Designer Tips: How to Start a Design Project

Posted in Design Tips & Tricks, Popular Posts

We often get stuck at the beginning of any interior design project, where do we start? how do we start? what do we start with? Knowing how, where and what to start with are very important aspects any good design. These are my designer tips on how to start a design project.

Designer Tip #1: Use An Amazing Piece of Art

Finding that perfect piece of art is sometimes difficult, but some people have one piece they absolutely adore. For me it is a picture my Dad picked up when he was young at a Pawn Shop of the old Montreal Harbour. It is a piece with sentimental value but it is also a piece that emotes something. It makes me feel. In one of my recent projects the art became the centre of the room. This piece of modern art led the design story. It brought us our colour palette as well as the overall feel of the space.


Designer Tip #2: Find a Great Piece of Furniture

A great piece of furniture could be something passed down, found or recently purchased. It could also not exist yet! For me, I have been carrying this antique desk from dwelling to dwelling always using it in different ways. This is my great grandmother's desk the piece is one of my absolute favourite antiques. It has been in my room since I was a baby. The chair has been reupholstered many times because for me having an heirloom piece in the room is an important part of design.


Designer Tip #3: A Spectacular Wallpaper

Sometimes life needs to be spiced up! A bold wallpaper on an accent wall is a great way to get a punch of something within a space without breaking the bank or driving your eyes crazy. This project started with the back wall wallpaper and evolved into a cozy master bedroom with ample storage.


Designer Tip #4: Use Your Favorite Colours

When I was 5, my favourite colour was pink. Obviously it has evolved over the years but everyone has a colour that they prefer. For this project it was aqua. A bright colour to jazz up a small space. This 500 square foot condo was very difficult to start because there was really no room to go crazy. One accent wall would be there whole condo! With a client on a tight budget bringing in a favourite colour can be a very inexpensive way to dress up a space or add character to an existing one. 


Designer Tip #5: Pick a Mood

When you walk into a room the room often makes you feel something. For some design projects the client wants a certain feel. For this particular project the instructions were for a  "masculine & rich feeling office space." There are many different ways to create that feeling but we chose to go with a dark grey. Benjamin Moore Dior Grey (one of my personal favourites!). We clad the walls with applied mouldings (less expensive way to get the look of paneling) and rooted the room with a large silk rug. Flanked the walls with two mid-century modern sofas in a rich velvet. Accents were done with masculine plaids, herringbone and other suit fabrics.


Designer Tip #6: Review How Your Space Functions

One of the best ways to start a design project is to really evaluate function. What is the space going to be used for? How does your family interact within this space? How do you entertain in this space? For a functional room you really need to think about the space as more than just a space. For example most kitchens I design begin with function because that is what a kitchen needs to be, functional. In order to design a functional space I find out everything about the client, their cooking, and even inventory their cooking equipment, cutlery, and more. In a kitchen there needs to be a space for everything.

Floor Plan

I hope these ideas help you begin your design journey.

Joey Signature

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