Understanding the Interior Design Process

If it's your first time working with a designer for a home or commercial space, you might not understand everything that goes into the process. Understanding the project as a whole and each phase of design can ultimately save you time and money. Once you know your role and the roles of others involved in your interior design project, it will make the process much more enjoyable for you.

The first step is to find a design firm you feel comfortable with and that you trust has an experienced and respected team of architects, artisans and contractors. Each design firm works differently, and every project is varies with regards to how many phases you'll go through. If your project is on a smaller scale, you might not have all the phases outlined in this article, but in general, the major phases of a design project are:

1. Schematic Design
2. Design Development
3. Construction Documents
4. Bidding Phase
5. Construction Administration

Stages of Interior Design – Explained

1. Schematic Design: This is first stage of the design process when the scope of the project is defined. As the client, you'll be very engaged in this part of the process with the designer and sometimes the architect, if necessary. The designer (and architect) will provide rough sketches and show materials to ensure the concept is headed in the direction you envision. This phase can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the firm you work with and the extent of the project. It can take longer if you don't have any idea what type of design you're looking for. In that case, the design firm can help steer you in the right direction.

2. Design Development: The next stage aims to turn concepts into concrete action items. This stage will help to identify any problem areas that may not have been apparent upfront. In design development, the architect and interior design firm creates initial architectural drawings and material specifications. You will be involved throughout this process as the design firm will need your feedback to zero in on the details and discuss solutions to any problems. Once the direction of the design project is approved by you, the next step is construction documents.

3. Construction Documents: In this phase, the preliminary drawings that were created in the design development phase of the project are now turned into working documents, refined for accuracy and code requirements. All the materials to be used in the project are finalized and the specifications are prepared. Once this is complete, the documents serve as a tool to build out the project. You won't be involved much in this phase due to the technicality of it, and the timeline depends on the scope of the project.

4. Bidding Phase: In the bidding phase, the construction documents are sent to potential building contractors so they can prepare bids. The bid is an estimate of the cost and time it will take to complete your design project. You …

Ideas That Will Gear You Up For Kitchen Decoration

Every home says something, so does every room in a house. The living room reverberates with your laughter and the untainted fun that you have with your family members and friends. The bed room is all about your whispers, some romantic silences between you and your spouse, and a comfortable sleep. The dining room witnesses the daily breakfast and also a satisfying Sunday lunch and dinner with your family. The bathroom is a platform for your random songs and showers. Last but not the least; the kitchen room is in itself a charismatic land. The center of all cuisines, be it Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Irish or Japanese. It also tells us about what palatable dish your mom loves to cook. It rings of vitality, entertainment and the love of a wife, a mother, a daughter and a woman.

When you plan to revamp your kitchen, you must take into account a number of things. However, when you plan to do up your kitchen, it should have a light mood ambience. The soul of your household must not get affected. To make sure, you can consult an able home or interior decorator or even a specialist. You can discuss your ideas with those who are dealers and manufacturers of bespoke Kitchens. In conjunction to both the ideas, you must add a great kitchen design. You must remember one thing that only a professional can give the perfect decorative touch. Some of the common place tips include:

Color and Texture – Both color and texture of any interior must compliment your personality, choice and mood. People usually believe that dark colors are weighty while light colors are cheery. Bold colors tend to lessen the space, while light colors widen the space. There are various textures available these days. To accentuate the appeal of the kitchen, you can experiment on textures like wood or brick.

Experiment – Clubbing the contemporary and traditional is a great way to mix and match. As a result, you will find that your kitchen wears an ethnic yet chic look. If you can carry out this idea successfully, then you will gain nothing but appreciation. People might get inspired and covet your kitchen décor. You can also ask the contractors to paint your wardrobes and kitchen tops.

Make Use of the Space – You can also make a wise you of the space in your kitchen. Since, kitchen is not only a place for cooking but other activities too; you can install some good show-piece or something which is functional as well.

To decorate your kitchen the way you want, you must shop for the accessories. For affordable kitchens and accessories, you can do a bit of research on the internet.

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6 Benefits of Using Stones in Interior and Exterior of Building

The use of stone in interior and exterior applications is widely gaining popularity all over the world. Be it commercial building or private houses, owners prefer the use of stones to enhance the beauty of the building. Apart from domestic and corporate use the stone is liberally used in the buildings where the architecture plays a key role in the business like heritage hotels, restaurants and showrooms.

Here are 6 major reasons of the growing popularity of stones in construction of buildings:

Exquisite Visual Appeal

The stone can be employed in variety of interior and exterior applications. The Jalli, pillars or panels made of stone have a distinct air of vintage that add to the overall visual impression of your building. Besides, the modern architects and interior designers have extensively experimented with various types of stones to be used in interior as well as exterior applications. Hence the material that was already famous for its strength is now also used for its designer value.

Negligible Maintenance

Not only does it offer a unique, eye caressing look to the entire building, but also requires negligible maintenance and care. They do not get smudged or stained easily. Due to its characteristics the stone's surface provides a sufficient protection.

Onetime Expense

One of the best advantages of employing stones in your interior and exteriors is that it requires onetime expense. Its long lasting nature eliminates all worries and you just need to pay a single time expense of stone, fixing material and labor charge.

Durability

Unlike paint or vitrified tiles that have a life of 2-3 years, stone is a long lasting material that will maintain its charm through decades. Besides, unlike vitrified tiles the stone does not show apparent effects of ageing. Its rugged surface does not catch the dust easily or apparently shows the effects of the same.

Stone Cladding

The dry cladding of stone provides a complete protection against stone falling off over a periods of time. The change in temperature causes stone to contract and expand that also affects its grip. As the stones grip is weakened the water, sand and moisture start seeping into the cement joints and ultimately it falls off the wall. It can be extremely detrimental and can result in fatal accident especially if the stone is clad on building facade

The Stone Can Remain Intact For Long

Most of the historical buildings have employed an extensive use of stone and have been standing intact through the centuries. Besides, the walls of old forts were almost entirely made of stones. Not only did they provide an efficient protection from the intruders during that time but till today these walls and forts are unaffected by the extremities of weather and effects of time. That strengthens the stone's position as a durable building material.

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Interior Design Best Selling Books

Holly Becker writes Decorate: 1000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your House. In this book, top designers come together to share over 1000 tips on how you can change your room and do it to meet your budget. You can get inspiration from the beautiful colored examples in the book, photos of bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, parlors, as well as checklists, shortcuts, and cost cutting methods, so that you will be sure to find something in there that meets your eye as well as an explanation of how to make it possible in your own home.

Christine Lemieux writes Undecorate, a book that heralds a brand new kind of style that seeks to push aside the stuffy professional styles of today and bring their own personality into their home. The book profiles about twenty homes all over the nation and shows how it came to be the way it was by tying it in with the owner's particular personality. Following the interests of car fanatics who turn their master bedroom into an air stream trailer to a couple that makes their house a log house, to someone who creates and English manor, to a variety of other kinds of strange creations that reveal the personality of the builder, this book will show you how to accomplish the same feat.

Domino: The Book of Decorating, written by Deborah Needleman is a book that offers step by step guides to decorating your rooms. No matter what styles you prefer, the book will have something in that vein as well as tips on how to mix and match styles, too. The Domino team contributes their own personal design efforts so you can see how they transformed their own rooms and in what kinds of styles they decided to work in. This is a great book if you are interested in redoing a room in your house.

My Passion for Design by Barbara Streisand is a beautifully illustrated persona tour of the great star's homes and collections. From the Broadway stage, television and film stardom, her work as a director, and her work in the recording studio, Barbara has been an iconic figure with an extraordinary voice and immense talent. Now, in her first book, Barbara gives readers a glimpse into the taste that has inspired her beautiful home. This book focuses on the architecutre and construction of her home and contains many photographs of rooms she decorated herself. Other illustrations include the gardens she planted on her California coastal land. She gives us a look into the world of on of the most beloved stars.

Charlotte Moss Decorates: The Art of Creating Elegant and Inspired Rooms by Charlotte Moss gives a singular vision through a beautiful collection of her acclaimed rooms. Moss has led a celebrated career in the interior design world. Her book offers readers a glimpse into the methods behind her magic. For each room that is featured, Moss breaks the numerous stages of the design process, revealing storyboards and …

Home Decor Tips – Ideas and Solutions for Uneven Walls and Existing Tiled Walls

Asking for wiring and cables to be concealed inside walls is always a risk. You run the risk of poor workmanship with wires that don't lie flat inside and the walls bulges out in an ugly track across the wall. Here're some home decor tips with creative ideas for uneven walls:

A fast and easy option would be to lay over the wall with a wall board. You'll lose only a few inches of space, and once the board's painted over, you'll get a smooth surface that matches the other walls in your interior.

A fun and funky option would be to commission a plaster artist to create a textural surface or even a wall mural. The basic material can be plaster or a more durable marble-resin finish. In one instance, the home owner's love of the sea inspired an artist to create a free form wave mural for the living room that evokes Spanish architect Gaudi's melting buildings as much as it does waves lapping the shore.

An important point to note is that both treatments, the wall board and the textual finish, are removable. This is important, as should you ever have to locate a fault in the electrical cabling, you can heck or remove the wall quickly. Textured finishes can be repaired and repainted, so no expensive remodeling will be needed.

If your room is covered with existing ceramic tiles, you should not try to paint over with ceramic paint since these paints are hobby craft paints and can be costly for such a large area. The result may also be unsatisfactory as you have never attempted such a DIY project.

One solution for unsightly tiled walls is to have the contractor cover the wall with gypsum board. You'll only lose a few inches in terms of depth. And you can then have the wall coats painted to match the other walls.

If you decide to keep the tiled wall, make it more prominent in your décor scheme by playing up the texture with furniture, So if you've got rust colored tiles, teak, rattan and ethnic accents would work well. Keep also to pale cheerful colors in the fabrics – banana yellow, aqua and cream are good choices. This will counter the dark wall and floor and keep the look light and airy.

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Interior Designer Dorothy Draper – Inferior Desecrator?

The actual profession of interior designer is credited to a woman named Dorothy Draper, who was commissioned to decorate all thirty-seven floors of the Hampshire House hotel in 1937 Manhattan. Even though renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright called her an "inferior desecrator," Ms. Draper had decorated scores of offices, restaurants, hospitals, and even a car for Packard (in 1952) and an airplane interior for Convair (the 880) before she died in 1969.

Ms. Draper also left a legacy through a number of books, as well, including a string of books on entertaining etiquette, some of which have recently been reprinted to help modern socialites entertain guests and be the life of their parties. In a way, Dorothy Draper was the Martha Stewart of her day, offering tips on a wide variety of issues to her eager readers.

Although Dorothy Draper is no longer a household name, she had an enormous effect on American interior design ideas in her day, and though she had her detractors (like Frank Lloyd Wright and others), there's no denying that she was the one who made the profession of interior designer possible for all those who came after her.

Much of Ms. Draper's work hasn't survived to the current day, but you can still see some of Ms. Draper's work in various places around the country. For instance, there are still Dorothy Draper chandeliers hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For a less prosaic look into Ms. Draper's influence, just look for the blue-and-orange facades of the many Howard Johnson restaurants that still dot the countryside from coast to coast. Their color scheme was first suggested by Dorothy Draper.

The science of interior design has come a long way over the past seventy years. Today, it's a multimillion dollar industry, and incorporates aspects of environmental psychology, and architecture, as well as product and furniture design to create spaces that work well and are esthetically pleasing to their owners.

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Vaastu Interior For Good Family Life

Everybody has a desire to have their dream home look beautiful and give good energy. According to traditional Indian beliefs, each house has its own energy type and is considered a living object. Once a person starts living in a house he comes under the influence of a specific energy field and he is now charged. Indian Vastu science has several remedies to ensure that a house remains blessed, without making any structural changes. Vastu shastra is based on natural energies such as solar energy, lunar energy, thermal energy, magnetic energy, light energy, wind energy. These energies can be balanced to enhance peace, prosperity and success.

Vastu comes from the same ancient scriptures of the Vedas that define the practices of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and Vedic astrology. Vastu is the yoga of interiors, bringing balance to your life, health and harmony to your environment, inner peace and tranquility through order, and unity. Meditation gives the experience of pure consciousness to the subtle spirit; Vastu enhances this and connects us with the source through proper channels of design. Ayurveda, is the discipline of the science of life, creating balance for health of the body. Vastu creates healthy buildings; This so absolutely affects our mental and physical health, happiness, and prosperity —- and the health of the environment. Vedic astrology gives knowledge of planetary influences on our lives, emotions, relationships, prosperity, career, and health. Applying an expert Vastu consultant's recommendations and remedies helps correct negative influences in all areas of life. It also increases and creates positive effects well beyond the merely decorative.

Sacred Geometry or Yantras which create perfect three-dimensional energy fields and, when placed properly in the home, help neutralize any negative effects of improper vastu. A yantra is a visual mantra and are great tools for buildings that were not Vastu-designed. They protect from disturbing negative energies in the environment. When we focus upon a yantra mandala, the mind resonates with the energy of the deity and a higher awareness or consciousness is said to be obtained. The planets exert powerful vibratory effects on our bodies, minds, and emotions. Yantras give us help in creating harmony with nature rather than working against the forces from nature. Yantras are beautiful art, the original Vedic sacred geometry from ancient India. These cosmic diagrams generate beautiful energies that instill splendid divine consciousness into your surroundings.

North – East areas of your homes are considered as the energy generators. Placing a Sri Yantra in the North East corner will magnify the energy of prosperity and happiness. Sitting quietly in a comfortable position, allow your breathing to settle into a deep, slow rhythm, meditate and feel the energy of abundance and prosperity flowing through you.

Vastu recognizes five elements of creation that, when honored, enhance the flow of prana, universal life-force energy, within a building. Honoring nature is a sacred acknowledgment. The five elements of earth, air, fire, water, and space are energetically linked with particular directions. Earth is associated with the southwest; air, …

Inexpensive Bathroom Remodel Tips

If you ever consider selling your home, having an updated, modern bathroom will help to increase the selling price. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to do a bathroom remodel. If you want to do some remodeling on your bathroom but have a tight budget, here are some ideas and tips to help you accomplish your goal. You can decorate your walls with decorations, paint the room with new bright fresh colors, add candles, plants, and more can make your older bathroom look new.

Creating surfaces that are unique

When doing a bathroom remodel the first thing that you should consider is repainting the bathroom walls along with giving the floor and ceiling a new finish. When you create a new surface in the bathroom, most of residential renovations are done. These surfaces include your walls, floors, and ceilings. To begin these steps of remodeling first think about a color combination for those three surfaces that will work together. Pick neutral colors like gray, green, ivory, yellow, peach, violet, etc. These colors will give your bathroom a relaxing feel. Make sure that when choosing a color for the wall that you pick a color that is complementary to the ceiling and flooring. To match the walls you could pick inexpensive laminated flooring or smooth tiled floors and plain drywall ceilings.

Inexpensive bathroom accessories

Once you have the colors chosen for the walls it is time for the residential renovations of the interior of your bathroom. These can include a bathtub or shower enclosure, vanity area, storage area, and toilet, that entire essential for your new bathroom. When starting these remodeling jobs start with the bathtub. If it not cracked, build a deck around it instead of installing a new one. For the deck, you can use a stone or laminated surface where you can place toiletries and candles on the flat surface. If you do have to install a new one, pick a unique shape like circular, rectangular, etc if it would in the room and you can afford one like this.

Next on the list is the vanity area, which includes a mirror, closed or open granite, / wooden chest beneath the sink, and the sink. Today there are many different colors and shapes of sinks to choose from. You can also build the sink into the chest that will be under the sink. When paired with the chest and sink one great inexpensive backsplash would be just a simple mirror. If you are adding or redoing a shower enclosure, use inexpensive tempered glass.

Simple attractive decorations

The most important thing to remember is not to overdo the decorations. You could add a colorful backsplash behind the sink, a small painting on the wall, a small basket of decorative soap or candle on the vanity and more.

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Why Should You Use Granite for Your Kitchen Countertop?

What is Granite?

Granite is a highly-durable natural stone which forms from within the depths of the earth. Quarries extract it as big chunks of rock. From blocks, they turn these into slabs. A large gang saw carves through the massive stone like a giant bread slicer. Once cut, a particular machine polishes the granites' surface. In turn, this process brings out the stones' full color.

What Does Granite Look Like?

Granite is available in a wide range of color and pattern combinations. It often comes in shades of red, brown, black, white, and gray. Of course, there are other exquisite colors too, like green and blue. Most slabs appear with scattered black and gray specks on its surface. In some stones, swirls and veins make up its appearance. And, there are a few types which have minute crystals that shimmer under the light. All these variations are natural and inconsistent. The various minerals that form these rocks give its unique colors. Hence, no two slabs are identical. As a result, this natural process yields a virtually unlimited number of granite selections on the market.

But there is more to granite than meets the eye. After all, it is a natural material that has endured through time. Many of our history's majestic structures are a testament to its strength. In particular, it forms some of the great pyramids of Egypt. It makes up, too, the famous sculpture at Mount Rushmore. These, along with a few more, prove that granite is in for the long haul.

How Tough is Granite?

So what makes granite an excellent countertop material?

For one, granite is hard enough to resist abrasion. It holds out against scratches from daily kitchen preparations. It is harder than most kitchen utensils. And, believe it or not, it is more robust than your kitchen knives. Second, it is sturdy enough to bear significant weight. It remains steadfast even if you place many kitchen items over it. It will neither bend nor break under normal kitchen use. Lastly, it is inert enough to resist weathering. Just like a diamond, granite is a product of the constant pressure underground. Hence, it withstands heat from hot pots and pans without absorbing damage. As such, it is safer to use than its synthetic counterparts with resin and polyester. Granite does not melt, warp or even change color when subjected to high temperature. Furthermore, it holds its color and luster even when exposed to the elements.

For all its inherent strength, granite, however, is not indestructible. Use it beyond its normal function, and it may break or chip like any piece of rock. A countertop is meant to provide a work surface for the kitchen. So do not sit or stand on top of it. Use a stool when replacing a light bulb or reaching for the upper cabinets. Also, do not drop heavy objects on the slab. Any sudden impact may damage its surface. Keep in mind that with proper care and maintenance, your …

The Benefits of Using 3D Rendering in Interior Design

When hiring an interior designer, the owner of the property often has one goal in mind and that is to maximize his investment by ensuring that his property looks perfect not only externally, but also internally. Working with an interior designer will help you create the kind of look and feel you want for your space. Through the designer's creativity, you can make any room look relaxing, vibrant, or functional.

However, the problem often happens when the designer isn't able to convey his ideas well to the owner. Words and sketches are often not sufficient enough to completely present design ideas to the owner, resulting in disappointments or costly changes after the construction or renovation has already been done. This is where 3D rendering can help. Here are the other benefits of using 3D rendering for interior design:

You know what you get even before the renovation or construction starts

Like most people, you may find it hard to appreciate blueprints and cartoon models of the building you are constructing. However, because of 3D rendering, interior designers can now make photorealistic 3D renders and animation of their work. In effect, you can see how your interior will look like even before the first day of the construction begins.

It greatly reduces the chances of errors and design flaws

Design flaws may be spotted early on using 3D rendering. This also gives owners the chance to change any design detail that they don't find appealing before buying any decor or material for the renovation or construction process.

It will allow you to take part in the designing process

When your interior designer shows you the 3D renders, you can easily point out if there are changes you want to make. Because the images are straightforward and very detailed, it would also be easier for owners to contribute their own ideas for home decor or improvement. The best part is, because 3D rendering is done using a computer, it can often be adjusted right away. This means you will also see for yourself if your suggestions are actually viable or not.

If you want to ensure that your interior renovation will turn out perfectly, you should consider hiring an interior designer who knows how to make 3D interior rendering for the design. It will help you connect better with your designer, speed up the design process, and ultimately ensure that you achieve the kind of design that you want for your property.

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