Property developers have had a hard time these past few months along with practically all areas of commerce and industry. Covid-19 has hung heavy over everyone’s heads as governments across the world have attempted to stem the spread of the virus. In the UK, lockdown was lifted some weeks ago and while some restrictions remain in place there is still a long way to go before we reach any form of normality.
In this article we’re going to cover a subject that is often put lower on lists of important considerations for property developments – that of good interior design. A wonderful location and superbly designed house are part of the winning combination, and a beautifully thought out interior is also a major part. Let’s start by talking about ergonomics, and how that applies to interior design.
Ergonomics in the Home
Ergonomics is about how people operate and exist in their working environment. It can be transferred for use in the home, in cars and even in the outdoors. Thus, to achieve the best possible interior design for a development, it needs not only to look great, but it also needs to ‘work’ – in other words, it should be as practical as possible.
A good interior designed will consider this aspect at the design stage of the development, and that applies whether it is a single restoration or redesign or a development of multiple properties. What makes a good example of interior design? There are many influential factors and we will be looking at some of the major ones in a moment, but there is something more immediate to consider.
For the immediate and foreseeable future the virtual 3D walk-through is going to play a major part in the property market, for both developers and in sales. This is due to the fact that physical viewings are made very difficult thanks to ongoing social distancing requirements – and other restrictions imposed by the coronavirus crisis – and also that open house viewings are currently not permitted.
So a good interior design will be one that works well on screen and also translates into a physical building. That’s not always easy to achieve, hence our focus here on the most important elements of interior design. Let’s list them and say a little about each.
Plan for Reality
A futuristic room with all the latest gadgets and really unique attractions looks great on screen, but how will it work in real life? An interior designer should begin by considering the functions of each room, and what they will be used for. A kitchen, for example, requires an entirely different approach to the layout than a bedroom or living room, and so forth. Consider what the inhabitants will do most often in each give room and bring practicality into it. Where do they need light, for example, and what furniture is going into the available space? The positioning of doors, windows, and even small items such as light switches and plug sockets are all part of the detail at this initial stage.
Think about Construction
Are the materials you have planned for your interior design really practical? Will the new owner appreciate your unique and quirky approach? As a designer, you may come up with a fabulous looking new idea; as a builder, it may be a complex and absurdly expensive idea to create. It’s important that while you are considering the final item you understand what it will take to get there, or a lot of time can be wasted on fanciful ideas that cannot be reached.
Consider the End User
If you know who the customer is – or have an ideal customer base targeted – use research to find out what they want in a home. This way you will build for people who are more likely to buy. This is about creating a visual list of ideas and then – once you have them all in place – editing the design to fit the requirements of the people who will eventually live there. Br practical, and be sensible, but don’t be afraid to ask the consumer what they like and don’t like.
Define the Space
Don’t design the space to fit your idea, create your ideas to fit the space. What we mean is get fully conversant with the space you are working with. Start by the empty building as a whole, then consider the individual rooms. At this point it may become clear that a bathroom is perhaps bigger than it needs to be and some of that space can be transferred to an adjoining room. Once you have each room outlined, you know what you are working with, and can begin to create a vision that you can present to buyers, investors and others who want to see what the final result is going to look like.
The Benefits of 3D Design
While the above are a few of the basic principles of interior design for developments it is important we don’t lose track of the intention – to build a beautiful, practical house., There’s a lot to be said for modern design tools, and they should be used to the full in order to present your designs as clearly as you can.
To conclude, why is interior design important to successful property development? While it’s great to design a property – or a group of them together – that look visually impressive and fit in with existing surroundings, it’s inside where the inhabitants are going to spend the bulk of their lives. Therefore, including a stunning, massive bathroom with all the latest ideals may be great in principle and amazing to look at, but if it results in a cramped bedroom you’re misusing the space.
Furthermore, remember what we said about walk-through presentations. These are now commonplace and will remain so as long as we have restrictions on movement in place – and more than likely beyond that point – so get used to the 3D software and make a list of the above tips, and you’ll soon find you can design interiors that sell.