Working with an interior designer during the pandemic?
Are you looking to redesign your home despite the Covid-19 pandemic? Here are some simple advice and tips provided by our architect Winston Lim and interior designer Joshua to get you started.
If you want to makeover your home, but remain concerned about meeting in person during the pandemic, you’ll be pleased to hear that Winstudio offers a virtual consultation service using webinars. Here we provide a snapshot of what is available and share tips on how we can provide our assistance in a safe yet professional manner.
First, Get Some Ideas
The process of hiring a professional will begin with an introduction and consultation. Before this, we believe you could browse for some ideas either online or through magazines so that you know your personal likes and dislikes. These include furniture styling, materials, colours, textures, lighting and moods. Then you can store all these ideas either in a folder online or in your sketchbook.
Winston, our architect, usually stores his ideas in a Google drive folder so that he could review them in the future. “I often send past images to my clients so that we can share our thoughts using photos as a guide,” says Winston.
“Take photos of each room from various angles that include the corner of the space, not just the front view of the walls” Winston recommends. “Or you could take videos and send them to us via WhatsApp.”
“A design brief is important,” he continues. “Write a list of what you want to improve in the space, how you like it to work and how it will be used.” Winston suggests sending a video and some photos before the first consultation as well, so everyone understands the space visually without using words.
Our designer Joshua has this to say, “It will be most helpful if you also send pictures or floor plans of your home. That way, we know what your overall space looks like and we can understand the sequence of rooms. If you prefer to keep personal items or furniture, send photos as well so we know what needs to be maintained.”
“Save all your thoughts and ideas in your online storage, for example, either in Dropbox or Google Drive,” Joshua suggests. “This is very useful since you are likely to have tens, if not hundreds of images, as you browse online. They can get confusing and distracting. Write what you like about that image. For example, you could highlight the colours or texture – so when the designer sees the image, they understand your inspiration.“Take photos of each room from various angles that include the corner of the space, not just the front view of the walls” Winston recommends. “Or you could take videos and send them to us via WhatsApp. That will provide us visual information to know what the space looks like. We suggest that you remove any clutter before you begin taking photos or videos.”
Second, Meet Online
Safe-distancing and stay-at-home practices are the norm during this challenging period. Since we are unable to meet face-to-face, we have plenty of other ways to do it digitally.
Winstudio uses Zoom, Webex or Whatsapp video calls.
“We also understand their anxieties and are keen to address their concerns especially since the home is not always a conducive environment to perform official work.”
Winston says, “You can walk through each room and discuss what you like us to do without leaving your home. We can either do a video call or a phone call. Video is highly recommended so that we can see the whole space and understand the place in relation to its environment.”
“We have been doing several introductions and consultations using Zoom,” Joshua adds. “Despite this crisis, we enjoying meeting people to understand their lifestyles, needs and aspirations – whether they’re single, a family, need to work from home, or when they need to start the project. We also understand their anxieties and are keen to address their concerns especially since the home is not always a conducive environment to perform official work.”
Third, Take Measurements or Provide Floor Plans
“We find it very useful if the client has a floorplan of their property,” Winston says. “Or they can measure the rooms using measuring tape. They can also take photos of the space that match the plan, and draw arrows on plan to show where the camera is positioned.”
“Simple dimensions of the room is needed, you don’t need to be precise” he continues. “Homeowners can sketch out the floorplan, and from that we can create the 3D visual using our software. I sometimes show clients examples of how our previous projects were done as a reference.”
Fourth, Create Options
With your floor plan, measurements, images or videos from the initial consultation, we can begin to draw a sketch plan for your home.
“We often use moodboards or other references to give an idea of the mood we create for the space,” Joshua says. “We sometimes choose several options per room – one could show the client’s own idea, and another could show our preferred idea so that we can discuss different options.”
And Finally……If We Could Meet Safely, Someday Soon….
As renovation work is a brick and mortar service, all the digital meeting and planning should lead to actual construction at some moment in time. However, there are several regulatory guidelines and restrictions on starting work safely which needs to be ironed out.
So in the meantime, we suggest to our clients to hang in there while we meet digitally.
At this stage of the pandemic, we are still studying the best practices required by the building authorities on how to renovate in a safe and timely manner.
Stay tune for our next article that talks about this issue as we get a clearer picture from the industry.