I’ve always had this interest in interior design stemming from my love for all things pretty although it’s not until recently that I’ve actually got my hands on it. My cousin asked me to furnish her empty condo and told me specific things to buy so I’m not so sure if I can call that interior design. But since it left me so giddy to see an empty place transform into a pretty habitable one for the first time, then pardon my misnaming the process. Besides, even if I was told what items to get and she was the one who decided which one to buy after I sent her photos, I am happy to say that she picked all the items I recommended except for one furniture. Here are some of things I learned from the process for those of you who have no experience yet.
It’s not all pretty work
I like looking at pretty interior photos on magazines and online but it never occurred to me that the process to achieve such a masterpiece can be painstaking. When we arrived at the condo, since it was my cousin’s, the first thing we did was clean up as it has gathered a lot of dust from more than a year of being left aside. I then proceeded to the first step of the work which is to get ideal measurements of the furniture. That part is easier but looking for the ideal designs that came with those measurements is the tricky part. It would have been a little easier if we have some stuff custom-made but that’s out of the question at that point and since the condo is in a city that I am not familiar with, it’s also difficult for me to find and manage the carpenters. I made do with what’s available after exploring several malls and furniture shops.
It is important for the client/owner to be able to visualize your ideas
Before I went window-shopping, I bought a red masking tape to outline the size of the furniture at the spot where they will be placed. This will ensure that my cousin who is now in California is able to visualize how big or small they are and how much space is left for her to move around once they are installed. I sent her not only measurements of the furniture but also the distance between them. I also had my companion stand on those spaces so my cousin can get a better perspective. When I had photos of the furniture from various malls, I placed them over the photo of the empty condo so my cousin can imagine how the area will look like once the furniture is there.
Harmony is key to achieving a cozy ambiance
There are several elements to consider in interior design and I must confess that I don’t have background on any of them nor made the effort to actually learn them prior to working on my cousin’s condo. I just trusted my instincts and well my eyes. I made sure things are in harmony with each other. To do so, I made sure the colors are not in contrast with each other which is why the condo ended up with gray, white, brown, black and a bit of accent colors. I admire designs that are bold with red and black colors or lively with rainbow colors but oh how my eyes hurt when I see houses that have a mixture of different colors and patterns (imagine a blue patterned floor tiles, pink patterned curtains, and green and yellow patterned sofa all in one living room!). My cousin’s personality is one that speaks of classic elegance hence the choice of those colors for her condo. I also have to credit my mom for suggesting a gray curtain, which placed everything in order.
I know my experience was very far from the real interior design thing and that it didn’t give me much knowledge and skills to qualify for a career change but still I consider it essential to my growth. It made me able to exercise my creativity on a level that considers and meets another person’s preferences. It allowed me to navigate an area that I don’t know much about but that didn’t stop me from making things happen.