Design Items


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There are many aspects that require design which I am listing here. These are the places where the interior designer can help you the most, especially with getting certain points about functionality and aesthetics right. It is difficult to do this right the first time around as a layman. For example, I designed the furniture at our flat and I got it right for the rest of the bedrooms after having messed up a little bit with the first bedroom :).
  • Tiles: The tile layout for flooring and the bathrooms has to be given to the mason. A good tile layout can save some tile wastage, but more importantly, it will look good if done well. For example, you want whole tiles in more visible areas and pieces can be cut in less-used areas. It will also help you to decide how many tiles to order, along with additional tiles to account for breakages during transport and laying. If you have a staircase, especially a winding one like ours, tile layout there can be tricky. We had ordered a special artificial marble sheet for it from which the step tiles had to be cut so that required some fitting and adjusting. See a sample floor tile layout here and a sample bathroom tile layout here.

  • Bathroom piping: It is very important to get the piping right. Bathroom accessories are installed at the end and they cannot be installed where there are pipes to avoid leakages. So the piping locations should be minimized or at least optimized to account for future installation of bathroom accessories. If you have small-size tiles, the fittings should be installed at tile edges to look nicer (but not at the cost of changing location such that it affects usage as done by our designer!). Also it is good to take photos of the plumbing pipes before the tiles are laid over it to keep for future maintenance. I do not have a sample bathroom plumbing design as our designer did not give our final plumbing drawings to us.

  • Electrical: Electrical design is intricately tied to lighting and furniture location. And it just cannot be changed later on! So its best to freeze your furniture locations very early on and decide accordingly what lighting you want. Otherwise you have to make exposed wiring or redo the whole piping/plastering which can cause a lot of mess later on. Keep the electrical design simple - minimize switch boards, and allow access to all switches on the main switch board near a room door so you can switch off everything in one go while leaving the room. See a sample electrical design here.

  • False Ceiling: False ceilings are becoming increasingly common in new houses to account for dual lighting and aesthetics. This is less critical than some of the other design items but again one where experience is required. It goes hand-in-hand with the electrical design to decide mood lighting, brightness in a room, general appearance, etc. See a sample false ceiling layout here.

  • Furniture layout and details: Two aspects to furniture layout - 1. Layout and dimensions, and 2. Actual details of each piece. This is easier to design and will be dictated by you in any case. I did most of this designing myself for our flat. I think you can do a better job here than a designer because you know your exact requirements and can adjust the design accordingly. You can get a lot of good design ideas online (Houzz, Google image search), and standard dimensions can be gotten from online furniture shops (Urban Ladder, Ikea). See a sample furniture layout here.

  • Kitchen: See the detailed kitchen page where I give a lot of details for the kitchen design. Here again, I think you can do a reasonable job on your own. Even steel-trolley vendors such as Ebco and EverShine, can also give you a reasonable design if you are specific about your requirements. External kitchen agencies will do an even better job with detailed CAD/CM designs and 3D mock ups. And there is really only so much you can do with a kitchen design, especially with the small kitchens in most flats nowadays. See a sample kitchen design here.

  • Miscellaneous: There will be miscellaneous design items. For example, we had a swing in the hall so deciding its exact location and installing the brackets in the false ceiling accordingly. Similarly, I got niches made in my staircase walls. Small things like this can even be suggested by a good designer and she will facilitate the process, and decide which things are really feasible and which should be let go as wild fantasies ;).I am sure there are a few things here that I am missing since I am only focusing on the things that we got done in our flat.