Interior Design: A Luxury or a Valid Service?

The image often conjured up by the term interior design is that of having a rather ‘arty’ individual come in to throw around some unnecessarily elaborate ideas, come up with an over-decorated result, and who will select high end and expensive designer furnishings that you may prove quick to tire of, and successfully part from you a lot of your hard earned cash!

Add to this the fact that the face of interior design has been portrayed by the media as a thing of fun and frivolousness, it is little wonder that people may well consider it a luxury, and certainly a service that doesn’t lend itself to times of financial constraint when we are all pulling in our belts a little.

However there are important considerations to make when deciding to refurbish an interior that lie way beyond the colours of the walls, or the choice of furniture and soft furnishings. There is the messy bit that comes before all of that.

What the interior designer has to offer to businesses and individuals thinking of refurbishing their work and living spaces, is very different. It is valid service that can, in the long run, save time and money, as well as a lot of anguish and heartache.

When approaching a project with professionalism, the designer should always get a brief from the client outlining what they want for their room or building, in terms of use of space, the number of people using that space, and any colour schemes the client may have in mind.

The functionality of a building is obviously very important, but so are the aesthetics and other factors such as whether or not the client wishes to maintain existing furniture and features into their new scheme.

In addition to this the profession also has much more to offer. Using professional drawing skills enables the designer to produce scaled plans and accurate 3D visuals, which show the client exactly what a new room layout will look like. This encourages dialogue between client and designer and subsequently alterations can be made at the planning and drawing stage to illustrate what alternatives will look like.

Once the designer has been employed, they are there for the duration of the project and so on-going decisions can be made along the way, and obstacles that could be daunting to the novice become opportunities for the designer to tackle. Therefore on-site problems are overcome as they arise.

Another important factor to consider is the budget. Everyone has either a budget, or an idea of how much they have, or want to spend. To this end it is very important for anyone embarking on an interior refurbishment project to know this information at the outset. Both designer and client are wasting time and resources if the designer comes up with a fabulous scheme regardless of cost, the client loves the scheme, but once all the quotations are in, wham! Its way too expensive. The correct way to approach a new project is with an idea of the budget in order that the appropriate fixtures, fittings and finishes are selected, and they come within any cost constraints.

There are other, rather more tedious aspects of interior design that must be taken into account, such as health and safety, particularly when applying interior design to a commercial use, such as retail interiors, clubs, restaurants and the like.

Your interior designer should be up to date with latest HSE & CDM regulations, and also, more importantly, ensure that any building and interior installation work is carried out by contractors who abide by these legislation’s…and whom have insurance!

And finally…your interior designer should then be able to manage and oversee the project for you.

This would normally include: applying for quotations, organising timetables for work, drawing up specification lists, organising purchasing of goods and materials, on-site visits once the project has begun to ensure work is being carried out to standard and specification, and also to liaise between the client and site contractors.

In essence, this is where your interior designer should help to alleviate some of the stresses of the project, helping it to be delivered on time, and address and overcome any problems that arise on site, when they arise.

So hopefully this will help you to decide for yourself, when undertaking a refurbishment project. You will undoubtedly be taking on builders, decorators, engineers etc. and facing quite a bit of upheaval in your home or work place. You will be encountering a fair bit or stress. You will also be spending a significant amount of money. So: Is interior design a luxury or a valid service?

Interior Design London UK

Whatever your interest in interior design, London is likely to have what you are looking for. Maybe you are seeking inspiration and imaginative tips on interior design for your own home or you are an interior designer and want to promote your own work, or perhaps you want to hire the services of a professional designer or even study interior design yourself, no matter what your need is, there is no better place to satisfy it than from the design capital of the UK itself, London.

Visiting Exhibitions in London

London hosts a number of exciting exhibitions every year, some of which focus on a specific area of interior design and others that are broader in their approach. Exhibitions serve many purposes, they can showcase new talent and fresh ideas from up and coming interior designers often alongside the work of already well established and highly sought after designers in the industry, they highlight the latest fashions and trends, spark new creative ways of thinking, provide opportunities to network and increase business sales and of course they offer the chance to view the work of some of the best interior designers in the world.

The following list represents just three Interior Design Exhibitions that regularly take place in London:

o 100 Percent Design – Exhibition usually takes place in September over 3 days and is open to the general public on one of those days. More information can be found at http://www.100percentdesign.co.uk

o Decorex – This exhibition also takes place each September but is only for trade and professionals in the interior design industry. Details of the next exhibition can be found at http://www.decorex.co.uk

o New Designers Exhibition – opens to the public and exhibits the work of thousands of new and up and coming designers every July. You can find out more information from http://www.newdesigners.co.uk

There are of course many other exhibitions taking place throughout the year and a list of them can be viewed on The British Interior Design Association website at http://www.bida.org

Hiring a professional Interior Designer

Many of us would like to transform our own home and although we may start out with great ideas and intentions, quite a few of us never actually get around to doing anything about it. Hiring a professional interior designer is one way of getting it done and if you don’t have someone in mind already; one place to start looking is The British Interior Design Association. The BDA keep a list on their site of interior designers who are either registered members or associated members.

Registered members are the most qualified and have the most experience as in order to get registered they have to satisfy the Association’s strict criteria. An Associate member has to have been working in the industry for at least a year and will have passed the association’s interview process for membership. You can search for an interior designer at http://www.bida.org.

Another option is The Interior Design Handbook website at http://www.interiordesign.com, where you can search a list of potential designers by location as well as speciality. You will also be able to view their profiles online.

Studying Interior design in London

London offers hundreds of courses on various aspects of interior design starting from the most basic right through to graduate degrees and beyond and so finding the right one can seem like a daunting task but it needn’t be if you know where to look.

A small sample of interior design schools in London include:

o The KLC school of Design

o The AIU School of Interior Design

o The Interior Design School

You could also try searching for other courses at http://www.floodlight.co.uk, which is the official guide to all the different adult education courses on offer throughout London. UCAS will also be able to provide you with comprehensive information on different undergraduate courses that are interior design related and what colleges and universities are offering these courses.

Why London for Interior Design?

London attracts a wealth of talent and creative thinking within the interior design Industry and is an important springboard for launching the very latest designs from some of the best interior designers in the world. London also provides endless opportunities for up and coming interior designers to showcase and promote their own work and can be a source of inspiration for anyone interested in interior design at any level.

Interior Design Ideas – Interior Designers Have 4 Goals For Your Home Or Office Project

A fantastic outcome for any interior designer, and more importantly for you, is an excellent interior design. The best way for an interior designer to get more business is referrals from happy clients. There are four areas that need to be kept in mind to assure that the end outcome will be a happy client. The designer is considering the function of each room. Of course, the finished ambiance is of utmost importance. The room should also reflect your beauty, handsomeness, personality, and the final concern is to establish and adhere to your budget.

Let us look at each of these individually. The function of the room includes how it will be used. Who is using it and what they will be doing in each room. Is it a public or private space? Each area has to be livable, be usable and function well for the activities intended for the space to be successful.

The next concern that we have for you, our clients, is that the end product is you feeling fantastic because you are surrounded by beauty in your home. This beauty is a reflection of your colors, likes and personality. If it matches you greatly, so that you love it, then the designer is successful. It is music to my ears to get the “this is much better than I thought it would be” call. “We Love it all and we are so excited to live in our new room, home or office!” One other thing is that it also must appeal to most other people too. It is always great to show off your new design to your friends and family and you want them to love it too!

The personality of a family should be reflected in your interiors. The people who live there have color likes and dislikes, hobbies, lots of choices to make in their interior and special traditions that are common in their family. Your designer must capture your unique personality so that when people see your residence, they think that it fits the person or persons that lives there. I call this your dream design, as opposed to the designer’s dream design.

The last concern for you is economy. Not everyone wants cheap furniture. What is lost with less costly furnishings is quality, detail and sometimes size. The less costly furniture is usually smaller in scale. Throw away furniture equals throw away money in my book, but each person must choose what they want. I advocate quality classic furniture that you love. I would rather see you take longer to finish the design project because you are waiting to get just the right pieces instead of buying a lot of furniture cheap.

Remember that the reason your interior designer is good is that he or she cares about the outcome greatly. They are considering the function, beauty, personality and budget to get the best design possible for you. The best compliment is an excited client who loves their new design! Music to my ears.