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Showing posts from 2014

Bathroom Choices

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Bathroom Choices

What do you need in a modern day bathroom?

Bath - Vanity - Shower - Toilet - Bidet - Heated Towel Rail - Demister Mirror - Heated Floor Tiles - Heater - Extract Fan - Stereo - TV?

As our lives get busier the time we spend looking after ourselves is diminishing. Way back in time - taking a bath wasn't a luxury like it is now - it was the only way to get clean. Now in the time it takes to fill and prepare a bath we could have already run through the shower, got dressed and be onto sorting out our hair! Does it have to be this way?

From a design perspective we put so much effort into creating a bathroom that looks fantastic and has all the modern conveniences that will save water, power, keep our towels warm, make sure we don't get cold feet, keep the bathroom dry and healthy, yet we don't instruct our clients how to use it.

I start with the bath - too often now I hear people saying to me; "No we don't want a bath - we don't have kids at home anym…

The Importance of Working to a Budget

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The Importance of Working to a Budget

I can't stress this enough. Budget rules! You can have the best ideas in the world but if your client can't afford it then those great ideas will go nowhere.

One of the keys to being a successful interior designer is being able to work to a budget.

Here are some tips to help you with this.


Lists - yes a boring list. Get your client to write down everything they want in priority order. This way you can focus on incorporating into the design what is most important and spend the money wisely. They need to be realistic and know that they won't get the entire wish list but will get the most important things.Shop around. Know your products and how much they costs to install. Some items may be cheaper to purchase but cost more to install. So you don't achieve a saving, sometimes it can end up costing you more for a lesser quality finish.Be realistic at the beginning when you set a budget. Don't stretch people too far at the front end a…

Always Have an Opinion on Design

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Always Have an Opinion on Design

This may seem like an obvious statement, but I have recently been put in my place about sitting on the fence.

Here is the background.

I had been working for a company that managed insurance rebuilds and repairs after the Christchurch earthquake. This was a very labor intensive role, a very emotional role and a role where I had to turn off my "design" way of thinking and focus on managing the process and the client. This was initially difficult as I love having input into how a new home will look. My job was to progress the rebuild or repair from taking the scope of work, through design, consent, and into construction. This sounds reasonably straight forward. It was but along the way there were constant battles between the client wanting to change things and the insurer letting them know they could but would have to pay for it. We all know when it comes to money there is always conflict! Therefore to keep the process as smooth as possible, the…

Always Keep Searching for Something New

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Always Keep Searching fro Something New

As usual  I am on my "high horse" about products. There is so much choice when you are an interior designer that it can become easy to just specify what you know and become lazy. This is my advice for you today, don't - keep searching for something better. There are so many new and exciting products becoming available that it is difficult to keep up with but if you don't you will miss out on exciting opportunities to create something special.

I am currently working with a client and they want a large feature wall coming from the outside in - they want it to be concrete and look really special. The obvious way to achieve this is create a concrete tilt slab panel, but this is a very expensive option as the wall is very long. I just happen to stumble upon an alternative solution when I was looking at tiles - it is a very large tile that looks like concrete has been poured over timber and the finished result is a wonderful timber t…

How to Find Clients for your Interior Decorating Business

How to Find Clients for your Interior Decorating Business

I have recently received an email from a student informing me that they have learned a lot through the interior decorating ecourse and now want to get some work, how do they find clients?
It is a very good question and one that I am sure many of you are also wondering what the best way to find clients is?

There is no easy recipe. Firstly you need to talk to friends and family, I normally don't advise people to "work" for free, but when you are just starting out, it can be a good way to get some referrals. For example, if you help you sister choose her new paint colors and your sister's friends come for dinner and admire the new scheme, there is your first referral, and it branches out from there.

You could offer to help with a local community project in return for put your advertising on their noticeboard or in their newsletter. This shows that you are a generous person in the community and it helps with gaini…