Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interior Design - A Designers Tool Bag

Every interior professional has their own set of trade tools and today I thought I'd do a fun post and show you some of the things I use on a daily basis - hope you enjoy!

Big Work Surface
My desk, while big, never seems large enough. Although I consider myself to be an extremely organized and tidy individual, my desk never seems to convey this. Once I'm into a project - it completely takes over my work surface - it's no wonder I'm always losing my phone beneath the piles of papers, samples and books!

To stay and to go! Especially needed when budgeting and trying to stay on top of the daily paperwork that unfortunately goes along with what I do - I much prefer the creative side. 

A good view is essential to inspiration - this is mine daily (Toronto looking South/East) from my desk and on the road too!

My trusty Apple computers have been my business partners since I began designing (a long time ago). Today it's my 27" iMac - great for multitasking on screen. When I'm on the go, my iPad fills in. 

Notebooks filled with project notes and inspiration are always in my hand, no matter where I am. Projects are kept in files - white of course, and in office on clipboards hanging on the wall for easy access by anyone to quickly jump in and take over. 

I just couldn't possibly work without music in the background - selection changes daily depending on my mood. Lately there's been a mixture of Daughtry, Ricky Martin and Kenny Chesney - I know, eclectic right?

Writing Instruments
Pens, markers and highlighters are constantly strewn across my desk - as most of you know, the G-Tec is my absolute favourite pen - there's nothing like it in my opinion. For quick/rough sketches and drawings I reach for a .3 or .5 black ink marker - highlighters are used in my notes as reminders.


CAD Tools
Floor Plans and Elevation Drawings are completed mostly with CAD tools. I love it because its an add on to Adobe Illustrator which I've been using since school (about 20 years). Makes dimensioning and scaling a breeze with the added drawing features of Illustrator.

Number Tools
A measuring tape is always at my side when planning, sourcing and on site. Stanley tends to be my favourite but I have a few 'prettier' ones that I use from time to time. A calculator is always useful for budgeting and converting.

Reference Materials
I'm a major book lover. I have dozens of books - on design mainly - I never tire of looking at them and am always eager to get my hands on the latest one. And I can very often be found at my local library researching and signing out more. (Love that I can manage holds and requests on-line these days.)

Photographic Equipment
My large Canon is great for capturing finished rooms and finished custom furniture. My smaller Canon is handy to have in my purse to snap a photo of something I'm sourcing. And my iPhone is used when I want to send a snap of something that could be perfect for a project to an assistant or client for quick approval. Also always handy to capture inspiration and the canvas being worked on.

Ahhh ... my iPhone. Don't get me started on this - there is no better phone - I'll stop here. Keeps me connected in every way and backing up to my iMac and iPad is a breeze thanks to iCloud!

What can I say, I need them daily.

They make my CAD drawings come to life and help to pull a colour concept together - I'm a fan of Prismacolor - guess it's due to the fact that it's what I was trained with.

I have a template for everything - it's the compulsive organizer in me. My budget template keeps things on budget and ensures nothing gets forgotten when procuring.

Fabric swatches and  paint chips help to pull a colour scheme together and create the direction and mood for a space. I get lost in paint chips and even more so in fabric samples. Right now I'm loving all the traditional patterns done in modern and contemporary ways. And as for paint colours - any grey with a mauve undertone is working for me.

Bag and File Case
I spend a big part of my week on the road meeting with suppliers, sourcing and seeing clients. And there is a lot I need with me - so, my oversized leather bag is big enough to throw everything into and chic enough to not look like a 'work bag'. My travel file case is always in my truck - it's the template thing again.

And last but not least, something pretty. There is nothing better than getting to your desk to start a day with some pretty flowers next to you. Always makes me smile!

So, I hope you enjoyed my post on my daily tools - there are more, but these are the most used ones!

Happy decorating everyone!

PS - We're posting daily decorating tips on our facebook page - Like it to receive them daily!

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