still bond with the rest of the rooms in your home. There must also be certain places where family members can unite and spend hours of quality time. Comfort must also be a top priority.

Space Planning – A Special Process

Whether you are constructing a residential home or a new office building, it helps to create the image and atmosphere that you want to accomplish. There are different processes involved during space planning which include interior design, schematic furniture plan, the presentation of preliminary diagrams, and many more. Now you have a clearer picture of all the tasks that are needful during space planning, you should have a better appreciation of the importance of space planning.

Before hiring someone to do your space planning for you, though, make sure that they have the right skills and knowledge to do the job from preliminary diagramming; regulations as well as building codes familiarity; spatial design; delineation, even presentation skills; ergonomics; knowledge of the most suitable materials and finishes; and many more.

Space planning is all about the effective use of space and to transform it into a comfortable area. The furniture layout must be optimized where the right pieces of furniture are used and enough storage is set up so that the room will not feel too busy or full.

The windows and doors must also be set up in a way that they contribute to the creation of a spacious and cozy feeling.