Executing an Interior Design Project: Common Mistakes at the Project Stage
When it comes to choosing a design studio, customers usually trust the one with the most beautiful 3D pictures.
Everything goes without problems till it comes to executing the project. It turns out that implementing the visualized ideas is simply impossible. For example, living plants can not be used to decorate the wall, since there is a fire cabinet on it. The designers were too carried away by creativity to think about the technical parameters.
To avoid this, choose specialists who develop detailed drawings in advanced software, which let you keep track of the location of all systems and their interconnection. This approach will save you time and money. We have analyzed the most common mistakes in interior design, and will explain how to avoid a total mismatch between the project and the result.
Common Mistakes in Interior Design: Causes and Effects
There are two major mistakes in interior design that can make the finished office look different from the initial project.
- The designer develops the visualization only
3D visualization is an important stage of interior design. It provides photos that convey the style and selected colors, shows how the furniture and decor will look in the interior. What’s more, the customer might have a look at their future office from different angles. However, if builders have the visualization only without construction documentation, they will make repairs at their discretion.
Construction documentation is an album with drawings that help to understand what the layout of the office will be, where new walls should be erected, where electrical appliances will be located, at what distance the pieces of furniture should be placed. If the builders have this documentation, the risks of working “at their sole discretion” are lower.
One of our customers wanted to redesign their office, announced a tender and chose the studio with the biggest number of awards. The studio prepared the visualization, which was handed over to the builders. They requested the drawings, but the designers did not make drawings. The customer got under pressure and had to find a studio that made drawings from pictures. Later on, it turned out that some ideas either could not be implemented, or were too expensive. As a result, instead of a designer solution, the customer got just a standard-style renovated office.
NB: pictures without technical documentation are useless!
- The customer refuses author’s supervision
Author’s supervision is a complimentary service, but it turns into an obligatory one if you have no time or desire to control contractors on your own. During the renovation, builders may offer their ideas, simplify the project, or struggle to understand how to implement some ideas and do it as they see them. Author’s supervision prevents such situations. The designers who developed the project will make sure that the builders implement it in full correspondence with the project and will quickly make adjustments.
Outsourcing the service or refusing it might ruin everything at the last moment.
We have written detailed instructions for the customer of the design project, which will help to bypass all the pitfalls and get the exact office as desired Read
How Drawings Save the Project
The key element in office renovation is the drawings. They should be detailed: with tables, calculations and developed views. Be attentive at this stage, otherwise the repairs may be delayed or changes required because of seemingly insignificant details:
- the dimensions of the furniture were not indicated;
- the sockets’ location was not specified;
- it is not obvious in what place or color the wall should be painted.
These «insignificant details» might eventually lead to serious problems: suppliers will prepare furniture that will not fit the room, the cabinet will not be installed because it blocks access to the switch, or the wall will be painted in the wrong place. As a result, the renovation result will be far from the design project.
To prevent it, request detailed documentation from the designers. It should include all the necessary information, up to the arrangement of flowers in the office.
The documentation set is about 50 pages on the average, its volume depends on the scale of the project. Drawings should take at least half of the total amount of pages.
There are basic drawings that are essential for the project implementation and repairs. Before handing the working documentation over to the builders, make sure that it includes:
- Measurement plan indicates all the dimensions of the walls, the height of the ceiling, doorways, windows. The plan also includes the location of the shields, smoke detectors, water and sewer outlets. In fact, this is the basic drawing that designers rely on when they draw up other plans, calculate the volumes of materials, etc.
- Dismantling plan. According to this plan builders remove and keep partitions. The plan will help if you need to remove or expand doorways.
- Installation plan depicts the walls that need to be erected. It indicates their location and height. The plan also specifies materials the partitions are made of, indicating the walls that need to be strengthened.
- Plan of doors and windows demonstrates where windows, doors and window sills will be located, what they will look like and how they will be opened. Such drawings help builders understand where and how to fit baseboards, for example.
- Plan for the arrangement of furniture and appliances contains a top view of the room with all furniture, lighting and appliances on it with exact dimensions. This document shows what items and where will be located in the new office.
- Floor plan shows the location, types, and “thickness” of the coating in the office. Builders buy materials according to this plan. They also see all layers of the floor coating, which lets them bring everything to one level. In addition, designers indicate the layout of carpet tiles, parquet boards and laminate flooring on this plan, they also note where they are not needed. According to these drawings, the amount of material is calculated.
- Lighting, sockets, and switches plans. These drawings are used to plan the electric system. At the plan you can see what kind of lamps will be installed, what intensity they will have, where they will be located, etc. If you do not plan the electric system carefully, the office may lack sockets and lighting, which might lead to a fine for violation of labor protection standards.
- Finish plan and wall elevation view are useful for complex and multilevel finishes. In these drawings, designers indicate which color and material should be used for exact walls, or where preliminary finishing will be needed. According to this plan, builders can calculate the amount of paint needed.
- Ceiling plan indicates levels, ceiling plinths and decoration material, places where communications pass, as well as drop down ceiling installations to hide ventilation or built-in wardrobes.
- Plumbing plan shows the placement of the water outlets and plumbing equipment. Without this plan, the kitchen cupboard might close important infrastructure, and the toilet might «run» a few centimeters from the wall.
In addition to these 10 points, the working documentation should indicate the names, parameters, articles, and the manufacturers of the future furniture. It helps the customer to quickly order necessary models without fear of making mistakes.
Why Is It Important to Know What Software the Designer Uses
It happens that even after making up drawings, some objects need to be moved, added, or removed. Such adjustments may affect the final results. Sometimes designers may simply forget to make changes to the design project, or to some drawings.
As a result, builders may erect a wall where it is not needed, or leave not enough space for sockets, or purchase more materials than necessary. It leads to spending extra time and money.
To avoid such shortcomings, designers use various design and drafting software. The two most popular ones are AutoCad and Revit. Both applications are designed to create 2D drawings (floor plans, developed views), 3D models and objects, to design documentation and to make up visualization.
The main difference between AutoCAD and Revit is that the former is used to create basic geometry, while the latter allows you to create diagrams that contain real data. Such functionality helps to eliminate mistakes in the interior design and quickly make changes to the project, if necessary.
DESIGNIC specialists use Revit software. Here are the advantages of Revit for interior design projects.
One of the main advantages is the function that allows to develop an office project in 3D. This function is handy when discussing the interior with the customer and making adjustments. For example, if you put a wardrobe or a sofa in the application, these objects will be in 3D, and the customer will be able to view them from all sides. AutoCAD does not have such functionality, which makes visualizing the final result difficult.
The second significant advantage is that you can make adjustments quickly and accurately. If you decide to add or remove a zone, you can indicate the change in the application, and it will automatically modify the size of objects in the entire project. Designers do not have to waste time checking and worrying if they have missed something.
The third advantage is that the software automatically calculates the amount of material. This greatly simplifies the work and prevents miscalculations. Imagine, a customer decides to add a partition, then the amount of flooring for a particular room will change. In AutoCAD this is calculated manually, which is long and risky. Revit calculates everything automatically. This will help not to spend extra money on materials or not to get into a situation when some materials are lacking, but you cannot buy it anywhere.
The fourth advantage is the possibility of collaboration. The designer can sign in the application with their colleague and work on the project together . One specialist may work on the walls, another one on the ceilings. Everyone who has access to the project sees the changes in real time. Therefore, it will be almost impossible to make a mistake. But keep in mind that only two participants have simultaneous access to collaboration mode.
The fifth advantage is the speed of developing an office project. By keeping all your drawings in one place, Revit provides quick access to drawing plans and making changes. In AutoCAD, all drawings — lighting, furniture plan, etc. — are stored separately, so you have to switch between pages. This is inconvenient and might take quite a long time. A work that takes a week in Revit might take a month in AutoCAD.
Due to the fact that the design studio works with a faster and more convenient software, you can make the renovation several times faster, and sometimes even cheaper. Revit allows you to quickly make up visualizations and drawings, as well as accurately introduce changes to the document and calculate the amount of materials.
The wall plan with an integrated custom product (coffee station area), made in Revit
Coffee station area visualization
The final interior (based on previous documents)
When you place an order for a design project, consider the technical part first, not the beautiful picture. If the designers do not work with the drawings, you might get instead of a functional office a simple visualization, which is impossible to implement. You will have to look for contractors again, pay for drawings or even worse — for redesigning from scratch. That’s why you need detailed documentation with the size and location of all objects in the office, up to flowerpots.
To protect yourself, choose design studios that work in advanced software. Using the right software helps to keep track of all details and prevent extra changes.