I have no vision - who can help me visualise my space?
The challenge of knowing how to revamp a room or rework your living space can often seem insurmountable. There are too many layout options, too many different storage options, endless styles of sofas to choose from and that’s before you’ve even thought about colours, fabrics and where the lights are going to go.
It’s like having a blank canvas – but with no idea of what to paint. For some, the endless choices can be so overwhelming that inertia sets in and they end up doing nothing.
So where do you start?
Often the best advice is to live in the space before you make any monumental decisions that you might regret. Think about how you use your different spaces. Where do you want to spend most of your time? Do you really want open plan living? Knocking a wall down might give you the space you’ve always dreamed of – but do you really want all the family in the same space or guests that never leave the kitchen?
Redesigned Floor Plan - picture supplied by Andrew Walters RIBA, Chartered Architect
Making the best use of your space involves time, money and effort. If you are lacking the time to browse magazines and websites such as Pinterest or Houzz for inspiration, or find you’re still as clueless as you were after several hours of browsing, then it might be time to call in the experts.
Professional designers, architects and if you’re lucky, a good builder will all understand about creating good flow and space. They will be able to listen to your needs and have the knowledge to bring a different perspective of what can be achieved.
Professional designers or interior designers
If you’re craving a unique and beautiful space, then an interior designer is the way to go. An interior designer is professionally trained in space planning for all types of building from homes and hotels to hospitals and office spaces. They will guide you through the myriad of options and bring vision to your space and help you set a budget. They will work with the age and character of your property, understand how you wish to use the property and know how to make the most of natural light. Starting with a concept or mood board, they will then produce drawings and samples of proposed schemes, layouts and materials. But watch out for interior designers who like to create their ‘signature’ look as it tends to reflect more about their brand than your own style.
Architects spend a lot of time thinking about how to maximise space, elegance and functionality. If you are planning structural change or a big renovation, an architect will open up ideas you never thought were possible. They will look at both the interior and exterior spaces of your environment and work out how both spaces relate to each other to create flow and functionality between rooms.
Redesigned Bungalow - picture provided by Andrew Walters RIBA, Chartered Architect
Don’t underestimate the experience of a good builder. They will have seen hundreds of renovations and will be able to offer new ideas and materials on what really works. If you have a good relationship with an existing builder, they will know how you use your space, what your needs are and will be open to new ideas and what can be achieved. Often, builders will employ their own designers and architects that can draw up floor plans and CAD drawings to help you visualise any changes.