Interior Design ideas from Bangkok ArtBox blog

How to prepare for meeting with Interior Designer

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how to prepare for meeting with interior designer
How to prepare for meeting with Interior Designer 7

It is an exciting feeling when you know you’re about to change something for the better in your lives. The impact that interior design can have on the inside of your home or business, is immense. This is one reason to prime yourself for the road ahead. The experience you will have is largely dictated by how well you prepare ahead of time. Knowing what to expect as your home or business space progresses into something rewarding in your life or livelihood, is certainly well-worth it. Furthermore, knowing how to prepare for meeting with interior designer, takes a little work on your part. Aside from nice pictures and liking their portfolios, you must feel a good connection with the one you ultimately choose. 

All great changes are preceded by chaos. – Deepak Chopra

professional decorator 1

Sites, like Pinterest, Google image search, and decorating blogs offer a great place to start. You can easily learn about different styles and interior design terms during your research. This will build confidence when conveying your thoughts to a professional.  Besides, it is fun to imagine how certain furnishings may look in your home or company office. 

Let’s begin by reviewing the list I provided below and seeing how much of it you can bring together without too much fuss. Proper planning will make sure you’re ready to face the adventure that lays ahead. So, on to the list of items you’ll need. I will break them down further, afterwards. 

interior design
How to prepare for meeting with Interior Designer 8

What you will need to get ready.

  • Original floor plans (if you have) in either pdf or DWG file format. 
  • Current pictures of the area or areas ready for redesign.
  • A written summary of which elements in the design process are most important to you. It should reflect those things you would like to change or keep, and why. 
  • Prepare a folder of Images of decors that resonate well with you. I suggest using Google and Pinterest to search for them.
  •  Provide a rough date of when you would you like to begin the design process. 
  • Let them know if you can temporarily move out of your home once renovation begins
  • If you live in a condominium or gated community, you need to provide work hours,  deposits required and copies of any paperwork your community or building requires the fit-out crew and designers to read, prior to work beginning.
  • Have a budget and remain in control of your spending for materials and furnishings, and building costs. You can also commit to an exact budget within the contract after viewing the material and furnishings you’ll use.

Life without Passion is void. – Interior Passion’s Director

Why should I prepare a List prior to looking for an Interior Design Company?

Proficiency is key and it will save you both time and money in the end. It will also help to keep your emotions running on the good side of things.  In short, less stress and hopefully more enjoyment on your new adventure.

You may think you can handle finding an interior architect or firm without preparing a list and you’d be correct in part. However, it will be much more work for you without the right planning. Especially, when you’re interviewing multiple firms to find the right fit for your personality.

   It’s best to start a working folder immediately. It should be easy to reproduce for each interview you undertake. This will save you from wasting valuable time, daily frustration and spending more money than needed in the end. Besides, every firm should ask you for these basic items during your free consultation period. So why put off the inevitable ?

Why should you have original floor plans?

Having original floor plans can save you money for starters. If you live in a condominium or gated community that is less than 10 years old, they’re likely to have a copy of original floor plan in your purchase documents. If not, find the building’s engineering office or see if the corporate office can locate copies of the original plans. If you do not have the original drawings, hire an Architect or Interior Design company to prepare them. You will need this first. This will help you with any future renovations, especially if you sell your home or business. In fact, the company you hire can do this for you. Note: Every company may have alternative ways in charging for original floor plans, so ask first.

Note: Do not mistake original floor plans with the Layout plan or builder’s fitout plan. The original set of drawings should cover the elevation of ceilings and walls, electrical wiring, measurements of all rooms, plumbing and ventilation.


floor plan
Floor Plan of Corporate Office by Bangkok’s Interior Passion.

Why should you provide current pictures of your home?

It is essential to know what your home’s inner architecture and styling looks like. It helps us to visualize the steps needed to produce a theme or concept within your budget. After you hire a company, they must do a full and precise measurement of your decor space in case anything has changed or was notated incorrectly . They will also take photos from angles that are important for the design team.

How do I prepare a project summary?

The summary should be backed up on a folder within your computer’s hard-drive or in a file drawer. It should contain images or videos, swatches of colors, magazine clippings of designs that attract your eyes, and materials, wall and ceiling treatments, fabrics that you like, curtains, shades or anything else that can help create a picture for the final design rendering. You cannot have too much, since you can review and refine this folder at any time.

You will need to summarize those areas that are the most important to you, if you want to avoid any future regrets. Keep in mind that all clients are different, so it’s essential that decorators get a good mental picture of who you are as an individual ( including other family members) and what elements of the design are most important to you. 

  Remember! By preparing a summary in advance, you will save yourself time during meetings.

Why should a provide an approximate date I expect a finished design?

This depends on your situation. Some customers have busy schedules. They may need to move out during some or all of the renovation period, because of dust, noise, and chemicals used to strip or clean surfaces. Others may need to rent during such lengthy periods of time and that can be costly, adding to the final expenses. The designer you hired may have other projects scheduled for up to a year or more in advance. So it is better to have a rough idea of the time needed for complete the project.

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What type of paperwork do I need to supply a designer with?

If you live in an apartment, gated community, condominium or have a company office in a business building, you’ll probably be given a list of rules, and deposit amounts required by the building or community organization. There are requirements for builders to follow and scheduled times for construction noise. They’ll be given designated elevators or lifts to use. The deposits ensure that builders to not damage the building in any way when transporting tools and materials. Note: Most clients will provide the deposit for the builders to avoid delay, at least in Bangkok. However, use your intuition! If you do not feel comfortable enough to do that, then let the builder deal with the building contracts directly.


Why should I set a Budget before I begin Interior Design?

Designer’s by nature, love freedom to create and that could be costly if you do not set borders. It is better to have guides in place, so the designer does not stray too far from it. It’s also a constraint for those who have caviar taste on tight budgets. We’re all guilty of that occasionally.  If you are not knowledgeable about renovation costs, material and furnishings – Education comes quickly enough once the design process starts.  The logical budget should be about 18% (give or take a few percents) of the total price of the home or business property cost. You do not want to spend more money than you will be able to get back in a sale of the property. If you are sure it will be your last home and your comfort is far more important than the resale value, then let the design company know this up front.

Finale Thoughts. 

Often, teaching the client what to expect and what they need, falls to the interior architecture. It is difficult for most individuals to know where to start, or how to prepare for a meeting with an Interior Designer or freelancer. The vast majority of people who use professionals to do their decors – do not do it that often.  So, it is understanding how little most people comprehend about the process. This is why I wrote this article to begin with. I am simply trying to take the guesswork out of the equation for you so your experience is a better one.

   You’ll be happier you took the time to research and prepare for the interviewing period. It is stressful enough spending money and contemplating an outcome that matches with your hopes. Taking the time to put everything together in a cohesive package in important. It provides a good mental image of your needs, while creating a starting point for all those involved. It helps to foster better experiences along the way. It reduces the stress factor. You’ll have more time to listen, learn, and become part of the process whilst forming friendly bonds with all those involved. 

Share your personal experience with us in the comment section below. I welcome  questions you’d like help with, regarding preparation for Interior Design. Please leave a comment and share with others if you’ve found this article useful. I appreciate your time and visit to our Decorating Blog. Come back often! Happy holidays to all and may your 2020 New Year have joy, health and prosperity.  

2020 Interior Design Trends

By Posted on 0 Comments 4 min read 1635 views
2020 interior design trends 1
Interior Design
with softer textures

Every Year brings that anticipation of change! What will the new fashions, furniture, lighting, architecture and home decor styles a la mode be? Then there are the Pantone colors of the year. They’re both the largest contributors to pushing the entire design industry in new directions. However, some decorators push new styles in unique directions and that becomes further inspiration for trends to grow.

Irregardless of borders and countries, the Interior decor industry has a way of breaking down walls to create new statements. And many of us eagerly await to see what the 2020 interior design trends will be like. I am one of them, waiting to see if I have been on the right path. I’ve already seen the advertisements on new condos are in line with my expectations for Bangkok interior trends. That means the major interior design companies have already been contemplating a change. Please note that I update my posts from time to time. So I can also give feedback to the changes I’ve seen during any of updates. 

Vibrant colors and softer textures.

 We look towards the fashion world to be the inspiration for Interior colors, textures, and patterns. We go through this every year. First it’s fashion, then pantones colors, and finally Interior Design and Architecture. The direction in the fashion industry appears to be pointing at vibrant and cheerful earth tones. So I believe golden-yellows, a softer side of neo-green, coral whites and lighter variations on classic blue will top colors. It’s “Back to nature”, as they say. We will also welcome velvety textures and softer suede leathers over regular leathers and cottons for couches and sofa chairs.

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Nov 22, 2019 best interior design trends 2020. Douglas Friedman/Laurey Glenn Photograph. Oh, the joys of the new year. As we honor Earth’s revolution …

 I think we’ll see minimalism, with its primary greys as the base tone, fade out and as we embrace more of the colors, I already mentioned.  

softer textures for 2020
Vibrant earth tones
from Italianbark

 I like this shift in design. But I still like minimalist architecture as the basis of the design. 

What we’re seeing is a nice mix of Scandinavian and Italian influence with a splash of modern contemporary thrown-in. So, you can get away with leaning towards favoring one design-styles; so long as you have the right balance. 

Open Space – Natural lighting

 Vibrant earth tone colors work well with a combination of open space and natural lighting. A perfect match in my book. 

People are moving away from large spaces and embracing that city condominium feel of loft style apartments, higher ceilings and larger windows!  We can make powerful design statements is such spaces! Right?  This reminds me a bit of New York -back in the days that everyone was turning old factories into Loft style apartments and homes. As my mother always said; “things have a way of coming back into style”. 

Natural woods tones …

Use of natural woods in the right places add harmony to the interior architecture.  It also adds feelings of comfort, warmth and longevity into the picture. Now, we put the right metals, clay or ceramic hardwares, along with some stylish textures, then we bring out the very best in a fresh new Interior. 

natural woods.
Natural woods being used In 2020
Interior Design Trends

Black and Touches of Lighter Grey

Using touches of lighter greys, textured metals such as brushed steel or copper hardwares and the right lighting, bring out the highlights of natural woods.  Adding a few plants and color to the interior decorators stew and you’ve got yourself a prescription for ushering in new concepts in design.  I wouldn’t go too hard on any grey. Just a hint here and there can work nicely. There was so much grey for the past 5-8 years (depending on where you live), that many are still in “grey shock”, if such a thing exists. So, yeah! Go lighter and just use it to break up the main theme a little. 

Framing your windows and door frames in black can really be the icing to the cake! I am personally drawn in by thin matt black window framing. It is such a cool look. Maybe that’s just me.

decor trends
Perfect for Touches of color to the natural woods and ground tones
LifeStyle Magazine

High Ceilings and Big windows!

High ceiling space and large windows are perfect primers for that natural lighting. Who’s spirits wouldn’t find joy in such a decor? I say 2020 Interior Design trends will bring a great year for designers and home owners. A good decorator or interior architect will know how to use the natural lighting when doing the layout for your new home, condo or apartment space. Bangkok Interior Design enthusiast would welcome such a trend in their growing city. I can see that happening as I am writing this article too. 

high ceiling space


So What do you think? Am I close or am I off the mark? I’d love to hear your opinions on what 2020 Interior Design Trends has in store for us. II think it’s all good!

My Conclusion?

I believe this image is a great representation of what will become the interior trends you will see in all the magazines, on Pinterest and top interior decorating blogs!

If you’re a blogger and like to share articles, let me know. Kind Regards from Jack at ArtBox Bangkok

life as an interior designer

By Posted on 2 Comments 5 min read 1550 views


The Perceptions

There are certain perceptions that do not fit the norm about life as an interior designer.  I’ve learned this much over the past 38 years.  Especially now, where the lines blur between job descriptions.  I believe there is that daydream image of a jet set lifestyle floating about in the heads of some new interior design students. It seems to cloud the reality of long days, ruffled clothes, and those(consistent) moments of you slipping into a quiet space for some mental readjustments and controlled breathing. Truth is, that there is little of the posh living  and a lot of daily stress. 

It is important you (the student) come to grips with the facts before you commit to such a career. You have to be willing to accept the chaos and workloads, ups and downs as well as many other aspects of living most of your life is such an industry. Why waste your valuable life on something that you do not have complete passion for? Life will only become a prison. 

Now, if you are one of those individuals who love the chaos and hurdles involved, and you have enough passion and desire to march on – then, you’re in the right place! Continue on!

life as an interior designer

Design is seldom free of obstacles

As I already alluded to, there is no such thing as perfection in this world! And, life in the Interior designer industry isn’t any different. It is passion that keeps us going on any career path. There is an inner joy and rewards to be had from our daily quests! We long to find things that stimulate our minds and heighten our senses.   Without that passion and stimuli, your life would be incredibly boring and frustrating, to say the least. There will always  be such obstacles lurking around each corner. Ones that throw havoc to the wind, scattering themselves among your well-prepared plans.

Is that a bad thing to have so many obstacles? No, it’s not. Some of us have quirky personalities that thrive for such challenges.  I am one of them and perhaps you are as well. Whatever the case may be, you should know whether this fits you as a person, especially before committing to an education, and then a career path in such an industry.

The Interior Design Industry is always Evolving

In today’s industry, interior designers and interior architects are becoming harder to separate into different columns. There is a fusion taking place between job descriptions as  each year progresses. I see it all for the better. It is evolving and changing with the times. And, we’re at a major junction of change in this world. Everything is morphing as the world shakes and cracks to accommodate a new way forward. Question is; are you ready?

We should be a bit psychologist, salesperson, artist,  project manager, 3d modeler, photographer, lighting engineer, rendering  guru, and AutoCad and then some. A person of many masks and faces. And, because we’re always adapting to industry changes, we have to be willing to add more skills all the time!

 Alway keep in your mind that most months have periods that are emotionally taxing and frustrating.  It takes the right person to handle these pressures  when they swell. Always remember that “How well or badly you handle things, is often the difference between winning and losing”.

complexity of design

Know your Clients very well

  An important trait is understanding the fundamentals of psychology.  Understanding all of  your  client’s needs, even when they do not,  is a hard earned skill for most designers. Patience is a must, as it can get complicated quickly with most projects. You can go through a whole bag of emotions is a single day if you’re not careful. So! Should you be a designer? Sure! If you have the passion, drive,  and the ability to thrive on those roller coaster-ride days. If you are truly made for this industry you’ll  end up on the side of “grateful”, especially  when you know you’ve made it through the chaos together, along with your team -resulting  in a happy customer.

Before we move on, I should point out, that not all client / customer marriages work out! There can be many reason for that to take place. Some will be far beyond your control. Having pointed this out, be prepared for such situations. You can’t be in such an industry, and expect difficult clients not to happen. The more projects you have, the more you will likely encounter them. Likewise you can’t stop personality conflicts from taking place between designers and customers, but at least you can adjust to it if the client is willing to. 

Video by Karin Bohn   

Designers enjoy moving around

The majority of young Interior Designers are hard to keep in one place for a substantial amount of time. It is the nature of the world we currently live in or have been living in for the past decade. Young adults like to travel and work, learn and grow. It’s all good! Only a small handful of designers will be looking for long term employment near a specific location. 

An employer should understand that the world is vastly different, as should the student. We have to adapt to this global change and hire or seek employment with this in mind. 

I suggest that you really examine your desired journey and find the right employer. One who supports the path you’re on or at least accepts it. Keep in mind that the more time you take to plan your path, the better off you will be in the long run. 

 So, the takeaway?

Be careful about your initial perceptions of living life and working as a dedicated designer. There are many unseen hurdles in every job. They’re often a sudden series of swift kicks from the school of hard knocks!  But, if you really love what you do, it all is worth the white knuckle days.

Thank you for Reading!

Thank you for spending some time reading and sharing. I hope this made some of you want to live life as an interior designer.  BTW, If you have questions please send by contact or leave a comment below. Also, please check back often or sign up for updates for new posts.

designers come and go

Kind Regards

Jack Anthony LaBarck

Director: Interior Passion

Bangkok, Thailand

+66 (0)867118520

LINE ID:  cdcservicesolution