How to Write a Design Brief to Give to Your Interior Designer

When you are about to embark on a project for  new design or a renovation, be it an office or home renovation, a design brief will needed to give your architects, contractors, interior designer or decorator what your end vision is all about. Thus, in this blog, RM Perera as a reputed turnkey interior design has a few tips on how to write a design brief to give to us, your interior designer.

A design brief is essentially a wish list of things that you want for your office or home renovation, which will cover various factors of design. The design brief you will need to put together will feature some of the following;

  • the type of design project it will be,
  • the location of the design project in Sri Lanka,
  • the appearance and style aesthetic you are after,
  • the type of light orientation,
  • the sensory qualities in the design
  • the projected budgeted cost
  • the construction methods and green building concepts you want to incorporate
  • the objectives of the project

Interior Design Brief

Essentially, as you write the design brief to give to your project, think of it as the foundation to the design on which the project will grow on. The design brief will be the document that all the contractors will refer to ensure that the project is on track.  The approach on how you write a design brief is based a few steps that will help you arrive at a design brief that is comprehensive. The 5 steps to write a detailed design brief for your design project is as follows.

  1. Collate a vision list or inspiration – Put together a storyboard of your inspiration for your office or home renovation project design brief. You can also put together a shopping board to know what kind of furniture you want to use for this renovation project.
  2. Know what you need – By assessing what you have and what you would like to have, you will know what you want to include for this office or home renovation project design brief.
  3. Figure out the list of spaces you want designed in the project scope – By figuring out what each space is and what you may want to use it for, you are halfway there to finishing your design brief.
  4. Go through the list and detail your needs per space separately –Once you have the space you want to include in your renovation, you should also have a storyboard for your design brief, such as what each space will be utilised for, the furniture you hope to include, categorise the room or even be able to use several spaces together.
  5. Figure out what the overall goals and prioritise the list for the project- Your design brief should be similar to a business plan of your company. You need to have your vision, mission and goals in order. With these in hand, your decision-making with regards to the office or home renovation will be simple.

How to Choose Your Lighting Fixtures and Fittings

Following up from the same theme as last week’s blog, “Home Improvement with Solar Power and Green Energy”, we look at lighting your home or office in the best way. How to choose your lighting fixtures and fitting matters when you have a purpose in mind, and with that need, there are many lighting solutions to be had.

The days of only having one light per room are an antiquated idea; nowadays, there are many lighting fixtures and fittings put to use in various locations of a room. There is a concept called the “5 Layers of Lighting” in the interior design world. These layers are essentially based on purpose. Namely these are 1) Light for Doing, 2) Light for Story, 3) Lighting for Knowing, 4) Light for Changing, and 5) Light for Feeling.

 

 

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Doing

The meaning behind “Light for Doing” is the use of light to facilitate an action, for instance to eat or read. You can choose spotlight lighting fixtures over a dining room table to offer lighting over each table setting or over the sink or the area you utilise for cutting vegetables in the kitchen, or even grouped pendant lights. Remember that you are not looking for subtle lighting in this case, but lighting fixtures that direct light towards the intended area.

How to Choose Your Lighting: Light for Story

A “light for story” is for when you choose your lighting fixture or fitting to tell a story or as a conversation piece. One that acts as a spotlight over a focal picture frame can carry a story, whereas even a chandelier or modern lighting pendant can be used to reflect the style of the room’s theme.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Knowing

“Light for knowing” is used when choosing your lighting fixtures and fittings for the purpose of acknowledging others in the room with you. For instance, a lighting fixture used for knowing is usually one that is large and spread a fair amount of light, one such as the main or focal lighting fixture above the dining room table or the one over the living room seating area.  The likes of a chandelier would be ideal for illuminating the focal area in a subtle way.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Changing

This is more about the lighting fixture controls over the lighting fixtures and fittings themselves. These include the likes of the dimmers and other controls one might use to help create the mood or adjust the lumens you require based on the season, sunshine, or time of the day.

How to Choose your Lighting: Light for Feeling

“Light for feeling” means to say when you choose your lighting fixture based on the ambience you are hoping to create, as one would get from a candlelight flame. The likes of sconces, or accent lamps will do the trick.

Home Improvement with Solar Power and Green Strategies

With more and more of us becoming more and more aware of global warming we look for ways in which to be eco-friendly and more green with our choices in life. Whilst living in a tropical island, the need for sustainable choices has become a household topic with the government too making choices towards utilising solar energy in their projects too. Thus in this blog we look at strategies for home improvement with solar power and green methodologies.

Home Improvement with Solar Power

When it comes to home improvement with solar power, there are many ways in which we can look at making ones lives better. Furthermore, it vastly increases your home’s resale value too.  The likes of a 6KW solar panel installation can truly make waves in your home improvement strategy. The main selling point with the initial overhead costs of incorporating a home improvement with solar power is the savings that you will have from the lack of electricity bills.

The fact of the matter is that when living in a tropical country such as Sri Lanka, we often tend to use our fans and air conditioners around the clock, which can rack up large electricity bills. With the country in itself coming up ways in which to makes it population more interested in going green, the likes of the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) is offering LECO Soft Loan Scheme to enable more consumer to install rooftop solar panels in their homes.  By incorporating a project of home improvement with solar power with more energy efficient and climate friendly air conditioners and refrigerators such as Inverter Air Conditioners/Refrigerators or the LG Solar Hybrid Air Conditioner will make it possible to reduce carbon emissions up to 212kg over the next decade.

Home Improvement with Green Methodologies

Apart from utilising solar power, there are other green methodologies you can incorcopoate for energy saving and conservation measures. These include the likes of the below.

  • Use of inverter type energy efficient air conditioners
  • Use of LED bulbs for lighting
  • 100% use of solar lamps to lighting path ways & garden
  • Use of motion sensors in public toilets, pathways, car parks etc.
  • Use of energy efficient pumps
  • Use of sensor taps in relevant areas
  • Use of duel flush systems in toilets
  • Reuse and recycling water
  • Making organic fertilizers using kitchen wastes and eliminate use of inorganic fertilizers for gardening

 

Powder Rooms – What are they and How to Style Your Home

The name “Powder Room” is not a well-known term in Asia, but in the west, it is what is used to describe a half-bath(room) which is essentially a room that consists of a sink and toilet but not a shower or bathtub. If you were to break it down (for the sake of knowledge) a three-quarter bath is what is used to describe a room that includes a shower along with the sink and toilet, and a full bath includes a sink, toilet, bathtub and a showerhead over it. The primary use of powder rooms is usually for the exclusive use of guests where a shower or bath would generally not be needed but for the purpose of what is politely called the need to “powder one’s nose”.

If we were to break it down and explain the concept of powder rooms, what they are and how to style your home to feature the likes of a powder room, if you have a small space in your home that is unused but is somewhat larger than a closet, you can easily convert it to a powder room. Usually, a powder room is located for convenient access to guests and often does not necessarily need to have a window. The fact that this room will almost always be reserved for use by guests, you are able to design it any way you like without the need for it to match the aesthetic of the rest of your home.

Some ways in which you can truly make your powder room shine is with the choice of colour, pattern and accessories you choose. With powder rooms, you can easily create bold statements; you need not follow the aesthetic of the rest of your home. Some of the ways in which you can style your home’s powder room is with the likes of the following style options.

  1. Choosing bold patterned tiles
  2. Open concept plans for shelving/storage
  3. Add a statement accessory such as a pendant light or bold sink
  4. Choose a sculptural mirror
  5. Mosaic tiling for the walls
  6. Floor to ceiling tiling
  7. Opting for gold accents
  8. Adding rusting touches
  9. Opt for contrast and dark hues
  10. Incorporate farm styles

If you opt to keep these styling choices for powder rooms in mind, the way you style your home will be right on trend with popular powder rooms the world over.

Image: HeardHome, Knotting Hill Interiors/Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Pinterest

Monochrome Mania – Black and White Bathroom Styles

In our previous blog post, we brought to you the concept of Powder Rooms and how you can make it stand out when styling your home. The fact of the matter is, that if you want to invest in your home, there are some rooms that will add to the value by means of the fittings and furnishing you add on. So forth, the likes of bathroom would be one such way whilst the other would be kitchen assets. Having said so, in this blog post, we look at how black and white bathroom styles, as monochrome mania is one of the most favoured and classic means of colour choices and styles where you cannot go wrong.

The advantage of using monochrome or black and white bathroom styles is the fact that it will go with any aesthetic that provided you wanted to change the colour themes of the rest of the house. We have put together some great monochrome mania inspirations for black and white bathroom styles for your reference. Let us know what you like the best!

 

 

Simple yet Ornate

Whilst the walls and floor of this black and white bathroom are simplistic, the window trims and the claw foot bathroom tub adds a sense of finesse to the aesthetic.

Another way of adding to the simplistic look would be with flashy trims, such as gold hued fittings.

White with a hint of Black

It’s a well-known secret in the interior design scene in Sri Lanka (and the world over) that white can easily be used to make a room look bigger and brighter. And this black and white bathroom inspiration has done just that. With the white marble tiles that showcase hints of black veining, and the statement tub in the middle of the bathroom, it’s a welcoming sight of luxury and relaxation.

This black and white bathroom really speaks out in terms of its white finish and is crisp in its total aesthetic. The great thing about this inspiration is that some might consider it a great blank canvas to add your own accents and accessories to make it your own.

Statement Patterns

For the love of patterns, this beautiful black and white bathroom style inspiration is truly something for those who are bit adventurous. Whilst some may say that the pattern looks busy, it truly stands out. If you are not keen on the pattern repeating throughout the floor and walls, a welcome reproach would be to stick to just the floor tiles for the pattern and a simple subway tile for the walls.

 

Art Deco

Add a sense of majesty to your love of monochromatic style as you fuse    black and white marble with gold accents. One of the more high-end black and white bathroom styles, and one that is definitely a grate choice for a master bathroom en-suite.

Image Credit: Douglas Friedman, DigsDigs, ELLE Decor

Corporate Office Design Project on a Budget

If you are looking to do a corporate office design, may it be for a brand new building or renovating an es existing space to fit the look and feel of a high-end office but you have a budget to stick to, we have a few ideas up our sleeves. Keep reading to stay on track without breaking the bank.

Start with the Blank Canvas

Knowing the space and area you have to work with, you will be able to get an idea with how you want to design the interior of your corporate office. In a high-end corporate office design, you usually tend to order the desks and cupboard to suit the look and feel of the available space. However, since this will be a corporate office design project on a budget, you need to keep the custom pieces in check, In such cases, you are better off choosing the likes of modular office furniture such as those made available by RM Perera. The readymade furniture is modular, which means that there are certain furniture pieces that can be mixed and matched to fit the space available or the need of your corporate office design.

 

The following choices of ready-made furniture by the RM Perera Modular Office Collection can make for a budget friendly addition to corporate office design project without breaking the bank.

 

Declutter and Organise

With the modular office furniture in use, you can also put decluttering furniture hardware accessories to use along with easy organizational practices.  One of the ways in which you can declutter/organize is first and foremost by hiding the many cords/wires that will be used. Wires and cords from computers and even lighting fittings may be something that any corporate office design projects will have to deal with but one that is easily handled with the help of cord baskets, cord covers and casings (especially for walls) that can easily be sourced for you by your corporate interior designers. In Sri Lanka, RM Perera is one of the best turnkey interior design solutions providers and ensure that you have a hassle free corporate office design project on a budget without any hassle.

Make it Green

One of the best ways to make your corporate office design look grand would be with some statement indoor plants.  Fiddleleaf or Benjamina figs, snake plants and certain varieties of plants are very popular for corporate office designs.

CRIB Corporate Office Design in Sri Lanka by RM Perera

Spruce it Up with Art

Often, corporate offices tend to display art that can often be worth quite a pretty penny. However, if you are on a budget and you still want to ensure that your corporate office design project looks stellar, one of the easiest ways is to search the web for art that is available under the Creative Commons license which allows you to download and print your very own pieces at almost no or fraction of the cost that you would have to pay if you got your art at a gallery.

Images: BERITA TERBARU

Tips on How to Get the Best Kitchen Design in your Home Renovation

A kitchen is often referred to the heart of a house, and more often than not, it is one of the spaces in a home that is renovated to ensure a number of factors; such as functionality, trend, and also as a way of adding value to your home. Today, we look at a few tips on how to get the best kitchen design in your home renovation from your trusted residential interior designer, decorators and renovators in Sri Lanka, RM Perera.

Wish List for the Best Kitchen Design

Over the years, your requirements may differ or develop from what it was five years back. If you are a first home owner and this is a home renovation of an existing house, then you are able to start from scratch. In the event, you have outgrown your current kitchen design and are looking to renovate your home and your kitchen to suit your new needs, then you can make amendments to get the best kitchen design possible.

Starting out with a list of requirements is a great way to embark on your home renovation for the best kitchen design yet. Think about placement of kitchen cabinetry and design, choosing open shelving concepts over overhead cabinetry, kitchen island over kitchen table, sinks, new appliances and more. By listing out your home kitchen renovation wish list, you can choose to prioritize and assign your home renovation budget accordingly.

Plan Out Your Design

Getting a basic plan or draft done can do wonders to envision your space and make a decision. There are many free apps that allow you to get an idea of what you want in your new home kitchen renovation. RM Perera Sri Lanka can help you with getting a design done to help you envision your space for your home renovation, and how best to plan out the best kitchen design to meet your requirements and wish list.

Best Kitchen Design Trends

There are many ways in which you can get on the best kitchen design trends with the help of new kitchen appliances and gadgets that go a long way in not only making your home life easier but also adding cash value to your kitchen and home which is indeed an investment.

Think of adding appliances such as inbuilt ovens, hidden electrical plugs for the kitchen island, an island sink, hidden extra workspace on wheels, retractable shelves (so you need not use a ladder to get to the top most shelve in your kitchen cabinet), extendable kitchen hose, and more.

Image Credits: The Kitchen Design Centre

Fun and Clever Storage Ideas and Inspirations

One of the things that make for a great space is having the space to store away clutter and keeping everything spic and span! How do you go about this, you ask? Why, by having some fun and clever storage ideas and inspirations in hand. We are more than happy to help you with it. Great means of storage space and ideas for your home, after all, means better organization and clarity in your day-to-day. Finding a place for everything is essentially organization 101, therefore, making use of closets, cupboards, cubbies and even empty spaces that do not have a purpose will make decluttering easier.

Kid’s Bedroom Dream

One of our favourite, fun and clever storage ideas and inspirations that we have come across would be this beautiful padded cupboard wall. It has such a touch of whimsy and colour that it will make a kid’s room shine!

Pantry of the Heavens

If you are looking for a fantastic way to organize your pantry, we have a solution! This beautiful pantry cupboard has cubbies of different sizes and shapes to accommodate your different pantry items which will make organizing your kitchen items a breeze. Ensuring that you have all your pantry items handy and accessible, makes for a happy home and cuts down your work time in the kitchen.

 

 

Mud Area Wonders

In Sri Lanka, mud rooms are not too popular, instead, the entry way becomes a mess of footwear! Whilst some opt for a shelving system or a cupboard to stow away the footwear, you can opt to do so with the likes of a walk-in closet area. This closet room will function as a place to put away your shoes and, bags, umbrellas and other items that you might need as you are about to run out the door. By using these fun and clever storage ideas, you can put together a mud area or room to suit all your needs!

Clever Benches

In any living space, there is always the problem of putting away the clutter once the fun is over and in a place that isn’t too tucked away. The likes of storage benches and ottomans come in handy. You can easily store away all your board games away with ease even when the boxes themselves have become quite frayed from all that use. With the help of these fun and clever storage ideas and inspirations, your living room can be the one of your dreams out of that interior design magazine!

 

Images: homestratosphere, houzz, baytownkitchen, imageshack, eattomorrow, amazinginteriordesign, ecofloat, tahrirdata

Doing up a Tropical Modern Interior Design Style in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s interior design aesthetic has progressively maintained a very localized but edgy theme in the last few decades, with the help of esteemed masters of designs imparting their vision for interior design style in Sri Lanka and leaving behind a plethora of interior design inspirations. One being the journey of tropical modern interior design in Sri Lanka which essentially infuses the locality’s abundance of tropical foliage with modern design trends, making for a cohesive, stunning yet simplistic interior design style aesthetic that could easily be yours!

A great way to embody the soul that is a tropical modern design is finding comfort and relaxation with minimalism and nature. Whilst your furniture can be a twist of modern pieces or traditional classics, the point to keep in mind would be, ensure that you do not clutter and you add your decorative elements using a plethora of indoor plants that brings the tropical living aesthetic full circle. Ideal choices for indoor plants include the likes of the spider plant, jade plant, snake plant (an ideal choice for vertical growth and easy for maintenance), grape ivy, Chinese evergreen, Norfolk island pine, fiddle leaf fig plant, money plant, peace lily, aloe vera, or oversized plants such as Monstera Deliciosa, palms or banana plants.

Oversized pots made with natural finishes or with minimalistic lines, can highlight the use of tropical plants in the indoors, the outdoor areas or flower beds, the use of shrubbery plants or ferns are ideal. The idea is to create a lush tropical oasis.

Another way of incorporating a tropical modern interior design style in Sri Lanka is with the help of open floor concept spaces and natural lighting with vision of the outdoor tropical greenery. The use of siding floor to ceiling windows can easily tie in nature with the indoors, and not only double your floor space aesthetic.

When decorating your tropical modern interior design space, focusing on natural elements is the way to go to tie into the green/eco-friendly landscape vision. The following are some principles to keep in mind when doing up a space with a tropical modern interior design style in Sri Lanka. 1) Balance the elements of clean lines and textures, 2) Contrast the elements for soft/hard looks that complement one another, 3) focus on simplicity when decorating the space, 4) attention to detail where it matters, especially with the tropical feel , and 5) open up the space with the smart building concepts.

Interior Design in Sri Lanka

Interior design in Sri Lanka is not a novel idea moving parallel with architecture. In actuality, there have been many great designers who have transformed the ethos of the world of interior design in Sri Lanka, with their unique styles and looks in transforming a home, hotel and even office.

If we were to go back to ancient history and look at the various kingdoms of Sri Lanka, you will note that there are distinctive styles and designs that shine through.  From the Anuradhapura kingdom though to the last, the Kingdom of Kandy, Sinhalese architecture and interior design flows through in the antiquities and artefacts from those eras. Furthermore, Sri Lankan designs were also greatly influenced by ancient North India and East Asia, along with the introduction of Buddhism into the country which was one of the biggest influencers in architecture and interior design in Sri Lanka.

The Bawa, both Bevis and Geoffrey Bawa were notable players in the world of architecture, landscaping and interior design. Geoffrey Bawa is known for his contribution to the Asian architectural and interior design scene, with notable works of art left behind such as Kandamalama, creating an ethos of tropical modernism interior design in Sri Lanka.

The type of interior design in Sri Lanka is also based on the architecture, but there are many home owners, hotels and offices that have fuse together a happy union between what is called traditional and modern interior design.

In Sri Lanka’s context of traditional interior design, you are likely to see more curved and round edges with wooden, stone or metal interiors from the moldings, furniture and accessories. Often, antiques such a Pettagama, Carved Divans with motif decals, Cane Planter’s Chairs, Burgomaster Chairs, Almira’s and Specimen Tables (displayed below) are greatly used to for interior design in Sri Lanka for the main purpose of decorative purpose. If you are looking at a colonial inspired structure, then adding similar traditional interior design aspects will bring the interior vibe together full-circle.

The same goes for trendy modern homes and offices, where you can expect more straight edges and corners, and similarly find yourself surrounded by furniture and accessories that complement the style aesthetic However, in recent times, it has become a trend to decorate the likes of a minimalist modern home or boutique hotel with such decorative furniture items to bring a sense of history and culture.