Thinking Differently – What An Interior Designer Does

Thinking Differently – What An Interior Designer Does

Thinking differently is one of the main reasons why interior designers are engaged. Passionate designers do think differently and can cast a whole new perspective over your renovation or redecorating. Here’s how.

There is nothing more personal than designing a home for someone else. However that doesn’t mean an interior designer imposes their personal likes and dislikes. At least it shouldn’t otherwise choose another designer. Thinking differently is an important skill good interior designers develop early. I mean, who wants ‘same-same’. Individuality is far more exciting to live with than what everyone else has.

When you engage an interior designer, I’m sure you are looking for results you feel you can’t achieve on your own. Maybe you’re not used to thinking differently because you don’t have the time or inclination for interior design. Perhaps you think an interior designer will create a show home where you’ll be too afraid to sit on the beautiful custom furniture.

Your Home, Your Way

The job of an interior designer is to interpret what you want in the best possible way. Your home, your way – with functionality, style, creativity and fun. Yes FUN! In thinking differently a good interior designer will also find ways to surprise and delight. It could be a quirky wallpaper, an unexpected art work, a hero light fitting, or smaller decor items that take the viewer by surprise.

In this article, we will also discuss how you can create a truly authentic home. Because living in a home that’s authentic is important. You don’t want your friends (or yourself) wondering who lives in your home because it DOESN’T reflect you and your loves.

So work with an interior designer who embraces you and your lifestyle. Not someone who wants to strip your home bare. Even when working with a ‘blank canvas’ an interior designer will create a home that reflects YOU not them.

Thinking Differently with Fresh Eyes

An interior designer has the ability to cast fresh eyes on your home. They have different perspectives largely due to being exposed to myriad design challenges and solutions. However, what’s most important to an interior designer is the lives, loves and lifestyles of those who occupy the home they will be re-designing.

Therefore, the questioning from an interior designer should be quite personal. And if they don’t ask you enough questions, then maybe they are not the right interior designer (or building designer or architect) for you.

Questions should revolve around your likes and preferences, who lives in the home, how spaces are used, at what times of the day, what you like and dislike about the home, what attracted you to the home, etc.

Working with an interior designer is a two-way street. How you want to love in your home and how you want to FEEL in your home are vital to the process. Thinking differently will help a designer to understand what you want. However it’s also how designers create exciting and liveable spaces.

Designers See Through Walls

Most often, a space to be renovated is not completely bare. There will be obstacles including built-in furniture, kitchen counter tops, cupboards and walk-in pantries, wardrobes, walls to removed, floor and window coverings, furniture and architectural details. Designers must see through these obstacles and design for what WILL be there.

Interior design can be complex in its simplicity. Interior Designer, Vincente Wolf, described it as “… a bit like a choir, with all the voices singing different parts. Yet when you hear them, they sound like one voice. The separate elements blend in perfect harmony”.

Vincente Wolf

Thus, many modern rooms may look quite simple on the surface. Yet when you investigate further the individual elements you realise that something on its own may appear quite ordinary. Yet when it’s used in conjunction with all the OTHER elements in a space, the result is warm, cohesive and beautiful.

For example, I designed a master suite which was elegant and neutral which looked almost entirely creamy beige. Yet there were 14 different textures and surfaces in that room including silk, linen, velvet, cotton, wallpaper, fabrics, metal, marble, painted wood, and glass. The owners love that room and described it as having the feeling of a six-star hotel. It was deceptively complex and an example of thinking differently.

What Is ‘Timeless Decor’ Really?

I have often heard people say they want something ‘timeless’. However, real timeless décor is authentic. It is a mix of contemporary and period furniture, new and existing pieces. Don’t be afraid to take items away if they don’t work or feel right. Stand back, view the space. Does it still ‘work’ without that piece you just took out? Thinking differently achieves exciting results. Boil it down to its very essence. Allow the room to ‘breathe’ and don’t have furniture clinging to walls. This actually creates a sense of more space, not less.

Choose things you love. See how different patterns, fabrics and textures work in the various rooms of your home. The natural light will be different so the effect will be differ from room to room. Be true to your authentic self and your home will be authentic, timeless, beautiful and warm.

Want More?

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Master Bedrooms and Children’s Space Considerations

Master Bedrooms and Children’s Space Considerations

Once upon a time, bedrooms were really only a destination for sleeping or changing clothes. Therefore, they usually weren’t the sunniest rooms or the rooms with the best views. However, over time they have become far more personal spaces.

Is your bedroom the best it can be? Whether it’s a parent’s retreat, teenage hang-out or a play & study zone, bedrooms have evolved. Living spaces may still occupy the sunniest spaces with the best views. However, any bedroom must still be a healthy area given how much time is spent in them.

There are two types of bedrooms – those for adults and those for children. Adult spaces are generally spaces in which you invest money for a long-lasting effect. Whereas children’s spaces can be more flexible as children grow-up fast and their tastes change.

Master Bedrooms

Once you have allocated superior spaces to living areas, the master bedroom is next on the hierarchy. Given the master suite is usually occupied by the people who pay the household bills, their needs are paramount.

The positioning of a master bedroom in relation to other areas is important. If there are small children in the home, then a master bedroom may need to be positioned close to them.

However, if children are older and more independent, then a parent’s retreat away from them and the family living space may be preferable.

Further, a master bedroom should generally be situated away from the main living spaces especially if you have teenagers. This helps with noise control as well as privacy.

Children’s Spaces

I generally advise not to spend too much money in children’s bedrooms, apart from a high quality mattress, as their needs and tastes change quickly.

Children over the age of about five should be included in the selection of the décor for their bedroom. After you buy a high-quality mattress, consider what other furniture and storage is required.

You may also like to read the article on ‘Planning Children’s Bedrooms‘ on this blog

This will change as a child gets older, so I usually suggest not going overboard with expensive items. Older kids may require a sofa and coffee table to create an ‘adult’ chill-out zone.

Bedroom Positioning

Wherever possible, don’t position bedrooms next to the front door. Consider noise and light control when positioning rooms that require quiet at night. Also consider the servicing of bedrooms in relation to the toilet and bathroom.

Good planning will often see an ensuite and main bathroom share a wall. This also creates a natural buffer between the master suite and the children’s bedrooms.

Your lifestyle is a major factor in planning your own home. Consider the space, how it’s used and its relationship to other rooms, noise, heating, cooling and light. Above all, love where you live.