Interior Design Course Week 5: How to Source Products

Interior design course week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of the Interior Design Course! Click here to start from Week 1.

This 6-week course will introduce you to the basics of Interior Design, and will help you transform your room from start to finish. Up until now, we’ve created a Design Analysis (to map out the needs of your room), we’ve identified your style, we’ve looked at the colour palettes surrounding your chosen style, and we’ve explored texture. Now, we’re going to create a Style Concept, and look at sourcing products for your decorating project!

Unusually, this week, we’re going to start with the task.

This Week’s Task: Creating A Style Concept, Ready for Sourcing

Remember Week 2 when you created your style boards? I asked you to choose three words to describe your chosen style. Remind yourself what yours were (I described my tropical botanical style as ’fresh, natural and exotic’).

You’re going to use these three words to find three images that sum up your scheme. One image for each word. This will form your Style Concept, which will help you source your materials, furniture and accessories.

It’s important to bare in mind what you’ve learnt in terms of colour and texture; the colours you identified from your Style Boards in Week 3, and any textures you liked the look of from last week’s Texture Moodboard.

Fresh

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Natural

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Exotic

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Once you have these three images, this is your Style Concept, which you will work from when designing and sourcing your products. Take a look at the three pictures, and then about how the colours, themes and textures can translate into your finished room. Remember to tie back to your Design Analysis from Week One, where you outlined what you wanted to achieve in your finished room, and what functions it has to serve.

For example:

In my Design Analysis, I wanted my living room to be a place where I can relax after a hard day at work – but also a fun place, where I can entertain my guests. So I’ll want lots of lounging space – cushioned sofas, maybe even bean bags to sit on.

When I look at my three images, I can imagine the room being filled with foliage; either in the form of plants, or through patterned wallpapers / tiles / soft furnishings. There will be some wooden textures in the room; perhaps a wood effect floor, or a piece of wooden furniture, like a rocking chair. I can think about different forms of wood – driftwood, or recycled pallets. White could form the base of the room (the wall spaces), as the greens would pop against it. Not forgetting the exotic quality of the parrots, I could inject bold / tropical colours through the choice of accessories (for example a lamp shade, or a rug, or an ornament). The yellows could be introduced in the form of the metallic golds which I discovered earlier on in the Interior Design Course. This could be a photo frame, a bird cage (to tie in with the exotic parrots) or a bright bean bag.

Once you have an idea of how the colours and textures in your Style Concept can translate into wall / floor coverings, furnishings and accessories, it’s time to look at what your budget can allow, and to look at sourcing your products.

Considerations, Budget and Sourcing

Look back at your Design Analysis. What budget did you set? What parts of the room have to stay the same? What parts can you change? What parts need to change, to incorporate your new style? Does your existing wall / floor fit in with the new scheme, or do they need updating?

Prioritise your purchases, according to your budget – and save money where you can. For example, I have a plain cream sofa, which doesn’t exactly tie in with the fresh and exotic palette of my chosen style. However, it’s not in my budget to buy a new colourful sofa, so I have to improvise. I can inject this tropical scheme into my sofa by adding some themed cushions – either with exotic floral prints on them, or with parrots with pops of bright yellow and purple.

What’s the wall going to look like? Paint? Wallpaper? Tiles? If it’s a plain colour, do you need to add a colourful piece of wall art, or a mirror, or a photo frame?

What’s going on the floor? Bare boards? Carpet? Tiles? Lino? Remember – bare boards need treating regularly, and they can give you splinters. Carpet stains easily. Lino blisters and warps over time. Tiles are the only hard-wearing, zero-maintenance, long-lasting option for interior floor spaces. Could a large impersonal floor space by made to feel more homely by adding a rug?

Do you need to buy any furniture? Do you have any in the room already that you can make fit into the scheme, or does it need replacing?

What accessories can you add into your room to help enforce the style / scheme? Vases, bowls, cushions, throws, ornaments, ottomans, side tables, lamp shades?

Where to source from

For wall and floor coverings, browse our range of tiles. We have colours, textures and patterns to match every style – and with realistic wood effects, splitface tiles, hexagons, and captivating geometric Moroccan designs, tiles are perfectly suitable for use throughout the house.

For accessories and furnishings, if you’re on a tighter budget, browse eBay, car boot sales, and local listings on Facebook.

Interior design and lifestyle magazines (such as Good Homes) are full of trendy buys each month (usually with a couple of budget pieces).

Keep an eye out when you go around friends’ and family’s houses for must-have pieces that fit in with your scheme.

Try Etsy and Not on the High Street for more bespoke pieces.

Watch TV shows, such as Grand Designs, for interesting new products.

Made.com is designer-lead and full of more interesting, colourful furnishings.

Saving money 

Check out voucher websites like VoucherCodes.com for vouchers across a wide variety of home products.

For tile discounts, take a look at the Walls and Floors Offers Page, but shhh – it’s a secret!

The conclusion

Know what you’re going to have on your walls and floors. Know what you need in terms of furniture. Think about what accessories will help to inject your scheme into the room.

Tackle your project in that exact order:

1) Create your backdrop – lay your floor tiles, and decorate your walls.

2) Introduce any large, heavy pieces (furniture).

3) Add the littler accessories that help complete your scheme.

Next week, in the final part of the Interior Design Course, I’m going to help you complete the above tasks. We’ll look at tiling tips for your walls and floors. We’ll look at ideas for updating existing furniture. And we’ll look at styling tips, to add those finishing touches!

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