You are Paid for your Attention to Detail in Design

You are Paid for your Attention to Detail in Design

We recently went to a wonderful hotel for a very special family occasion and I was really impressed with the interior design of the hotel. It was smart, well themed for the era of the building and it was inviting, warm, welcoming and created a lovely setting for this occasion. I was incredibly impressed with the design as well as the service we were given. It wasn't until later on in the night when I visited the bathroom that I was let down. I went to open the door and I grazed the joints of my fingers on the timber moldings on the door. It was a lever styled door handle which means you pull it down to open the door, it was also a fire door so it was very heavy with very firm door closer on it. I had to push quite hard to get into the corridor for the bathrooms and that is when my hand hit the molding and took the skin off. Of course I took further inspection being the nosy designer that I am and to my surprise, it appears as I suspected that I don't have oversized hands, others had done the same before me as the paint had already worn off the door and the decoration of the hotel has only just been completed. This was a lapse of judgement from the designer. I can understand how it happens, there are so many things to think about when choosing fittings and fixtures for a project. I always go on about my pet hate of turning on a tap (faucet) and the water hitting the basin and being directed out of the basin and down my front. This one is even more frustrating if you have just ironed your outfit and now it has a wet patch which will now look crumpled when it finally dries. Another is using paper-based wallpapers around basins and hand dryers. It just doesn't work.

Looking at this bath spout, I think its a lottery if the water will make it to the bath. There is a fine line between getting the water in the bath and having the spout in the way once you are in the bath. 

As a designer, the client puts their faith and trust into your hands, they believe that you will pay attention to the detail better than they can. They only want to spend their hard earned money once.
So I stress here that you will make the odd mistake when selecting fittings and fixtures, but if you just take a little more time to measure where the molding sits and at what height the door handle will sit you can eliminate these little errors that sometimes sneak through. The best way is to document it. A quick sketch or drawing with dimensions will allow you to confirm for yourself that it will work and then you can ensure that whoever is installing the door hardware will know exactly what you want and the positioning as you have indicated. It removes any doubt. The other thing is the height of the door handle, I have a bathrobe that has very wide sleeves and sometimes in the night when I am visiting the bathroom (a common theme here) my robe sleeve gets hooked on the door handle, it is the perfect height for making me fly backwards whilst half asleep. We have just installed new doors and guess what? I will be very specific about the height of my new door handles!

I know most of us choose fittings and fixtures because of their aesthetics, but you also need to consider the detail of how it is going to be used, how often it will be used, this is critical for quality and longevity and who will be using it. In our house, my seven year old son can't reach the front or back door knobs to get out of the house. In one way this is good security, but not such a great idea if there was a fire and he had to get out in a hurry. There are a lot of things to consider to get it perfect, and you will, the main thing to remember is to always question who, what, where, why, how and this will mean that you are vetting the product and ruling out ones that won't fit your clients needs, leaving only a few remaining to select from.
I hope you found this useful.
If you want to know more about choosing fittings and fixtures - it is included in our free interior decorating ecourse - (Part 5) you can register for free.

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Comments

garnet said…
Very nicely explained. That's why I love your tutorials. I am a homemaker and with little knowledge of designing, but slowly I am designing my home with your ideas. This article is much needed, especially in a country like India where people sell anything. It's been frustrating many times with such things. Now I am not thinking about it. But after reading your article, I feel may be I myself can sort some.
Adesewa O. said…
This has really been helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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