How you finish your home is often what connects the architecture with your personality. Yvette Jay explains how.
The role of an interior designer is to be responsible for the colours, finishes, textures and interior forms needed to complete the physical and emotional experience of architecture. Good design appears effortlessly elegant. It innovates yet also possesses an innate sense of timelessness. Interior design is about satisfying your needs for emotional and physical comfort. Working with an interior designer is an opportunity to personalise your space so that it resonates deeply with you.
It starts with the architecture
An architect’s role is to transform the initial client brief, design concepts and their relationship with the landscape into three-dimensional reality. The architecture will be designed as a whole, down to fine detail. As well as designing the form and exterior elements, an architect is also responsible for all interior structural elements. This includes floors, walls, ceilings, the junctions where they intersect and the physical structures that support them. As a result, the dividing line between architect and interior designers can blur. However, best results come when the two disciplines collaborate together.
When to involve the interior designer
As many construction finish decisions are made during the documentation phase, it’s important to involve the interior designer early in the process. This will ensure you have the most flexibility and choice. Applied finishes like paint, wall coverings, tiles and carpets are all decided upon during the consent documentation phase. Some finishes may have specific substrate or installation requirements that need to be discussed with the architect and incorporated into final design and construction documents.
The client/interior designer relationship
Designing the interior of your home is a personal expression. An interior designer needs to grasp what you — the client — wants. They need to understand your vision and rely upon your input throughout the process to help realise this. They need to know what gives you visual, physical and emotional comfort. Through the process of briefing and developing your design, you should challenge your interior designer. Ask questions on anything that you don’t fully understand. At the same time, your designer may well challenge you. As the design unfolds, they need to know that it’s connecting with your vision — that they are on track to success.
A designer will continually edit and refine the selection of materials, finishes and details for a project to maintain the overall aesthetic vision. Kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, finishes, furniture and fabrics will all be aligned to work in unison to realise this. Take the time to ensure that every decision reflects you and what you want. Now is the time to think about customising and flexibility at all levels to accommodate your changing lifestyle. Every detail no matter how tiny is a constituent part in a greater design idea.
The luxury of natural materials
Our tastes are shifting more towards simple pleasures and casual, uncontrived luxury that is nature-inspired. We are seeking out authentic materials, more crafting and thoughtful detailing. Natural ageing — the effect of time and wear — is being seen more.
Finishes are showing a more subtle hand — timber surfaces are waxed and oiled. We are surrounding ourselves with the luxury of natural materials, transformed from their existing state into usable form by skilled crafts-people, and steering away from mass produced, over mechanised solutions.
The impact of colour cannot be over-stated. We’re drawn to calming natural, neutral earth shades and love the contrast and excitement of vibrant colours. Fabrics are now more textured and structured. We have grown beyond pure minimalism. Materials such as linen, silks and wools are being manufactured with a combination of the traditional craft techniques and cutting edge technology. The result is high quality fabrics that we experience in a tactile way through sight and touch.