Top 5 of interior design tools

blogMy 5 favourite sets of interior design tools.

I’m a sucker for gadgets, the promises to save me time and revolutionise  the way I work are too much of a good thing for me to resist ….but if I had to pick 5 sets of tools that enable me to work in the interior design business then here they are;.

1.Measuring tools

I have a selection of measuring tools from a Leica laser measure to a metal tape measure.  The advantage of the laser is that I can measurement a building on my own. No longer do I have to measure with fabric tape measures (and forget how many times I’ve moved it along).  I always take a metal tape to measure the smaller details, architraves and skirting boards for example.

measure iphone

2. iPhone and iPad

Having a camera on my iPhoto/iPad is such a valuable tool.  Although I have good photographic memory  (my family inform me that this is a bit freakish…more about that in another blog) it’s so important for me to have all the details in front of me when I’m working in the studio working  on a scheme.  It helps me produce sample boards, visuals and plans.

As a designer I’m always on the lookout for inspiration, and having the iPhone with me most of the time it enables me to capture those moments and then download them for future reference. I’m now starting to load them up onto my pinterest board,   www.pinterest.com/AlchemistsID/

3.Note book and pencil, sharpener & eraser

It’s no secret that I’m addicted to a notebooks, for site visits I prefer a large, hardback A4 size.  I can draw out and sketch up a site measure all on two pages.  When I first began as a designer I always used a finetip drawing pen but I now  prefer to use a pencil.  Firstly its easier to rub out mistake (oops did I just say I make mistakes ?!?)  and secondly when you are in a clients property the last thing you want to do whilst walking around is mark any of their belongings with ink. Yes I’ve done it, luckily  for me I learnt this lesson on my own curtains (its amazing what baby wipes can get rid off, not sure how good they are for babies!) .

art medium and notebook

4. Art mediums, scalpel and cutting mat

When presenting  my sample boards I prefer to use hardcopies rather than digital boards.  Colours and textures are so important in my line of work.  If i was to send my client a digital board they  would not received a true colour scheme as each computer screen has its own set of visual colours, what i see on mine would not be the same as on my clients computer.  It is  important that a client can touch and feel the textures of a fabric which has been chosen in the scheme, I want them to awaken more of than just their visual senses.

When providing hand drawn visuals I like to use pastel and coloured pencils, blending them together with the use of cotton buds.  These drawings are used in conjunction with samples boards, which have  hand cut fabric samples. I use masking tape on the fabric, then hand cut each one with a scalpel to stop any of the fabrics fraying. I attach all the samples and visuals with double sided sticky tape.  I originally used spray mount but I found that the spray spreads and attracted the dust….not such a professional finish!

5. Laptop & PC (windows)

Originally I always worked on a desktop but as I’m spending more time out of the studio and on site I’m using my laptop for the day to day running of the business and client presentations.  I use the desktop in the studio to produce plans and computer aided visuals.  The screen size is much bigger so I don’t have to have my nose up to the screen when adding the finer details and before you say it NO my eyesight isn’t getting worse with age!!! All joking aside the capabilities needed to run Photoshop and CAD can only be found on a desktop….look at this amazing example of a 3D visual, check out the reflections in the picture!!!!  I can’t take all the credit for this, only the design, the clever 3D visual bit was done by the very talented Anita Brown, who I use for all my 3D computer visuals.

3D visuals



If anyone has any time saving tips, tips on how to deal with spray mount or how to set every computer screen to the same colour pixels I’d love to hear from you.

So until next time……