“Good order is the foundation of all things”

-Edmund Burke

Speaking of foundations and good order, the order in which you approach your team when you’re building a house is very important. The best time to involve your interior designer is not once your house and its finishes are all built, it is before you break ground, pre-foundation stage. Your architect should work hand-in-hand with your interior designer for the best possible results. Your architect will manage the build from foundation until the concrete shell is completed and the roof is on. At that point your designer will come in and manage the finishes. 

In instances where designers have come on board once the building and the finishes are all completely built, numerous challenges present themselves. Architects understand functional space, but designers understand how the functional space needs to be arranged in order to facilitate the decor and cater for practicalities. Designing a lounge that will have a TV should take careful consideration. The room should be structured with the location of the TV in mind. It should not obliterate the decor, it should be positioned in a way that considers at which position a glare will be cast onto the screen and it should be positioned with the rest of the furniture in mind, ensuring that everyone has a clear view from a comfortable seat. 

Other challenges that may arise

Without early planning, many elements of the home may become impractical. Plug points are one such example. If a bedroom is built with a position in mind for the bed and a specially designed alcove for a desk, it becomes obvious where to place plug points. Without these considerations, a cable may have to lie from corner to corner across the room to allow the occupant to charge their phone at night, or to have a bedside lamp. Interior designers understand which depths are most practical for built-in cupboards and recess curtains for a particular space. With a design-eye at the initial planning steps, a more cohesive building can be designed. In turn, this will yield a better investment, as a better interior will increase the value of the building. 

The unfortunate thing is that one minor measurement being made slightly short of perfect can lead to a cascade of interventions, as a ripple effect takes place. If the built-in cupboards extend forwards too much it requires the curtains to be moved which requires the plug points to change which can lead to a host of professionals, like builders, electricians and painters needing to make changes. To avoid setbacks in the timeframes and budgets, ensure that adequate planning is implemented, so have your designer there from day one. 

Incorporating the designer from the inception of the project will benefit commercial and business spaces too. Understanding the importance of harmony in your space is crucial to creating an environment that will allow your guests and visitors to relax and feel at ease. Have the desk at the front entrance agree with the seating area (if you have a waiting room), which should flow into your boardroom and other spaces, with grace. A first impression is something you only have one chance at, and your building will introduce your business to your visitors, so make it a welcoming and impressive greeting. 

The general timeline

What you can expect to happen with your designer will depend on the point at which you involve her. Bringing the designer in at the architectural stage will involve the following steps: 

  1. Once you have consulted an architect, approach a designer. The architect may require several months to complete the plans based on your design. The design plans should take around 3 months, if you are designing an average 4 bedroom house and if all the necessary parts fall into place correctly. Starting your new build in the new year will ensure that your project does not run over ‘silly’ season, the December holidays. This period can wreak havoc with timelines as contractors close at various points and the general availability of materials is limited.
  2. You will meet with your designer and discuss your vision and your plans. Once you have accepted the proposed quote, you will have visual concepts, sample boards and 3D visuals presented to you. You will give your feedback and suggestions on each stage of the planning until the final product reaches perfection.
  3. At the next stage, the designer will plan around your budget and review your timeframes. Your final plans will be submitted to the municipality for approval once you are happy and excited with the end vision. Approval can take between 3 – 6 months. Again, this is simply an estimate, in real-life things often work out differently.
  4. Once the plans are approved it’s time to break ground! The duration of the building process relies heavily on the contractors that are hired and the size of the house. Throughout this phase, your interior designer will chase the contractors and ensure that everything is being done according to plan. They will ensure that the specified timeline is followed as closely as possible.
  5. It typically takes between 6 – 12 months to implement the design work once the shell of the house is built. This is where we all start getting excited, we can now see the vision materializing in front us, taking shape and becoming real. At this point, it all becomes worthwhile. 

The end product of a house that was designed by an architect with an interior designer is a space that is harmonious, integrating each element in the room effectively, and allowing each room to flow with fluidity into the building, promoting the sensation of connectedness and co-functionality. To make your dream a reality, contact Redesign Interiors.