I n t e r i o r   P r o j e c t   G u i d e l i n e   f o r    C o m m o n   P e o p l e

Save your time, save you from headache and save you from project disasters

I often meet people who loves interior design and decorating and want to do it themselves. With help from workers, interior magazines, pinterest and few visits to the furniture store, we think we are ready and start our project, don’t we? We are so excited when we started, thinking about what it would be, and how proud we are. But is it true that those are all we need to make our design and decoration project successful?

Most people think that interior designing and decorating are simply finding things you like and put them in the place where you want, but is it really that simple?

People come to me asking if I can give them advice and ideas about design and decoration project, while I do think that ideas and some advice won’t help much, I decided to write this simple guideline to help everyone who doesn’t have interior project experience, smooth out their project journey.

1.    K N O W   W H A T   Y O U   W A N T

This is the first step. Knowing what you want will make the other phase of the project easier. Just like trying to work on puzzle pieces without knowing the end picture, you will spend countless hours visiting stores, decoration shops, staring and observing thousands of furniture pieces, accessories, wallpaper books, color samples, flooring materials, fabrics and more. They are all beautiful, and it will be difficult to know the right puzzle pieces for your specific room

I have few clients who don’t know what they want and what they like. Here are few simple tips I use for my clients that you can try.

I collect as much information about room that needed to be designed, such as the architecture style, style and design in other rooms, basic functional need for that room, and find more about the client, their personality, people that will be in that room etc. Then I collect few images in different styles, ambience, colors palette, that fit the above requirement. I show the pictures to the client and ask few simple questions, listen and connect. Then I know exactly what he or she wants.

The next time you want to renovate your room, go find image reference that compatible to you project and ask “Do I like this?”, “Do I want to be in a room that has this ambience?” , “Do I prefer this one or this one?” By taking your time asking those questions and screening through plenty of images, you will know approximately what you like and dislike. Don’t forget to include other room users too, your spouse, children, and roommates. Knowing what they like and don’t like will save you from future conflicts.

2.    K N O W   W H A T   N E E D

  • After you know more or less about your likes and dislikes, we move on to the next step, knowing what your need.
  • Knowing what you need will make prioritizing and budget planning easier.
  • Start by making list of things you do in a certain room and think about what you need to do those things. For example, study room will need a proper writing desk, chair, a good lighting, and some power outlets. You will need bookshelf if you have plenty of books and reading light if you like to read at evening.

3.    K N O W   Y O U R   D E A D L I N E

  • Without deadline, you will end up in forever ongoing project.

  • I met people who work on their home renovation project for more than 3 years. They are frustrated because their home is always in a mess condition, things are out of place because the room is under construction, they need to allocate time for supervising the ongoing work, or rather than a homey comfortable ambience, they meet chaotic room when they step into the door.

  • Decide the reasonable deadline and create a timeline to break down the huge process into simple steps so you can monitor the progress.

4.    K N O W   Y O U R   B U D G E T

  • Yes, this is important. You have to know your budget and know how to allocate the budget.

  • Knowing your budget will save your time and your money. Your budget sheet will save your bank account from buying fancy things that are not necessary and help you make decisions easier.

  • I told my clients, if they don’t know their budget, chances it will overflow.

  • Be reasonable when deciding your budget, because miscalculation definitely will affect your project, causes delay or even you might need to temporarily postpone your project.

  • Make sure your interior project will bring you satisfaction and not discomfort because you need to sacrifice you routine expense to continue your project.

  • We have clients that came to us not willing to open up about their budget, they were afraid that we might blow it. Some clients had no idea about how much they wanted to spend for the project.

  • We explain that budget are in the client’s control, your control, not consultant, workers or material suppliers. We as consultant, work to give clients suggestion about how to allocate them wisely and get the most out of your budget. 

  • In some cases, we even help clients accomplish the project with lower spending than their budget.

5.    K N O W   W H O M   T O   H I R E

  • To run your project, you will need to hire people to do different works. Electricity, plumbing, construction, furniture supply, and more. The right people will make your project run smoother. The wrong people will bring disasters, disappointment, budget overflow and a lot of headache.

  • I made mistakes on hiring the wrong people too, because it is not easy to identify them. There are a lot of people bluffing about how great their work and service and you might fall in to the pit few times.

  • For me, the right workers that are tested through multiple projects are company’s treasures. Our company takes good care and value them.

  • If you just start your project and don’t know whom to hire, a better way is to ask for references from your friends and family. Meet them in person, tell them about what you want and need and see how they respond.

  • Even though reference doesn’t guarantee their work will be as good as what they do in the past, but it is still better than just pickup anybody in the street.

6.    K N O W   T H E   P R O C E S S

  • Just like building a house started with foundation, then start building up, there is step by step process in interior design that you need to follow. You cannot work the opposite. Well, you can, but it means that you will redoing all or few part of the earlier process.
  • If architecture work from bottom to the top, interior design works the opposite. We do from the top to the bottom. I means that you will work on the ceiling first, then the wall, then the floor. Plus you will need to work on electricity and plumbing installation align with the ceiling-wall-floor work.

7.    K N O W   H O W   T O   S O L V E   P R O B L E M S

  • Yes dear, there will be problems, you cannot avoid it but you can keep it minimal if you have the experience.

  • Even for us, who work in the industry for dozens of year, we still facing problems, site problems, weather problems, discontinue material supply, human error, and more. But because we have been through it multiple times, we know how to anticipate to minimize problems and solve them quickly so it won’t affect the schedule and the end result.


So, does interior and decoration project sounds like a hard work?

Well, not exactly, it is quite enjoyable though. Creating something and expressing your creativity bring so much joy and feeling of accomplishment. But you need to allocate a lot of time and energy to get the result you desire. Is that’s all? Well, prepare some extra cash in case you make mistakes, but who don’t? And extra time and energy to re-do few things that gone wrong. And the last guideline is:

8.    K N O W   W H E N   T O    A S K   S U P P O R T

  • Starting your project is easy, and accomplishing it is another different thing. We were so excited when we start, but after spending most of our time managing and giving instruction to the workers and went back and forth to home depo or material suppliers, only to see chaotic formless unmanaged space and problems, we felt tied and tired. It was no longer fun and intriguing.

  • A Lady shared me her story. She had been working on her new home interior and decoration project for more than year. Her plan to move her family to enjoy their new home had been delayed 4 times. She was frustrated.

  • I brought my team to check her ongoing project, collect every information, helped her breaking down the project into small part, setting priorities, preparing option, help her making wiser decisions, setting timeline and voila, her new home was ready in less than 3 months.

  • When you feel that your project is going nowhere, or cause you stress and discomfort, asking for professional support may be the best decision. Find a company that care enough for what you have done, and have enough creativity to continue your project so you don’t have to redo everything.


You might ask

What if I don’t have that level of dedication and time? What if I don’t want to risk my valuable time and money to something I never do? What if I don’t want to handle problems that are out of my expertise? But I still want to experience the joy and creativity of designing and decorating your space?

We have the answer

Our team in Vibes Integrated Design will work together with you, doing and handling process that time-consuming, the technical, operational, boring but needed to get your project done, while you do your enjoyable decision-making, sharing your preference and ideas part while still having your valuable time for your business, family and social life. We also help you by giving ideas and professional advice in every process so you know the pros and cons.

Not sure about how the end result will look like?

Don’t worry, we can collect your ideas, preference and needs, doing the creative and technical process to present you the illustration so you can see and feel it. Contact our concierge at concierge@vibesintergrated.design to book available slot to chat with our design team to discuss how we can support you.