Although you might think that interior design comes later in the design process we believe this needs to be part of the initial briefing. Details and nuances can be worked out later but an overall character is key for a cohesive finished design. So much can be incorporated into the architecture that works seamlessly with your designed interior.
Talk early on to the architect about what you want to achieve in the interior. As you develop the design you can gauge whether you need additional help but worth talking to the architect to see if they can support you further in this rather than assuming you will need a separate designer. Should be more cost effective than introducing a new consultant to the scheme, assuming they can fulfil this role.
Here are a few aspects to think about when creating your brief:
How should it feel
How you want to feel in a space. What is it telling others and how does it align with your aims? Is it for calm serenity or are you after something which will be invigorating. Its personal and only you can set the agenda. Sometimes we are given just an art movement or set of objects to illustrate what makes someone tick other times it is more the finished look. However you want to portray the look and feel the designer should be able to interpret it.
Are there specific elements you want to utilise. Fascination with photography or a pottery collection. These can be given prominence and help to build the character of a scheme.
A day in the life of
Think about different scenarios of how you want to use the space or flow through them. Are some more calm and others more about drama. What activities will be happening, when and how often?
What you don’t want
This can also be helpful to know what you wish to avoid. Glaring downlighters, overly complicated controls or too much reverberating sound. We all have our pet hates.
Working with an interior designer
The boundary between architecture and interior design is very much blurred and a lot of architects will fulfil this role at least up to finishes, lighting etc. Some are able to offer soft furnishings and source wallcoverings for instance but most would probably stop at finishes and joinery. Interior designers will have trade accounts and may or may not pass these savings onto the client. Architects will have some trade accounts but tend not to do the procuring and simply pass on any savings. If you want a complete makeover with all aspects covered down to the cushions and artwork then you will be better off with an Interior Designer. If you are needing a wider approach and think you can source some of the finer finishes then an architect with an eye for interior design could be a better option especially if it includes elements of building work or energy efficiency.
Ultimately whoever you choose to help you, you need to find someone you can trust and feel you can work with.