In the work of any Interior Designer you have clients all along the spectrum of available budgets.
You have the young couples who may be newly married involved in a first purchase of a home with a limited budget, getting their proverbial feet wet in the real estate market and trying to better themselves.
You may also have others who are at mid points in their real estate journey whom are looking to upgrade with family in mind, spaces to plan and a budget designed with a growing family.
You may have empty nesters who are in a flux looking to downsize after previously owning a larger home who need a new workable space and are involved in budgeting based on a possible retirement funds.
All these and more showcase the strong necessity to work within a defined client's budget.
One might argue that the Interior Designer might also be strongly involved in assisting the client on setting a reasonable budget that does not strain a client's potential funds and allows for the design project to be be completed and successful.
As a preface I would like to mention that in my life i have had the good fortune of a lovely father who raised me with the sincerest of business ideal, particularly that of being customer service oriented.
As a former dental corps officer in the WWII he was responsible supplying many necessary things while stationed in England.
Upon returning home to the west coast of Vancouver area he was immediately involved in sales, firstly in furniture retail then moved to real estate. This was where his strong integrity in working within the means of his clients. Later his work would bring him to starting his own Commercial Real Estate company.
This is where I gleaned a strong customer service ethic and as well as taste for modernism, mid-century aesthetic and interior design while personally spending some 20 years in the Vancouver residential and commercial real estate field. It is very client budget based.
Throughout the years and with that ethic I have found that client's budgets are a very personal thing. They are tied to various emotions depending upon their financial means. It is always a sensitive topic and needs to be dealt with in a very careful manner.
For that reason, my business model does not use pressure to have clients overextend themselves in their design. If client - designer relationship is key to a good Interior Design business, then exerting financial pressures to achieve a particular design project is not what I would consider good "customer service". In fact some may argue that it would be rude.
That in mind it would be safe to say that in the long run clients, who may not be able to afford a more pricey design, and whom have had a good experience with you as a designer, more trusting of your capability and relationship style. After all being personable and reasonable within client budgets goes a long way into creating possible repeat clients and also great referrals and even repeat business.
Here's to creating great happy design relationships one budget at a time!
I have the greatest item to tell you about. It’s a Star Map! By Modern Map Art.
A Map of the Stars for any particular night. We ordered one that was our wedding night and we were absolutely thrilled with it. You can pick the:
I'm over-the-moon happy with this and I'm thinking that other people could use this for their own wedding night or first date birth of a child, Engagement date, or even an anniversary date gift for your parents.
People love personalized items and I'm sure I will be ordering many of these as gifts.
The cost is really reasonable And there is even free shipping in the US and believe it or not in Canada as well. Check it out here (or click on any of the photos) and find out more of the details.
I also hear they have a Street map available as well..... !!
Who has heard of the rule of thirds?
This important rule says that most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing a wall or a photo into thirds vertically and/or horizontally; and placing our most important elements within those thirds.
If you have a fireplace on a 12' wide wall, and perhaps the fireplace is 4' wide, well, you'd place the fireplace in the centre, leaving a 4' patch of wall on each side. Thereby dividing that wall in thirds.
Another important design concept is Visual Center and Balance. Placing important elements or the focal point of the design within the visual center of a piece is another design trick. We all know the actual centre of a photo is right in the middle of the shot. But, did you know the visual center is slightly to the right of and above the actual center of the photo? This is the area that our eyes are drawn to immediately.
This "rule" originally was developed by photographers to ensure every shot looks great. Don't we as designers, or homeowners want that as well? Basically when you are composing a photograph, or a wall, imagine two vertical lines and two horizontal lines dissecting your image into nine squares as shown below.
Placing your most important elements at one or more of the four intersections of those lines, helps create interesting photos or design.
Most balanced designs (and even unbalanced ones) rely on a grid. This invisible structure helps ensure that all the elements are placed in the right location, thereby achieving balance as well as helping with continuity and consistency of design. These are design principles that help the professional designer achieve visual balance.
If you'd like more info, please visit this great site at Photographytalk.com
If you'd love to have a visually balanced room, one that is truly pleasing to the eye, please email me at email@example.com
Well, it's not often that I share another designer's blog post, but this one was so great, I thought I'd post it here. It even has a quote from me in it!
Read on to learn "How to get anything you want from your interior designer." by the uber talented Tawna Allred.
So, let’s review, we’ve looked at steps 1-3 designing your dream home.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
Then steps 4-6 of designing your dream home:
5. Mood and Style
6. Overall design
And steps 7-9 of designing your dream home:
7. Bathroom and Kitchen design
8. Furniture Plan
9. Lighting plan
Now... we move on to steps 10, 11 and 12!
10. Window coverings:
When designing your dream home, be aware of oddly shaped windows. For some reason architects love to add them in! Notice the angle at the top of the window below.
These windows are very difficult to cover. If you like horizontal blinds these can usually be used in some of the more difficult, or odd shaped windows, however not everyone likes horizontal blinds. Many clients prefer window coverings that can be slid to the sides so that all the glass is showing. Transom windows (especially if they are arched), although beautiful, are especially difficult to cover.
Determine what kind of light coverage do you need. Do you sleep in - then curse the sunlight in the morning; or do you embrace it? You may need room darkening, or light filtering blinds. Do you have a window needing privacy? A window with lots of glare? Many solutions are available.
Discuss your drapery needs with an interior designer or window coverings specialist. Note these can be a little pricey, 30% of your room's budget usually goes towards window coverings.
OK, so we are really getting to the styling part here. We know the mood we want to achieve. But where do we go from here? One idea is to start with a ‘signature fabric’, this is a fabric that sets a style or creates your desired mood. Determine the placement of your signature fabric. This can be an expensive fabric - perhaps use it just for the front of a small pillow. Confirm your signature fabric suits the ambiance you desire. Use this fabric to set the colour tone of your room.
Now select complementary fabrics, but allow in general, no more than three different patterns in one room! Determine placement of all fabrics i.e.:
- patterned drapery fabrics for the windows - like the example above
- perhaps a cream and raspberry stripe for an ottoman,
- teal polka dots for the chair backs.
Finally select trim to customize draperies or throw cushions. Then use your signature fabric to pick colours for the rest of the room.
12. Wall colour:
Now you can finally pick a wall colour! Can you believe we had to wait until step 12 for this? Wall color is not usually picked until near the end of the design, as there are so many distinct colours of paint to choose from. Kimberley Seldon says " picking a wall colour first is like buying a lipstick, then look all over trying to find a dress to match."
Demember to keep the room’s atmosphere in mind. What is your light level? Resist the urge to paint a dark room in a light colour. Donald Kaufman says "Light wall colours never come to life in a dark room..." If the room is sunny, play that up - don't use a dark colour for the walls. Look at your signature fabric for wall color ideas.
I can go on and on about colour but really colour expert Maria Killam says it best when she says "Painting a dark room in pale colours simply accentuates the shadows in a space."
Other questions to ask when selecting a colour 'theme': Are you drawn to warm, neutral or cool colours? Do you prefer many colors or a monochromatic look?
Personally, I throw out the colour theory I was taught in design school. I don't understand how someone can look at a room and say "Do I want a complementary colour scheme? What about the split - complementary colour scheme or maybe an analogous colour scheme?"
Maybe, just maybe those theories come into play when looking at how to spice up a room with accessories or accents, but in general the main points to remember are: ensure the colour flows from room to room, keep either a clean, (or conversely), a muted or a dirty colour scheme throughout, and remember to consider the undertones - more about that in a later post.
Finding all this confusing? E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can have the home of your dreams! Stay tuned for our last 3 steps!
Mother's day is fast approaching.
Wondering what to get her for a gift? She's got perfume and scarves galore.
Judging from what my interior design clients say - most women want their home to look like THEY live there, not someone else!
We can provide the perfect paint colour, select the furniture that is just right - or simply answer all her interior design questions!
We're here to help!
Click here to book now, and I can email you a beautiful gift certificate that you can slip into her Mother's Day card.
Dear Interior Design friends and enthusiasts - Easter is upon us and we are celebrating by offering Interior Design Consultation vouchers for your loved ones. Show someone you care by purchasing a design consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!
Contact us at email@example.com
Let me introduce you to my new e-Design platform! We provide interior decor services for all rooms of your home, including paint, furniture, tiles, flooring and more.
We'd love to help you, please click below!
Hi, I've created a short video showing how our Online design services work.
We truly do not need to see your home in person, although we can certainly do so.
We just need a few photos and a rough measurement of the room.
We direct you to a quick online questionnaire asking you more about your taste and style, and what wants and needs you have.
We then take it from there! Please click on the video below.
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and get started!
Hi everyone, ready to hear more about designing your dream home?
Earlier, we looked at steps 1-3 of designing your dream home.
1. Selecting your perfect structure.
2. Floor plans and elevations.
Today we'll look at steps 4, 5 and 6. Whether you are building from scratch, renovating, or just tackling that one room; we'll help you solve your design dilemmas.
contemporary entry design by San Francisco architect Mark English Architects, AIA
The dreaded "B" word - budget. Create a budget and stick to it. I know it's not fun, but yes, it is essential. Here’s some help…Speak with your builder or interior designer first. They will have a set amount of money allotted for items such as counter tops, lighting fixtures, flooring etc. Shop within this budget and see what you get for that amount. Remember a good hint is to put your money in things that you touch or see on flat surfaces, these are the items that are most visually prominent.
Materials such as flooring, counter tops and paint are often where quality really shows. Go for the best you can afford for those surfaces. Items that aren't so visually apparent like toilets, sinks, and high mounted lighting fixtures don't need to be expensive to get that great look.
bathroom design by Atlanta interior designer Brian Watford ID
So, save on some areas and splurge where it really shows! When budgeting, don’t forget to include essential items such as window coverings, home insurance and property taxes.
5. Mood and Style:
Choose to create an emotional atmosphere in your home. We live by our emotions. Have you ever seen a home that is lovely, but lacking something? It's probably lacking emotion or mood – the real ‘feel’ of the home.
What mood do I want this house to convey? What's my style? Traditional, contemporary, west coast or 50s bungalow? Look at the exterior of your home and continue that style throughout. Nothing looks worse than when you have an exterior that is a distinctive style from the interior. We need a unified and beautiful look to create a harmonious home.
Asian exterior design by San Diego architect Mark A Silva AIA
I live in a Frank Lloyd Wright styled home. In design school, I learned that he spent a lot of time in Japan. His homes and interiors quite often reflected the Japanese style - low, horizontal lines, and low-pitched roofs. So, I went with a slightly Asian look in my home, minimal furnishings, no clutter, I selected furniture for function - with a Zen like appeal.
Look at those tear sheets you've collected from magazines, often they evoke the mood that you love. Try to replicate that mood - if you need help hire an interior designer- this can be the most cost-effective way of keeping you on budget. Designers prevent you from purchasing those 'one-off' kind of items. Having those types of items in your design can throw off your focus, ending up with a home that has no cohesive flow. Designers can sum up the mood you are trying to achieve and keep you on track.80% of your style should be one focused style. Whether it's casual, modern, country, formal or informal; keep your style in mind when selecting tile, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, or purchasing furniture.
traditional kitchen design by San Francisco kitchen and bath Danenberg Design (I want a piece of that cake!)
I like to start with the kitchen; it truly is the heart of the home. Select appropriate appliances before designing cabinetry. Note: non-standard sized appliances or fridges will not fit in standard cabinetry. Work with a great designer who knows how to create functional kitchen spaces.
We aren't so concerned about the traditional triangle in kitchen design – whereby the stove, sink and fridge are in a triangle formation. That worked well when there was only one cook in the kitchen, but as kitchens increasingly have multiple family cooks helping out - think about work zones. We need a baking and cooking zone, prep zone, beverage zone, clean up zone. Ensure all work areas are covered and it will make your life so much easier.
traditional kitchen design by Chicago kitchen and bath The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn
Look through the other ‘work’ rooms of your home i.e. laundry and bathroom areas. List your day to day activities and ensure your home truly functions to enable your life to flow smoothly. Isn't that what great design is all about?
Stay tuned for more great design tips from Jil Sonia Interiors.
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have won the coveted "Best of Houzz 2018" award!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer at Jil Sonia Interior Designs.