ASK AN INTERIOR DESIGNER

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by Lynn Fenwick B.I.D.

ONCE AGAIN, FENWICK AND COMPANY teamed up with Dufresne Furniture and Appliances for the Home and Garden Show.

We had an incredible response to the 15 minute free consultation, "Ask a Designer" corner of the Dufresne Furniture booth last year. It was such a thrill meeting and helping so many people with their renovations! With a number of the people who came for the design consultation we noticed that they did not know what to expect or what to bring for their session. It makes it difficult to give valuable interior design advice when you don't have enough information.

When you have a limited amount of time with an interior designer, we want you to be able to use that time as efficiently as possible! Our goal is to help you get the most out of your meeting by offering some suggestions on how to be prepared for that meeting.

Designer Questions

Here are some tips to get more out of your consultation:

1 | HAVE A PLAN
If you can bring us a plan to scale, it will allow us to place furniture in your space without any guesswork. So, what are we talking about? Measure your room (or rooms) that you are interested in purchasing furniture for. Here is a step by step way to do that:

a. Start by measuring the perimeter
Look at the room and make a rough outline of the dimensions on paper. Measure the longest wall first. Do this by running your tape measure along the baseboard from one corner to the other. Run the tape along the top of the baseboard so you get a full wall-to-wall dimension. If this is impractical, run it along the floor and make an adjustment for the width of the baseboards. Mark down your measures.

Repeat this process for the remaining walls. Don't worry about door openings at this point. What you want is an accurate measurement of the full wall dimensions.

Hint: it's easier to use inches rather than a combination of feet/inches For example, if your wall is 10' 6-½" long, use 126 ½ inches.

Once you get the perimeter of the room measured, check your math to make sure the dimensions close. If they don't, your measurements aren't accurate and you need to check them again.

b. Measure doors and windows
From the nearest corner, measure the distance to the door opening and note this on your drawing. Ignore casings or trim. Measure the width of the door. Note the direction that the door swings and show this on your drawing with an arc. Now measure the width of the casings around the door and note those on your drawing.

Measure windows from frame edge to frame edge, without the casings or trim. Note the distances from the wall to the window and the size of the window on the drawing. Depending on the purpose of your floor plan drawing, you may want to also measure the height of windows and their distances from the floor and ceiling.

c. Measure other features
Fireplaces, cabinets, built-in bookshelves, and any other features should be measured and added to the plan next. If your plan includes multiple rooms, make sure to account for the interior wall depth. Typical residential construction uses 4 ½" interior walls.

It's also a good idea to measure and locate electrical switches and outlets, thermostats, circuit boxes, radiators, heating and air conditioning registers, and any other elements on your diagram.

d. Scale it down to ¼" (inch) = 1' (foot)
Take a sheet of paper that has ¼ inch (not millimeters) squares on it. Use one square to equal 1 foot, and half a square to equal 6". This scale is call ¼" = 1' and is the easiest scale for us to work with. We can then sketch your furniture in at the correct size and placement in the room. Mark the dimensions on the plan, in case there is a discrepancy in the dimension.

2 | KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO STAY IN THE ROOM, ITEMIZE AND MEASURE IT
Many people don't want to get rid of everything in a room when they are about to refresh their space. These pieces will influence what will fit in the space. We need to know what is staying what the size of it is including the height.

3 | BRING IMAGES OF WHAT YOU LIKE
The old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is the moto for a designer to be able to read your mind on your style preferences as quickly as possible. If you bring images of what you like or what you want your room to look like, we don't have to waste precious time on you trying to get your style across to us.

4 | BRING PHOTOS OF THE ROOM(S)
If you can take photos of every wall straight on- parallel to the wall and then one or two phots of the room as a whole, it is tremendously helpful in helping make the right decisions for your room.

5 | BRING SAMPLES
If there are existing carpet/rug, wood, or paint colours, furniture fabrics that already exist in this room, bring samples of them. That way we can see what new materials and colours will go with your room.

6 | WHAT WILL THE ROOM BE USED FOR?
Make a list of what activities are going to happen in this room. Will you watch television, listen to music, or will kids play piano in this room? Maybe it is a place of solitude and reading only...

7 | EXPRESS YOURSELF
Think about your likes and dislikes and write them down. If you like certain colours, we will be happy to get you going in that direction. You hate leather... we need to know that!


Now that we have given you some direction on how to be prepared for your free 15 minute consultation with an interior designer, come look at what we have created for the Dufresne Furniture booth to show the newest looks for 2019 and bring your renovation to us! We look forward to meeting you at the Home and Garden show!


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