Interior Design has never been about “Pillow Puffing”!

I heard that term years ago when I started Interior Design (25 years ago believe it or not); I think someone called me a “pillow puffer”…..after 4 years of University education & a loan that took 10 years to pay off. I’m still educating myself today.

Sadly that is what may people thought then of Interior Design in Melbourne, and still do now. It simply can’t be more of misinterpretation, yet the way it is portrayed in media & social media is more about the superficialities like choosing furniture and finishes.

Maddie & I spent the better part of last week measuring up an entire home and front/back yard (in the rain) in preparation for a Californian Bungalow renovation, and then I attended hours of webinars back in the studio to keep up to date on all the latest changes in the NCC (aka the Building Code) & Australian Standards changes.

A degree in Interior Design is 4 years long (and 10 years paying back the HECs loan)

This week has been about getting my head around all the changes that affect commercial and residential design.

It all boils down to more standards to read when designing a project (which takes time) red tape to wade through (more time), more documentation details required for permits (even more time); hence projects take MUCH longer to design and draft these days than when I started working 25 years ago. Standards are so complicated now that we can no longer rely upon remembering key facts; it’s necessary to read through multiple volumes to design a single bathroom every time due to all the permutations & compliance requirements.

You need to understand that the time it takes to design & document to Australian requirements directly impacts upon the design fees; designers estimate how long it will take to document a project and apply an hourly rate. The majority of this time is spent on the tasks that make a project happen (some of those I’ve mentioned above), which take longer than simply looking on-line or going to a showroom and selecting a couple of finishes with the help of the showroom assistant.

Long gone are the days where you could almost draft a project on the back of a piece of paper (and it seems that hand drawn documentation is no longer accepted at all by some building surveyors).

Lisa is a very dedicated professional with a keen eye for fine detail and accurate documentation. I have worked with Lisa on more than 10 airport lounges and I can highly recommend her work. Lisa is also good a reviewing and coordinating services drawings.

D. Johnson

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

So, why Hire an Interior Designer?

Unfortunately many people get confused or intimidated by the idea of hiring a professional Interior Designer for their project, and might be concerned about the process of working with a designer & the costs of doing so.

A lot of people I meet feel that they can hire a builder and do the design themselves, selecting materials and fixtures in dribs and drabs, often at the last minute (leading to less choice) with poor planning & lack of an overall vision. This will lead increased costs due to changes, additions and variations that the builder will not have allowed for.

You will save money & time. Your designer will plan functional and appealing spaces, provide drawings, visualisations & material / furnishing selections in a strategic manner so you can get competitive quotes, and you know what the design will look like & cost right from the start.

You require a Qualified Interior Designer & Registered Building Practitioner for any commercial project or residential project that requires a building permit; a proper interior designer is a highly trained & experienced registered professional, not just someone with ‘a good eye for colour’ and a knack for picking furniture.

Let’s make something beautiful together, book an appointment to explore your dream project.

Image: Omar Rodriguez @ormphotography