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Your guests judge your home by it appearance, and you derive much pleasure from being surrounded by objects of beauty and desire. This is achieved through interior design. Interior design is all about adding a touch of beauty and elegance to the finishing of the house and its surrounding. The aim of the design is not so much to add functionality as to enhance the aesthetics, or put it another way, the interior design aims to add elegance to functionality by maintaining a harmonious or complementary appearance in all the rooms. The designer uses color, finishing, décor, and fixtures to achieve the desired effects. Interior design is a part and parcel of the overall home improvement, which does a lot to increase the home’s ROI.
If you are a design hobbyist with a touch of class, art, organization, and time on your hands, then you can indulge in a DIY interior design. Any home owner has a general idea of what they consider an ideal interior design, but they lack the skill frame, tools, and materials to conceptualize the little details and how to fit them into a broader and harmonious picture. A DIY could save a few thousand dollars but As a DIY you could save quite a bit of money, but the outcome of the design and décor will not be as aesthetically appealing as when they are done by a pro.
As a lay person you lack the knowhow to create an overall picture of perfect harmony, or the skill to spot small details that add to the grand scheme of things. As a DIY you have to either buy or hire the tools for a one-time job, which increases your costs. You will likely create a functional rather than an aesthetic design. For you to achieve the desired effect you must engage an interior designer who will not only conceptualize your ideas, but also help you to plan and execute the project in a professional manner.
By hiring a pro, you will be saving time because the interior designer works full-time, faster, is experienced, knows exactly what is needed and when, and where to source materials at discount rates. She will use her superior knowledge and skill to create a perfect, elegant, and professional-looking design. She will have an artistic eye for color, composition, and application. She can arrange furniture and fixtures in such a way that they will look welcoming and give the illusion of a large space. She knows how to mix the acoustics by positioning the speakers, how to position the lighting, entertainment unit, and climate control for maximum comfort and ease of use. A pro is armed with the right tools of trade, hardware, and accessories. She can create a minimalistic or a simple and elegant arrangement that allows unobstructed movement. An established interior designer has access to discounts and early information on new innovations. She takes time to study new technologies and trends in the design industry and passes the benefits to your project.
The interior designer is different from the interior decorator. The interior decorator is normally untrained and works from acquired practical skills. She utilizes paints, treatment, wallpaper, and accessories to accentuate or dress up an existing space. She does not interfere with the existing structures, electricals, and plumbing. The decorator’s main aim is to embellish a room according to the owner’s or contractor’s instructions. Her work does encompass issues with the building code and does not improve the house’s ROI. The interior decorator’s services are cheaper than a designer’s, ranging from $25 to $60.
The interior designer is a professionally trained and accredited person who is involved in the construction and creation of space. Her job is to create a theme or personality for the house by adding accessories, and by incorporating style into the functionality of the contractor’s fixtures. She has a thorough knowledge of the building code, regulations, and other statutory requirements. Although more expensive, it makes more sense to hire the interior designer even for an interior decoration project.
The design and décor of your home is a loud statement of your character, taste, and organization. It leaves an impression on your guests long after they have left, therefore you must make those impressions lasting. You have a choice of taste from modern, classic, contemporary, retro, or traditional styles, and you should not mix them. You also have to select the painting and color, upholstery, furniture materials, fabric, rugs, window treatment, and even linen to complete your design and décor. The interior designer will include the following elements;
|Paint a Home Interior Costs
|Paint a Home Exterior Costs
|Paint a Small Project Costs
|Interior Designer/Decorator Hiring
|“Feng Shui” Consultant
|Built-in Cabinets, Closet
|Mural Painting/ Tromp Loeil
|Stained Glass Installation
|Stained Glass Repair
|Blinds, Drapes, and Shade Repair
|Sheet Metal Fabrication
Know your style and taste or theme that you want for the new design. You should consider if it is for the whole house or for a specific room. Get inspiration from the internet, Pinterest, and design magazines. They will give you a feel of what there is out there in terms of design. You will be spoilt for choice, so it might help if you can take design quiz test, for example from Houzz.com or MyDomain.com to help you narrow down your choices.
Determine your needs within the design. Ask yourself questions like;
✓ Will you replace all items in the current space? The more pieces you are able to retain the lower your budget will be.
✓ Will you eventually remodel the entire house with a new theme? You do not want to stick to the same old theme if your dream is to give the entire house a fresh start but with limited funds.
✓ Are the design changes cosmetic or functional? If the changes are purely cosmetic then you will want to explore cost-cutting options, for example use of faux decors and fixtures. If changes are functional then you will be concerned about quality and style.
Your project need not cover the entire house unless it is for a new construction. The contractor is mainly concerned with functionality or practicality of installations, but the interior designer will add order, aesthetics, and a touch of elegance in the room. She will use stylish fixtures, inspiring decorations and themes, and so forth. Ensure you plan well ahead to ensure the designer will schedule your project and give you adequate time. When you need your work to be prioritized the designer will charge you a premium fee.
Interior design is not as straight forward as just picking a theme and implementing it. You have to incorporate the building code, safety, and insurance requirements. You have to draw up intricate plans that fit in with the general house theme, floor plan, and fixtures like electricals, plumbing, windows, and exits. The plans may require a change of architecture. You will still want to budget for the best materials within the budget constraints, schedule the time for work, and acquire the necessary tools. All these issues are enough to scare away the rookie DIY.
Your local interior designer will help you find the appropriate contractor to do the actual modeling task, while she continues to offer consultation. Seasoned designers work with interior remodeling contractors near you. In carrying out the project, remember although the interior is the pro, you are the one to live in the house.
The designer will listen to your design ideas and conceptualize them. She will take picture of the home, the interior, and more so of the space to be modeled. This will help in building a harmonious design concept. She will also help you fine-tune the budget to a more realistic one. Since the designer is not a mind reader to interpret your design faithfully, let her use her creativity to get a close match to your desires. Expect a few things you may not like in the design that you will have to learn to love, but if the differences are significant then you need to consult again – at your cost, and thrash out a new design plan.
But remember that you are paying the designer because she is more knowledgeable in the matters design, including designing on a tight budget. She spends all her time in design and you don’t. You need to scale back on goals if your budget is tight, prioritize the design projects, and to have realistic goals for the space you are designing. The designer acts as your objective and sober eyes. Still some designers also get carried away when they follow your passion for the perfect design.
The designer does not like copying, duplicating, or imitating an idea, but rather to borrow from it and come up with a creative and inspiring design. The designer is more concerned with style unlike the contractor who concerned with cost, implementation, and availability.
Once you decide on the design project from among other design projects, you will identify the must-have needs, desires, aims, and goals. Measure out the space to be designed. Visualize the overall look and feel of the project, your favorite colors, desirable accessories, and what activities will be happening in the designed space. Use the rough and ready list as the basis for budgeting and negotiating with the designer near you. Draw a rough budget based on the list of items, expected designer costs, and labor, and scale up the estimates by about 50 percent. If the budget is way off your target, then you can thrash the list, scrapping off some items and adding others. Invite designer bids and select one designer.
Although materials like paint are always available, you might need to secure some materials early, for example decorative materials, artwork, designer faucets, and custom tubs. If you shop in a hurry then you may not find everything you need and the designer will have to come up with alternatives. The longer it takes to search for a materials the more it will cost you because the designer will charge on shopping hours.
Computer-aided design or CAD allows the designer to experiment with virtual models of the room and present options to the homeowner. Some of the software is owned and other is rented, but the designer will charge a certain amount for its use.
The interior designer needs to work within your budget. The main cost is the materials, but luckily there are many options of material to suit every pocket. You still have to put aside some money for unexpected costs and damage. In order to keep a fairly rigid budget, you need to know conversant you are with styles and their needs. You need to know the exact size of the space being designed, which you can easily find out by measuring the rooms width, length, and height. This way you will know how much furniture it can take. Design is about both functionality and décor, so decide what furniture you require.
Sometimes you have to choose between a functional item such as a mirror or piece of furniture and a purely decorative item such as picture frame or floor vase. Some items, such as a home theatre or sauna, can be regarded as objects of desire and should not obscure your mind from a practical design. With the help of the interior designer, look at the broad picture of all requirements and necessary changes, and compare those with your budget. Balance between services, labor, and materials. You will plan together with the designer, who is best placed to interpret your desired goals into a practical solution.
When choosing the designer online or through an agency, detail your desired style, type of design project and current space, budget, tastes, and desired goals. This will help to match you to the most relevant designer. You will work together to actualize your ideal design. Be sure the designer will provide you with a CAD presentation to play with ideas. Accompany the designer on shopping trips in order to see other possible options of materials too.
Unlike the interior decorator, the interior designer is a trained professional who is licensed to practice. They undergo a four-year degree course in which they learn about design, CAD, safety, psychology, ergonomics, materials, art, building code, photography, architecture, management, supply chain, and marketing among other skills. They follow their education with training as apprentices with an experienced designer.
Hiring locally helps to maintain the local cultural and boosts your community’s economy. If you are doing the bedroom design then consult a bedroom designer. The designer should be licensed by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification or NCIDQ who give a rigorous examination to the candidate. The state also licenses the designer to practice in the state.
American professional designers are affiliated to several design associations, the main ones being The American Society of Interior Designers, or ASID, with 49 chapters, and The National Council of Interior Design Qualification, or NCIDQ, which sets standards and examinations for interior designers. There are also state associations such as The California Council for Interior Design Certification or CCIDC and Certified Interior Designers or CID. Ensure that the designer is certified by these associations and licensed by the state. They should also have a valid insurance cover. Verify their expertise by perusing their portfolios, certification, and reading online customer reviews (angieslist.com).
Check out their professionalism in the way she handles you and presents herself. She has to have a good grasp of the subject when you pose questions to her, be prompt with appointments and replies to queries, and be upfront with her fee structure. She must back her claims with a portfolio and references, and allow you a visit to one of her flagship projects. She should have suggestions that run deeper than yours in matters color, style, options, materials, décor, and suitability of the proposed budget or how to scale down on the project. She must be dressed to impress – after all, her job is to design. Finally she should give a firm deadline for project completion.
Enthusiasm is a key aspect of interior design. The task of design is to turn a dull project into an exciting outcome, and that requires enthusiasm. Being enthusiastic lends an eye to colors, accessories, and ideas. It also means that she is able to listen keenly to and visualize your monologue about tastes, desires, and expectations, and turn them into a creative design. She will ask probing questions and offer complementary ideas. Read her customers’ reviews, paying attention to the unspoken words.
A well-known and sort-after designer will charge at a premium rate of up to 50 percent of the project cost while a rookie designer will charge a fee like $50 per hour. An experienced designer charges at between $100 and $200 per hour. Given that a typical project will take between 5 and 20 hours of the designer’s time, the cost range for the job is between $500 and $4,000. A designer with good supplier connections will be able to negotiate discounts and pass the befit to the customer.
Some customers imagine that a designer simply selects furniture, appliances, and accessories. There is a lot that goes into floor planning, drawing and virtualization of the finished design before embarking on the actual task, matching material with the home’s character, arranging the furniture and fixtures, ensuring adherence to the building code, creating ambience and comfort, quoting and purchasing all inputs, and dealing with contractors. It is worthwhile to pay for the initial consultation with and quotes from several designers before determining the right one for you. You must know how much you are expected to spend by the end of the project.
Find a designer who can offer quality service at fair market rate while adjusting to your budget constraints and desired goals. Many home owners with a limited budget are afraid to hire an interior designer for fear of excessive service costs. Low-budget projects can be managed on cheaper materials and fewer consultations. Some designers will purchase way too much of furniture and fixtures in order to increase their cost plus margins. You can reduce the project cost by hiring the designer together with the contractor in order to synergize their work and come up with a seamless design-remodel.
The design industry is largely unregulated hence the big variance in services and costs. Design ideas are diverse and cannot be quantified for uniformity. The designer would typically make an initial phone contact, pay a visit to the property in question, take photographs and sample the house’s colors. They would then present a detailed quote. They would then proceed to do CAD drawings and presentations for the client. In the next meeting they would review the drawings and brainstorm on the best ideas and adjustments to the design. The designer is paid a fee, but they can also make some money by charging the client at retail rates and negotiating a trade discount with the supplier.
The selected designer will require a retainer fee from you and a contract. This will ensure commitment on both sides and an amicable way to resolve any disputes that may arise. The design project will be carried out in a timeline, with major milestones clearly defined. This will ensure that a schedule is observed, and in the event of abandonment, the next designer has a point to take over from. You will probably be paying the designer an installment at the end of each milestone.
Before hiring check the designer’s credentials, professional affiliations, experience, insurance and possible complaints filed against her. Get at least three local quotes for comparison. Have a clear picture of what you are paying for in terms of materials and labor. Home owners are anxious to get answers to some burning questions before hiring, as noted by Angieslist.com.
Find out from the interior designer about cost allocations.
When interviewing the references, ask them if;
After hiring you should be in constant communication with the interior designer and ask questions like;
A one-sided design consultation does not work. The designer needs to hear the home owner’s ideas and goals, and interpret them correctly. The home owner has to be clear and open about their feelings toward the choice and format of the design. Couples have different tastes and need to blend them by either adopting one person’s design in one space and the other person’s tastes in another space, or finding a mutually neutral ground. When the couple work on the design together, they bond closer and find it easier to like each other’s taste as well.
No color is good or bad, but a single color throughout the home is dull. Using the same paint patterns throughout the home is also not the best option. Different rooms in the home should evoke an appropriate feeling or emotion. For example a bright color in the bathroom or kitchen gives the feeling of clean and fresh. A black bedroom would feel ghostly and cold, while a soft color makes the living room calm and restful. In many cases you want to vary the color between rooms and to use two or three colors or hues in a room. Color is used to accentuate the architectural features of a room.
Generally a uniform color is monotonous. In the case of an open floor plan, you should demarcate each area using a color tint or a complementary color, especially at the transition zone. For closed rooms, each room can have a unique color scheme, although that would increase your budget on the different colors of paint. It is also good to have a “main” color that appears in all the rooms and at the same height, for example on the window seals and door frames.
The wood tones need not match, but the transition from one tone to another should be smooth and not abrupt, unless you want to create a contrasting pattern. By adding other accessories on the wall, such as picture frames, rugs, pillows, and so forth, you can create a smooth transition from one wood tone to another.
Art complements furniture and as such it should harmonize and blend in, not contrast. Consider adding the artwork after the rest of the room design is complete, which will ensure the art matches the rest of the design and décor.
Uniformity of materials creates a dull appearance. By using different metal finishes you create variety. For example a bronze, brass, or gold metal finish can easily blend in with a silver or chrome finish. Mixing metals adds depth and style to the design. Metal finishes are best when they contrast, for example chrome and gold, whereas similar metal finishes do not bring out the true essence of design, for example bronze ad brass.
Silk is often a fabric for the bedroom and as cloth material. There are however a few exceptions to using silk as a décor item. Faux flowers made from silk blend well with very light colors in the kitchen, dining, and living room. Silk flowers and plants cannot be a perfect substitute to the real thing.
Once you have vetted and hired an interior designer, you need to do some preparatory work. You need to set your goals, time-frame, budget, and expectations. These parameters will likely change after consulting with the interior designer. In your goals, weigh the need for a designer as opposed to a decorator, since the later will cost you significantly more to hire. By setting your goals you will also be making it clearer to the designer what you want done. Consult with the interior designer and let them know your preferred colors, your lifestyle at home, and even the kind of and frequency of visitors you entertain at your home. Tell them what you like and what you don’t like, especially where color is concerned. This will help the designer to figure out the color scheme, accessories, and fixtures for the room. Get inspiration from interior design and decoration magazines and from the internet.
Set a budget you can afford. Design is not a matter of comfort, therefore you should stay within a comfortable budget. It is easy to shop for alternative solutions that will look as good. Although the designer has a keen eye for detail, only you know what you truly love, so you have to stay on top of things. Let the designer interpret your vision, not dictate your taste. You have to be emphatic about issues like sustainability, environment, animal welfare, supporting local industry, imported and type of materials, child-friendliness, or any other aspect you feel strongly about.
An interior designer and color consultant in New Jersey, for example Linda Principe Interiors and West Design Services, LLC, charges about $200 for a two hour job, but a cheaper designer such as Inspirations For Your Home, LLC, charges $120 for a two hour session on phone.
There is a typical billing system of interior designers. A client needs to know in advance what to expect in terms of charges and working schedule. They charge in either of two methods; a flat fee after assessing the project, or an hourly rate of $150. In the flat fee method, they start will a retainer fee to be paid upfront, usually 15 percent, and the rest of the project is billed at the end of each milestone or when a substantial and quantifiable job has been completed, and before the next milestone. In the hourly billing the company bills twice a month. The charge is for man-hours, but it also includes a $50 per hour for the assistants’ fees when they work on the CAD drawings, go shopping, and make site visits. They also bill for drive time at $75 per hour. Before undertaking a job, an agreement is drawn and agreed upon. In general the average costs of design, such as Carla Aston Studios, are as follows;
|Consultation Fee per hour
|One-time Consultation Fee
|Minimum project fee
|Overall design plans
Many homeowners spend between $2,000 and $5,000 for interior design of a standard room. The main reason for hiring the interior designer is to revamp the home or upgrade a new home.
The interior designer is hired for a wide variety of design tasks that may involve a small room all the way to the entire new home interior. One of the main challenges for the home owner is space planning or layout, especially for the kitchen and bathroom. Many homeowners are torn between styles and blending of styles in each room. They are also lost for choice among the paints and colors, art work, drapery, fabric, lighting, winow treatment, flooring, and accessories. There are too many design options to choose from, for example mid-century modern, traditional, contemporary, eclectic, farmhouse, craftsman, coastal, shabby chic, rustic, and so forth.
It costs more to do separate projects in one home than to consolidate the entire projects into one, since the designer always starts by assessing the whole house. The designer also has an easier time creating one overall and harmonized design than doing separate space projects. Although the large project costs more money to design, it is cheaper on a per unit charge. The design is unified, a more generous discount is possible, and purchases with be in bulk, hence cheaper to purchase and freight.
The interior designer finds solutions to design challenges and conflicts, according to Amethyst Interiors. Besides doing the plans, sketches, designs, and drawings, the designer also sources for all the design materials like furniture, fabrics, and accessories. When partners disagree on color the designer listens to both sides and mediates with a compromise color that celebrates both individuals. The designer’s professional role is to adopt, compromise, or override the homeowner’s ideas. The designer can conjure up both colors to appease both partners.
If one person prefers happy colors like orange and pink, and the other partner likes traditional colors, then the designer can find a traditional happy color that suits both, and still create each partner’s color in their private spaces. Color conflicts are easily fixed through tinting, but accessories are trickier because people have different likings and styles. Some prefer minimalistic while other would fill the space with oversized accessories. The attention to color can be diminished by introducing décor, fixtures, furniture, and accessories that do not have the same color as the room, and that have a different texture, style, and shape.
It is not easy to get a comparable cost structure from designers as they use different criteria for quoting. In many cases, the interior designer works alone or with a couple of handymen. The interior designer services for a basic project cost in the range $1,800 and $10,000. For a simple or low-budget project, you can have a one-time consultation with a designer such as Laurel & Wolf, at a fee of between $200 and $500. Designing a staircase or entryway may cost just $500, but designing the entire house may cost $20,000 or more. Labor charges are between $50 and $150 per hour. The design blueprints will cost an additional $500 to $1,000.
LaurelAndWolf.com state that the average cost of hiring an interior designer for a project is $5,000, consultation and a retainer cost between $200 and $500 depending on the complexity of the project, site visits cost $100, and the other services like planning, quotes, procurement, travel time, telephone consultations, and window treatment will cost about $100 per hour. A good design will gives the impression of an expensive and tasteful style, and improves the home’s ROI by 60 to 90 percent, while a poor design can deflate the ROI.
The cost of enhancement design involves the cost of service and creation of new footprint. Designers charge at the rate of between $100 and $150 per hour for their service. Preparing quotes and initial interview will cost $500. The initial consultation on-site will cost between $200 and $500. The design drawings will typically cost between $500 and $2,500. Basic additions in a 200 square foot bathroom will cost between $1,500 and $2,000, a comprehensive, high-end, and classic theme will range between $4,500 and $6,000, and expanding the space, which involves relocating the wall, will cost between $1,000 and $2,000 in designer fees. The cost of the designer ranges between 10 percent and 25 percent of the project total cost. Other designer fees include an initial contact, site visit, photography, and data collection. It is followed by the cost of drawing and presenting the CAD design.
New proposals or ideas are discussed and presented in a schematic design presentation and a digital storyboard of sample furniture and fabric. The project is meticulously documented, including shopping for initial or sample materials. If a project is deemed urgent, an additional fee is charged to speed up work. If you seek the services of an architect to do the interior design, then you can save up to 15 percent on the overall cost, but do not expect the same quality result the professional designer would give you. If you want an elaborate design then expect to pay more and the project to take longer to complete.
There are four common methods of charging for interior design, namely; hourly rate, cost plus, per square foot, or fixed rate.
The designer can charge by the hour where the project involved is simple, low-budget, or straight-forward, and the cost is unlikely to spiral. The hour rate can be as low as $50 per hour for a rookie designer and as high as $200 for a seasoned pro. It is expensive to use this method if the project is going to take long to complete and costs are unpredictable.
Hourly rates are fine for small projects, especially those with no construction, because they take few hours, but large project that last weeks or months will add significantly to the designer costs if charged by the hour. Example hourly rates for several designers are as follows; 13 Design Lane Interiors, Oregon, charge $100 per hour for consultation and site visits, and $50 per hour to manage the project. Visions of Variation with Victoria, Arizona, charge $95 for moving furniture or materials, and $75 for consultation, quoting, and shopping. Infocus Designs, Illinois, charge a flat fee of $225 for an unlimited consultation session, and $50 per hour for project management.
The designer can charge by cost plus or percentage method if there are many items to be purchased or when working with general contractors. She does all the purchases and marks up the cost by between 15 and 25 percent as the cost of service. A seasoned designer negotiates trade discounts with suppliers and retains the discount to cover her effort and time in research, negotiating, shopping, and freight. This works best when there are plenty of furniture and material to be bought. However, there is a temptation for the designer to overstock or overcharge on the purchases, therefore, insist on getting receipts and invoices for purchases.
The designer can also charge by the per-square foot method, especially where a lot of accessorizing and extensive remodeling are involved. The upmarket designer charges between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot. She will still charge separately for the major fixtures in a room, for example a shower, tub, and vanity in the bathroom. The method is expensive for small projects because most designers have a high base rate.
Finally, the designer can charge by the fixed or flat rate method, in which she sizes up the project and makes an all-inclusive quote for materials, labor, design, and all other expenses. The method is suitable in fairly routine work with predictable costs. It is attractive to homeowners who want to know in advance what the design project would cost them, be assured of no surprise cost escalations, and stay out of the nitty gritty of the project.
The national average for a small design project is at $50 to $200 per hour, $6,000 for a bedroom design, and $10,000 or $250 per square foot for a bathroom design. In all there is no standard fee or formula for arriving at a cost. The American Society of Interior Designers or ASID states that, at best interior designers will give an indication of their pricing policy and then proceed to work out the nitty gritty of your project. Fixr.com summarizes the cost of design projects as follows;
|2,500 sq. ft. Home
|1,800 sq. ft. Home
|“Feng Shui” Consultation
|$500 per hour
Have a clear picture of what you want out of the design project, otherwise the designer will be confused and frustrated not knowing your ultimate goals and budget. She will end up with miscalculations and cost escalations due to constant design changes. You will save yourself future costs and design mishaps if you invest in initial consultation with several designers. They will give you a clearer picture of the ideal design for your budget.
“Feng Shui”, translated to “wind water”, is a philosophy that manipulates energy forces to create a balance in the interior design. It is considered to be the art of arrangement. It combines design with special arrangement of elements that bring out a positive life change and balance. There are three kinds of “Feng Shui” design. The Traditional or Classical “Feng Shui” focuses on compass direction, landscape, form, symbols, and shape, and it uses calculations to determine the best direction of fixtures and arrangements. The Black Hat Sect “Feng Shui” focuses on intuitive evaluation of space based on the “Fesh Shui” energy map or “Bagua” instead of calculations. The Intuitive or Modern “Feng Shui” relies on a combination of traditional intuition and modern Western adaptations.
A “Feng Shui” consultant aims to add spirituality, attraction, positive feeling, and life improvement into your home design while the interior designer aims to improve the aesthetics of the home. The “Feng Shui” designer uses natural elements for creativity, balance, and good luck, while the interior designer uses all forms of visual, acoustic, natural, and artificial materials for inspiration. However, both approaches are complementary when it comes to improving the curb appeal of the home, providing comfort, and creating a practical environment.
The natural elements used in “Feng Shui” are water, earth, fire, metal, and wood. By combining these elements you create a space that is balanced, comfortable and ambient. Water influences emotions and spirituality, which are represented by deep and reflective colors, water features, and free-form patterns. The earth influences order, stability, and strength, which are applied to landscape, color brown, regular shapes, and natural objects. Fire is a symbol of leadership, enthusiasm, boldness, skill, and freedom, which are represented by lighting, candles, fire places, animal prints, and bright fire colors like red, orange, purple, and pink. Metal represents fortitude, logic, and clarity, which designers represent with round shapes, rocks, metallic, and glass elements. Wood influences creativity, which is represented by tree-shapes, plant drawings and prints, colors green and brown, natural wood textures, and wood accessories.
“Feng Shui” creates aesthetic designs, nurtures positive connections, and improves your outlook on life, and calms your nerves. It makes the interior more attractive with a natural feel.
It is challenging to find a qualified “Feng Shui” designer. Their services are more expensive at $700 compared to regular designers at $200, and their concepts are not always pocket-friendly. Some concepts are impractical, for example changing the direction of the front door towards the east during the good luck years and away from the east during the bad luck years.
Few people are knowledgeable, but if you know “Feng Shui” you can either DIY or assist your designer to create a close match to “Feng Shui”. A “Feng Shui” designer will identify and channel the positive energy in your home design. You have to totally overhaul the home design in order to apply “Feng Shui”. A professional “Feng Shui” designer costs between $300 and $1,500 per hour or $700 per hour on average, according to Improvenet.com.
By following basic design steps, you will avoid costly mistakes.
Determine the footprint you want to transform, noting the position of the windows, entryways, electrical fixtures, and plumbing fixtures. It will also show the type of flooring and floor finishing, the furniture, and main features you desire to be in the plan. Note the traffic flow and keep the passage clear. The plan, furniture, and fixtures should be done to scale so that you avoid buying too large or too small rugs and furniture pieces.
The floor covering should be a material that will withstand the furniture weight and shape and blend with it smoothly. The floor is the foundation of room design and needs to be installed first. The rest of the room fixtures will be based on the floor finishing and style. It will not do much justice to install a wood floor finishing and laminate furniture. Besides functionality and aesthetics, rugs add style and warmth to the room. A floral area rug goes well with solid seats scattered around the rug to create comfort. An area rug also allows a transition to other fabric on furniture and wall. Ensure the rug is the right size before purchasing. In general, the front legs of furniture should be on the rug and the rug should cover all the open space in the living room.
Painting is a quick way to transform the room’s walls and overall room design affordably. Apart from wallpaper, you can choose to do a tint painting or a pattern painting. There are stencils in the market for quick and exciting pattern and artwork painting. It is important to choose the right color for the room, especially one that gives the right mood.
There are many inexpensive and energy-efficient lighting options in the market today. You can have a chandelier in the kitchen, dining room, or living room, recessed lights in the common areas and the bathroom, shaded wall lights in the hallway and large rooms, and shaded table lights in the bedroom and study.
Choose the overall style of furniture that takes into consideration the material, color, grain texture, upholstery fabric, and finishing. Consider the function of the furniture because some should be sturdy, hard wearing, elegant, or possessing of some other quality. Contemporary style does not go for matching, but rather complementing.
When selecting colors, decide on the theme color as the primary color, and then think of several complementing colors or tints as secondary color. Unless you are painting murals, avoid too many colors on the wall. A flat or dull color helps to conceal imperfections, while a bright color tends to be cheerful.
Most artwork on hung on the wall or placed on the mantle. If you want it as the focal point in the room then you need a contrasting background or frame.
Select a window treatment that will transit smoothly from the window to the wall. Window treatment is both functional and aesthetic, and provides a much needed accent to the room. Select curtains, drafts, blinds, or shades that have a complementing decorative cording, tassel, fringe trimming, and other small details for the embellishment. You can go budget by gluing s colored ribbon, stitching beads, or taping a hem around a plain curtain.
Pillows, picture frames, trophies, nature prints, and fluffy, oversized teddy bears add to the welcoming and comfortable feel of the room. Be careful not to go overboard in accessorizing the room.
The dining table is often draped in linen to both protect it from heat and spills, and add style to the dining area. The dining table will have a tablecloth, napkin holder, runners, placemats, flower vase, and a decorative fruit/bread basket. A runner can be used in place of all the table linen. You can have different sets of table linen for different occasions or meal times.
When designing your home the interior designer can make the season more cheerful, colorful, comfortable, and warm with simple materials and design techniques.
✓ Window and door curtains can be bright with bold patterns for a cheerful look, or dull to complement the room’s décor and to create a feeling of privacy. Heavier curtains are even better because they do not fluster in the breeze and add to the warmth and ambience of the room.
✓ Pillows and cushions on the bed and sofa seats can be embellished with soft materials and printed in bold colors like orange, golden yellow, black and yellow, ochre, or blue colors. You can use seasonal prints such as leaves, fruits, or animals.
✓ Place a warm and soft rug on the floor in the middle of the room or next to the bed. Rugs add comfort to the room especially by insulating against a cold floor. Earthly colors like dark green, deep red, orange, and brown suit the rugs in a living room.
✓ Decorate the walls with accessories like a large wall clock, picture and photograph frames, murals, wallpaper, wall rugs, and other decorative items.
✓ The choice of bedding materials and colors can transform the bedroom into a cuddly retreat. Complimentary colors and soft fabric for the duvets, covers, blankets, pillows, and bedspread create a great effect on the room appeal. Cotton and wool are ideal for bedspreads.
✓ Cover the tabletop with white or brightly colored cloth, preferably one that has bold patterns. Themes like plants, fruits, foods, and flowers are ideal for the dining table cloth. A rustic fruit basket with either real or faux fruits in the middle of the kitchen or dining table adds elegance to the atmosphere, as does a large flower vase in the living room table or shelf.
✓ For a romantic touch, place scented candles in candle holders along the walls and on the dining table. Cinnamon, apple, saddle wood, and lavender have a sweet scent.
In design you do not have to abide by the rules, for example you do not have to design wide mirrors in the bathroom, a sofa in every living room, or upper and lower cabinets in the kitchen. Design for your specific space and floor layout.
As a general rule, allocate at least 10 percent of your remodeling budget to the designer fees, although 12 to 20 percent will get you a more experienced designer. Your design budget will most likely spiral upwards, unless you choose to scale it down. You can opt to buy materials yourself and get a discount, but they may not be to the specifications of the designer and you would have to do more window shopping unlike the designer who is accustomed to shopping in different places and having items customized at a fraction of the cost. Manufacturers have different lead times that could delay your project and escalate the labor costs. Manufacturers do not deliver directly to the residence, but rather to a warehouses or dock where the items are uncrated and inspected for damage and specifications. You have to meet the cost of freight from the factory to the warehouse and on to the residence.
As the urban space dwindles, the wall space is put to more functional use leaving little room for art and décor hangings. The focus has tended to shift from landscape to vertical hanging, and from many small pieces to few large pieces. You can still stack several small frames vertically.