How to Write a Design Brief to Give to Your Interior Designer

When you are about to embark on a project for  new design or a renovation, be it an office or home renovation, a design brief will needed to give your architects, contractors, interior designer or decorator what your end vision is all about. Thus, in this blog, RM Perera as a reputed turnkey interior design has a few tips on how to write a design brief to give to us, your interior designer.

A design brief is essentially a wish list of things that you want for your office or home renovation, which will cover various factors of design. The design brief you will need to put together will feature some of the following;

  • the type of design project it will be,
  • the location of the design project in Sri Lanka,
  • the appearance and style aesthetic you are after,
  • the type of light orientation,
  • the sensory qualities in the design
  • the projected budgeted cost
  • the construction methods and green building concepts you want to incorporate
  • the objectives of the project

Interior Design Brief

Essentially, as you write the design brief to give to your project, think of it as the foundation to the design on which the project will grow on. The design brief will be the document that all the contractors will refer to ensure that the project is on track.  The approach on how you write a design brief is based a few steps that will help you arrive at a design brief that is comprehensive. The 5 steps to write a detailed design brief for your design project is as follows.

  1. Collate a vision list or inspiration – Put together a storyboard of your inspiration for your office or home renovation project design brief. You can also put together a shopping board to know what kind of furniture you want to use for this renovation project.
  2. Know what you need – By assessing what you have and what you would like to have, you will know what you want to include for this office or home renovation project design brief.
  3. Figure out the list of spaces you want designed in the project scope – By figuring out what each space is and what you may want to use it for, you are halfway there to finishing your design brief.
  4. Go through the list and detail your needs per space separately –Once you have the space you want to include in your renovation, you should also have a storyboard for your design brief, such as what each space will be utilised for, the furniture you hope to include, categorise the room or even be able to use several spaces together.
  5. Figure out what the overall goals and prioritise the list for the project- Your design brief should be similar to a business plan of your company. You need to have your vision, mission and goals in order. With these in hand, your decision-making with regards to the office or home renovation will be simple.

How to Choose Your Lighting Fixtures and Fittings

Following up from the same theme as last week’s blog, “Home Improvement with Solar Power and Green Energy”, we look at lighting your home or office in the best way. How to choose your lighting fixtures and fitting matters when you have a purpose in mind, and with that need, there are many lighting solutions to be had.

The days of only having one light per room are an antiquated idea; nowadays, there are many lighting fixtures and fittings put to use in various locations of a room. There is a concept called the “5 Layers of Lighting” in the interior design world. These layers are essentially based on purpose. Namely these are 1) Light for Doing, 2) Light for Story, 3) Lighting for Knowing, 4) Light for Changing, and 5) Light for Feeling.



How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Doing

The meaning behind “Light for Doing” is the use of light to facilitate an action, for instance to eat or read. You can choose spotlight lighting fixtures over a dining room table to offer lighting over each table setting or over the sink or the area you utilise for cutting vegetables in the kitchen, or even grouped pendant lights. Remember that you are not looking for subtle lighting in this case, but lighting fixtures that direct light towards the intended area.

How to Choose Your Lighting: Light for Story

A “light for story” is for when you choose your lighting fixture or fitting to tell a story or as a conversation piece. One that acts as a spotlight over a focal picture frame can carry a story, whereas even a chandelier or modern lighting pendant can be used to reflect the style of the room’s theme.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Knowing

“Light for knowing” is used when choosing your lighting fixtures and fittings for the purpose of acknowledging others in the room with you. For instance, a lighting fixture used for knowing is usually one that is large and spread a fair amount of light, one such as the main or focal lighting fixture above the dining room table or the one over the living room seating area.  The likes of a chandelier would be ideal for illuminating the focal area in a subtle way.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Changing

This is more about the lighting fixture controls over the lighting fixtures and fittings themselves. These include the likes of the dimmers and other controls one might use to help create the mood or adjust the lumens you require based on the season, sunshine, or time of the day.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Feeling

“Light for feeling” means to say when you choose your lighting fixture based on the ambience you are hoping to create, as one would get from a candlelight flame. The likes of sconces, or accent lamps will do the trick.

Home Improvement with Solar Power and Green Strategies

With more and more of us becoming more and more aware of global warming we look for ways in which to be eco-friendly and more green with our choices in life. Whilst living in a tropical island, the need for sustainable choices has become a household topic with the government too making choices towards utilising solar energy in their projects too. Thus in this blog we look at strategies for home improvement with solar power and green methodologies.

Home Improvement with Solar Power

When it comes to home improvement with solar power, there are many ways in which we can look at making ones lives better. Furthermore, it vastly increases your home’s resale value too.  The likes of a 6KW solar panel installation can truly make waves in your home improvement strategy. The main selling point with the initial overhead costs of incorporating a home improvement with solar power is the savings that you will have from the lack of electricity bills.

The fact of the matter is that when living in a tropical country such as Sri Lanka, we often tend to use our fans and air conditioners around the clock, which can rack up large electricity bills. With the country in itself coming up ways in which to makes it population more interested in going green, the likes of the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) is offering LECO Soft Loan Scheme to enable more consumer to install rooftop solar panels in their homes.  By incorporating a project of home improvement with solar power with more energy efficient and climate friendly air conditioners and refrigerators such as Inverter Air Conditioners/Refrigerators or the LG Solar Hybrid Air Conditioner will make it possible to reduce carbon emissions up to 212kg over the next decade.

Home Improvement with Green Methodologies

Apart from utilising solar power, there are other green methodologies you can incorcopoate for energy saving and conservation measures. These include the likes of the below.

  • Use of inverter type energy efficient air conditioners
  • Use of LED bulbs for lighting
  • 100% use of solar lamps to lighting path ways & garden
  • Use of motion sensors in public toilets, pathways, car parks etc.
  • Use of energy efficient pumps
  • Use of sensor taps in relevant areas
  • Use of duel flush systems in toilets
  • Reuse and recycling water
  • Making organic fertilizers using kitchen wastes and eliminate use of inorganic fertilizers for gardening