The hidden face of interior design process

Have you ever wondered what happen to a renovation project after it’s handed up to an interior designer ? After all, you can only see part of the story : first call, first talk, you say what you want, what you need…and after several days, the interior designer will come back with beautiful drawings of a new home. But there’s a part missing. What’s happening in between ?Let me take you behind the scene to discover the hidden face of interior design process.

Of course, this applies to MY way of working and will probably not apply to another interior designer. Everybody has a different way to start, create, built and show a project. The steps are quite the same, the way to take these steps can be completely different.

Get to know you

The most important part for me, and probably the most exposing part for you ! You answer questions about your age, your job, who’s living with you, what you like to do when you’re at home, the colors you love, what you don’t like with the actual state of your interior and so on. But what am I doing with all these informations ?? Why do I care if you have a cat, a dog or a ferret ?

Two things. First, the very pragmatical purpose. The more I know, the more I can understand what you need for your place, materially speaking. I draw up a list of what you need and I exclude what would be a problem. A person who has a cat at home, I will probably not create an interior with a partition made out of strings. That’s just one example.

 

"By the way you talk, the tone of your voice or how much you write in my questionnaire, I’ll be able to feel your sensibility and character."

Secondly, the purpose you are not even aware of. By asking all these questions about your life, I’ll be interested by the content of your answers but also by the way you will answer. That’s when I can see your personality, what’s important for you and what’s your level of comfort with the idea of changing your home. All the answers you will never be able to tell me. By the way you talk, the tone of your voice or how much you write in my questionnaire, I’ll be able to feel your sensibility and character. Therefore I’ll know how to adapt my design and way of working to your personality.

Now I’ve drawn your portrait (physical and psychological) in my mind, let’s dive into your project.

Creation process

The messy part. Usually starts with me staring at the plan of your place. For a while. Eyes on the screen, head in the hands. And the noise of the wind. Nothing.

But don’t judge a book by it’s cover. If I appear like doing nothing but staring hopelessly at the screen (which even goes on standby from time to time), in my head, it’s a storm.

I see your space, changing from the plan view to 3D in my mind. I analyse each square centimeter, record every corner, every angle, start to feel the key elements that will guide the design. The walls start to rise around me as if I was in the space. The pieces of furniture you told me you would keep swirl around in the space. Partitions are erased, kitchen is moved, bookshelves are created. Everything moves around at high speed.

 

"The walls start to rise around me as if I was in the space. (...) Partitions are erased, kitchen is moved, bookshelves are created."

And from time to time, I move. I move to take my pen and sketch few lines of the idea that came to a stop in my mind. It’s a start but I’m not there yet. The storm starts again. And the process goes on and on.

It doesn’t have to happen beside my computer or tablet, I don’t have to see your plan to see this storm in my mind. Your space is like downloaded in my mind. You have to know that, as soon as I have the plan of your place and I know who you are, your project won’t leave my mind any minute of any day. It can be a problem when the answer is coming to me when I’m in the bus and I don’t have any paper with me (even if I always say I should have a notebook in my bag). In that case, I just write down some keywords in my phone before it vanishes.

Sometimes I get lost in the process. After several ideas, none of them « speak » to me. I did 5, 6, 7 sketches and none of them is the One. That’s usually when I take my pen and start doodling all across your plan, adding smiley faces or words like « yyyaaaaaa » in the middle (tch, creative people!) I give it some rest.

That’s when I find it. « Creativity needs space » I heard one day. That’s true. If you focus on finding an idea, you will never find the good one. But as soon as you give it some rest, that’s when the idea pop up in your head, out of nowhere.

The process is shorter or longer, there are no rules about which kind of project is more tricky than the other. But one thing is always the same : I know when I have the good idea, the One.

At this point, I have the main concept, the main lines, how the different elements will be put together.

Make it easy and beautiful

I go in detail. Shapes, dimensions, position in the space, colors distribution,… I’m creating the aesthetics of your new home. Suddenly, your plan is surrounded by small 3D sketches showing your place. I’m moving this wall 5 cm to the right, 5 cm to the left. It completely changes the feeling of the space. I have to decide. Maybe I will change some lines of the main concept, just because it’s needed. And it will make it even better.

I will start to measure if the lengh of the worktop in the kitchen is long enough so you can easily cook for your dinner with your friends. I will check if you have enough space to store all your clothes.

 

"The puzzle-solving continues until each of your needs finds its answer."

I’ll see where colors are enhancing the space, where you’ll be able to add your personal touches of decoration. Always leaving space for you. Ideas of materials and finishes will start to pop-up into my mind. Some will be good, some will be completely out of the place. Some will fit you, some will not. And, sadly, some will be possible to implement in your space and some will simply be impossible to fit in…

The puzzle-solving continues until each of your needs finds its answer.

Display it

Images are your friends. Then I start to create clean 3D images to show the space I’ve created for you. And the process will be an opportunity to bring even more details.

A project is never finished until we decide it. That’s what I used to say. Indeed, sometimes, creating the 3D image is the time when I go back and forth, trying new ideas, bringing up previous ones that I think could be nice in the end. Actually, all this « back-and-forth » process is really not just my thing. As far as I know, all interior designers are the same (or should I say, all creative professionals are the same). Creativity is endless, there is always a way to make things better and better. The truth is, « better » is not the good word. The right word is « different ». Creativity is endless because you can always make something looks different. So, as long as you don’t say « stop », the project can continue forever (and you would never see your future home).

 

"Creativity is endless, (...) Luckily, I know the balance between « changing for better » and « changing for changing ». When your project is done, I know it."

Luckily, I know the balance between « changing for better » and « changing for changing ». When your project is done, I know it. I know when I found the good combination of volumes, proportions and atmosphere. The dark side is, if I don’t reach this point, I don’t stop looking for the perfect combination, the one that I know will be able to resonate for you. But luckily again, I react well to deadlines coming closer and closer. The answer will always show up on time so you don’t have to wait longer than expected to discover your project.

Time to bet

Time for me to send you your project. Meaning time for me to know if I got it right, if I have understood your tastes and personality.

That’s a bet. It all stands on the analysis I did from the answers you gave me. It stands on what I think would fit you and your place. And of course, it stands on my own style as an interior designer. There’s no way to avoid this part and you probably called me for it anyway in the first place.

 

"Aesthetics is subjective and there is always a risk."

But still, aesthetics is subjective and there is always a risk. That’s why I always ask my clients to tell me how they feel about the project, if they like it or not. If I was wrong, I’ll do my best to change the design to reach the point where they love it. It’s also part of this interior design process.

And if I’m right, well, it always feels kind of a miracle for me ! Even if I know I’m more right than wrong (until now ! Knock on wood) it’s always a great satisfaction to hear or read your clients appreciation and see I understood them right.

The adventure continues

Either you ask for more detailed drawings, either you asked for 2 options and want to go further on one of them. Maybe you want to take the end of the adventure on your own. One thing is sure, you just had the first glimpse to your new home and that’s how it happened :

 

 

Want to give it a try ? Get in touch with me 🙂

This month, I’m telling you everything about my work behind the scenes. Discover who I am and my point of view on my profession. You can of course get all of this and much more directly in your inbox by simply register here.

If you want to know even more about the interior design process or have a specific question, ask me in the comment below !

See you soon !

Emilie

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