When I started my own business and opened an interior design studio, the idea was to work both online and on the field. My opinion is that almost everything could be done online these days. So I had come to an idea that everyone who shows interest in good design for his/her home or office, retail business, beauty salon, coffee shop, restaurant or anything else, could reach me and I would be able to offer my services as an interior designer. I wanted to share my knowledge and my sense of communication with people and knowing their needs.
I get all kinds of questions from my clients, and one of them was interested in me to share in this article.
The lady contacted me with a question about her new apartment. She just bought a flat, and she needed help with designing and furnishing. She told me that the apartment is not very big and two persons should live there. She explained to me that she had already built the kitchen, and she had a few pieces of furniture, the sofa bed, and the armchair, and earlier she ordered one dresser for the main room entrance.
Her question was: “How to organize a small apartment for two persons and make plenty of storage space, but yet making it beautiful?”
The client contacted me online, and I asked her to send me a floor plan and some pictures of the furniture she already owns, and a picture of the kitchen, so I could have insight into style and colors, and make the best of her interior.
When I had all the tools, I started with designing, and this mood-board was the beginning:
Beside the existing furniture, I can say I had a “blank canvas” to work with. The walls were white, the kitchen as well. Her sofa and armchair were upholstered in grey fabric. The first thing that came to me was a light color scheme. I didn’t want to make the space even smaller than it was using dark colors and big pieces of furniture. I designed a color scheme in two shades of grey, a gentle powder pink, and bright teal shade. I wanted to make one of the walls accents, so I chose a wallpaper in white and light teal stripes.
After I managed the walls, I started to draw the storage pieces.
The apartment had a wall with a niche, ideal to use as a storage space. I designed a big closet, from the floor to the ceiling, wall-to-wall, so the client could use the best of her space. I designed a closet with doors and plenty of shelves.
I designed one more storage space for her. It was the TV chest with the closet next to it and shelving above the place for the TV. Every piece of furniture that I imagined had to serve the client and it shouldn’t leave an impression that the apartment is too small. Again I chose the materials in light colors. I found a plywood with wood texture coating called “white hacienda”. I knew that this material would give the room the right impression.
I have to mention that, as an interior designer and personally, I don’t like those pieces of furniture designed for small apartments, like 2-in-1, that could be used as a coffee table and a desk, for instance, or something like that. The sofa bed is just alright, it’s a product that works fine for both purposes, seating and sleeping, don’t get me wrong, but some other products I don’t find useful. I think that when you have a small apartment, you should just be smart when choosing the furniture, and you should search for custom made pieces like chests and cabinets that you would really use every day. That way you could expect your place look good and spacious without clutter and furniture you don’t really need in your living area.
To continue with our topic here.
After I had the major pieces done, I could go on with smaller things, like a dining table, chairs and coffee table.
The idea of this online interior design, or “e-decoration” if you like it, was that after I get a question from the client, I give them tools and ideas they can provide on their own, wherever they live.
So with this particular client, I made an agreement that I would give her the names of the products in particular stores in her town, so she could easily find and buy them.
I chose the furniture in two different stores. The dining table in one, the chairs and coffee table in the other. Nowadays everything is available online. Most stores work that way, so it’s easy to reach something you can’t find in local stores. For instance, the wallpaper I chose for the client could be found in her local tool store, but she can easily order it in an online shop.
For example, this list from Amazon contains pieces which are perfect for small indoor spaces, give a unique addition and a modern look to the decor.
1. Round Wall Mirror Mounted Assorted Size
2. Great curtains for decor and also for blocking out heat and a lot of sunlight
I thought that all the pieces of furniture should be white, so it would look airy, and keeping the space look modern and reduced, clear.
The dining area continues after the kitchen, like an open concept together with the living area, so everything in this space should make one entirety.
For the living room, I chose modular coffee tables. Three coffee tables that can easily put together in one table. The reason I found this convenient is the size of the apartment, and I thought it could be useful for the client to move those tables wherever she needs, and use just one of them, or all three. They don’t occupy too much space in the room, and the design is simple and clean.
The client didn’t want ideas for the curtains or other decoration elements, for now. She wanted to work main projects first, like painting the walls and ordering the storage closets. She will make decoration decisions afterward, when she moves into the apartment, and spends there enough time to see what would she really need. Maybe she realizes that she needs the darker shade for the curtains because the daylight in the apartment is too bright, maybe she will look for some other type of shades, like sunblinds, or just heavy drapes.
I will certainly be available to her for anything she decides.
Only when we start to live and spend time somewhere, we can start to feel the space and then we can start buying those little things and decoration that will fill that space and make it a home.
This is the story of Ana Maria G., an interior designer from Serbia.
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