The A-Z of Interior Design - Q is for...

Questions and Quirkiness!

Interior designers must be good at asking questions.  This is the only way they will be able to discover what their client's needs are in order to produce a design scheme which will be loved at the end of the project.  The designer needs to find out about their client's lifestyle, who will be using the area and how it will be used and by whom, any special activities which will take place there, how practical the space needs to be, such as work areas or storage requirements.  The designer needs to use his or her psychology skills to work out what the client wants - even if they do not know it themselves!  This is best achieved with a set of designer's questions.

Would the client love or hate this room?

Photo: Jonathan Adler, New York
QUIRKINESS is that special something that an interior design may be crying out for in order to make it stand out and to prevent it feeling bland or boring.  In the above room, the unusual elements, such as the hand-shaped chairs or the bright colours against the black shiny floor, may be just what is needed to bring a room to life.

In this room (below) black walls set against quirky accessories and oversized floral arrangements give a playful and vibrant effect…

Seek out shops which sell one offs or unusual items, such as Type in Shoreditch, East London.  This is a hidden gem where many pieces are made of old wood, steel and other up-cycled materials.

Type, in East London, E1 

An interesting interior design with creative touches...

More quirkiness by Abigail Ahern…

Photo: Abigail Ahern

The A-Z of Interior Design: P is for...

Proportion and Scale

Iconic designer and architect, Arne Jacobsen, summed it up:
"The primary factor is proportions. Proportions are what make the old Greek temples classic in their beauty. They are like huge blocks, from which the air has been literally hewn out between the columns."

What is the difference between proportion and scale? Proportion refers to the relative size of objects within a space in comparison to others around it. Scale refers to the overall size of objects. 
Photo: Armani Casa
When designing, the items in the room need to be the correct scale, depending on the size of the space and kept in proportion to the other items used. These are basic design principles, however, playing with proportion and scale can give an interior design scheme the edge and give it a wow factor.
Kitchen island.  Design:
The large proportions of the large pendant chandelier in this kitchen work towards creating a main focal point above the island….

Designers need to look at the scale of objects and furniture used within a space to ensure everything fits and looks correct. Proportion can be played with, to create interest and surprise.  Don't just buy an entire three-piece suite with matching furniture from the store.  Mix and match to create a bespoke and exciting scheme….