After 8 months of working weekends and getting up early to fit in a couple of hours before work, I’ve finally submitted module 2 of my KLC Open Learning Diploma in Interior Design.
I wanted to say thank you to all of you who’ve taken the time to email and comment, it’s been great sharing tips and advice and has helped me keep up the momentum. Over the past month, loads of you have been emailing me to ask how I’m getting on and whether I plan to share any more images of my work, I’m pleased to say that I’ve received my feedback and have put together some of the images of my work below.
As I’ve received detailed and constructive feedback from my tutor, at the bottom of this post I’ve reflecting on the lessons learned, specific actions I’m going to take and what I’ll try to do differently next time. If there are any fellow students reading this blog, I hope this will help you to develop and learn from my feedback / mistakes.
Project 2.1: Personal Style & Decorative Scheme
Moving on from what I learned in Project 1.2, the next stage was to develop a concept and translate this into a decorative scheme, which I presented through a sample board, furniture booklet, cost sheet and scheme sheet, and involved the sourcing of relevant suitable furniture, materials, fabrics and finishes for the room.
Project 2.2.: Measuring Up & Technical Drawing
In this module we practiced drawing up a plan and elevations to scale using survey notes from a room in our own homes. The next step was to photograph the room and provide written observations on the condition of the space. From our survey notes we had to produce scale plans and elevations and then ‘ink’ them onto tracing paper.
Project 2.3: Building Construction & Kitchen Design
As an interior designer it’s important to have an understanding of building construction and how a building is put together so that you can be realistic about making structural changes to a building. Its also important that you know enough to communicate effectively with other appropriate professionals, tradesmen and contractors and to know when you might need to seek advice and help from them.
Kitchens are usually mostly ‘fitted’, containing built-in cupboards and appliances (white
goods), which are plumbed and/or wired in as part of the fabric of the building. Therefore, we were also asked to research information related to kitchen design.
Here are a few pages from the final research document:
Project 2.5: Brief 1: Townhouse – Initial Stages – Design Analysis, Design Statement & Concept Board…
In this project we were working for clients to start the development of a design for their dining and reception/media room. Throughout the design process and analysis, we had to produce a design statement and then use this to create a concept for the design.
For this project I didn’t want to be restricted by a traditional sketchpad. Instead I’ve used bulldog clips to hold together my pieces of paper, collages and mind-maps. Simply, making this change in my process has helped me to loosen up, have fun and collect everything that I’ve found inspirational – rather than being daunted by a large pad of empty pages / white space.
Here are my initial impressions of the space, I did a quick sketch to show structural changes that I thought would improve the room/s. This included, knocking down the wall between the two rooms, slightly enlarging the WC and the use of pockets doors…
Having received the townhouse brief I carried out a thorough examination of the requirements and used my template to organise this information to show both Ross and Sophie’s personalities, lifestyles, hobbies, likes and dislikes. I also outlined more broadly what is required from the reception / media room and dining room – What’s required? Desired? What can be changed? What are the practical, aesthetic and functional requirements of the room/s.
From the design analysis I picked out the emotive, and functional keywords that describe their vision of what they would like from the new design. As I couldn’t interview someone face-to-face, I really tried to put myself in the clients’ shoes, and think about what these words would mean for them, and their style, rather than my personal taste e.g. For Sophie, ‘quirky’ means touches of fun, playful pieces / pattern and colour… Nothing too outlandish or outrageously garish.
I really enjoyed the process of using my PRJ to develop my ideas because it bought about some surprising outcomes / unusual links. For example, my train of thought lead me from “Uncluttered” to – “paired back” – hidden / out of sight – out of mind – peaceful – calm – relaxed – retreat – getaway – escape – spiritual / at one with yourself – centred – in control – Zen.
Before writing up the design statement I tried to find themes / links from the initial design analysis to create titles for the concept and sentiments that I would need to cover in the statement description.
Once I carried out the mind-map, I felt it was important to create a scheme that reflects both their styles – so I carried out a visual mind-map to imagine / get a sense of both Ross and Sophie’s personal styles, hobbies and joint interests, as I felt this was a little under-developed in the written mind-map. I used the collage / mind-map to inform the imagery.
As shown left / below, I made an accordion collage of the pages, so that I could add to it vertically and horizontally over time.
In response to the design statement I then went about trying to find 3-5 key, abstract, images to illustrate this concept to suggest the texture, tone, shape, form, colour and mood for the following keywords: Playful, Contemporary & Zen. I found images in advertising, on Pinterest, future colour trend reports looking at artwork, architecture, photography, advert design and fashion. I found 50+ images in the concept stages down to 4.
Here’s the final concept for the Living Room / Dining Room scheme:
Whilst I’m delighted with my final grade, there’s plenty for me to improve on and it’s far from perfect. Forgive these garbled notes as these are quite personal reflections on my feedback…
I’ve put together some lessons learned, specific actions I’m going to take and what I’ll try to do differently next time so I can reach my potential!
- Technical Drawing – Use more line weights to create a better visual hierarchy to organise detail and information.
- Technical Drawing – Use block print technique.
- Technical Drawing – Create another title block template that can accommodate more copy within the notes section.
- Cost Sheet – Add header to every page.
- Furniture Booklet – Improve contents page and layout including a reduced plan annotated to cross reference each item so it’s easier for client to visualise the space.
- Image Sources – Avoid imagery of interiors at the early stages within the design analysis. Look for clues about the clients by turning to their choice in holidays, brands, seasons etc. Expand, delve into this more.
- Design Statement – Be more emotive about how the space will be experienced, rather than a specific list / descriptions that fulfill the brief. The DS is not for the client but should be used as a design tool.
Aims within the next module:
- Sourcing Materials – Push my material selections away from the obvious/literal translations from the concept, and push to translate the atmosphere portrayed in the concept.
- Analytical Skills – Try to think about people as seasons can be an insightful way to explore a client’s unique tastes.
- Allow for slow-thinking time – Don’t feel that every thought process has to come to a conclusion. Slow down and allow the creative process to become a journey and let my subconscious thinking out to find new and original thinking.
- Explore without consequence – I don’t need to get everything ‘right’.
Important lessons to take on board:
- I must try to improve my critical thinking. I’m going to aim to go beyond the literal facts and requirements within the brief. Be more insightful and carry out in-depth research into their clients’ individuality and aspirations.
- Aim for more critical, in-depth analysis that goes below the superficial (style / ‘look’) that the clients’ after but a way of living that has longevity. Critically analyse the brief to create, unique, new thinking unique to the client using design than just decoration to answer the brief.
To finish, I read a blog by Dering Hall this morning, the timing and sentiment couldn’t have been more apt, so I thought I’d share it with you.
“Give them more beauty and a style of living that they did not dream possible. I promise they will recognise it. The lesson was not just about achieving a ‘look’, but about a way of living.”
Brian O’Keefe – 9 Designers & Architects Share the Best Advice They’ve Received.
Wish me luck, until next time!