Interior Design App tile drawing

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How to Select Finishes for a New Home and Organize the Selections

How to select home finishes for your home design.  How to organize your and document the selections.

You are in luck! This is where I have made programs to make the process easier. I’ve got a system to help this whole process.

First download these free worksheets so that you can organize your selections by room.

As an Interior Designer in new construction for 20 years, I’ve designed a lot of homes.  I know how to work with both the client and the builder.  I can make the decision making process easy  for you and the builders requirements easily met.  let me walk you through some of the decision process that you are going to experience. I can also help explain the reasoning behind why decisions are made.

Once you design the exterior of your home and work out the details of the floorplan.  You can begin envisioning your future home.  But what does it look like?  How does it all fit together? 

I am here to tell you that a designer grade design is more than pretty things. It’s in the details, the thought, and the planning.

There are 6 important mistakes to avoid when selecting tile:

You need to know these tile details to give your house that designer level style.

Most people think the interior designer is the expert of selecting the  beautiful finishes of a bath or a kitchen.  And all of that is true but the true craft of design is the details. So make sure you consider these details when you  select tile for your home design project.

 1. Backsplash tile will look darker.

It looks lighter when its setting on the counter top but once installed under a set of cabinet you will get a shadow.  Its only source of light is the under cabinet lighting and your default here should be to consider going a shade lighter.  this blue backsplash seems a little too heavy for the light cabinets and light counters.  I would use something more the color of the counter top or tone of the cabinets.

This is a glass subway tile example.

kitchen backsplash

2.   How it will finish on the sides:

The tile on the right is a ceramic body tile.  It’s red on the inside and the back of the tile. You have to actively plan for a way to finish off the tile.  These tiles cannot be finished off with 45% cuts to conceal them. They have a high likely hood of chipping and are going to be some of the less expensive material in a showroom.

TIle edging problems
Some builders will use a metal edging, a matching tile edging to a natural material that can be finished on site to make the edges look nice. In other scenarios it is painted.  I said it painted.  An expert tile person can miter the edges of the tile and install it to look like a seamless install.  Either way you are paying for the edges eventually so take time to consider building out a wall to fit full pieces of tile or a finishing the tile in a way where the material’s size makes a stopping point. The black penny tile is finished off with a natural black marble tile that is cut then bullnosed.

3.  Grout color makes or breaks it.

Is this suppose to look like wood?  or like wood colored tile.  Make sure you pick grout that disappears and for wood tile darker is better.

If you are a lover of vintage subway tile look.  You might want black grout, but it can cause more problems that it is worth.

4.  Tile a plane.

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plane…. and the tile should stay mainly in the plane.  If you are new to design I would avoid breaking up surfaces with lines and patterns and save the accent tile for creating a moment. Not a weird line- those go out of style.  Here is an example of why a tile drawing is vital.  You have to clearly indicate how things are finished off.  You need to know where the plumbing will be located, windows, seats, niches, and appliances in kitchens.  Tile drawing are so incredibly important.  The line in this shower is messed up by the window and the expectation of using bullnose tile instead of schluter to finish it up made this disaster below.  If a drawing can be done and left on the site to help stop mistakes before they start.  The person with the best drawings has the least mistakes and most leverage for how things will work out.

what not to do.

Here is a better solution to the same design problem:

Tile-ing the plane looks more like this:

or like this:

5.  Niches- this deserves it own post but I have to touch on it here.

  • There is a lot of consideration when locating a niche:
  • They will get water in them.
  • Consider if you really want to see all of the bottles in them.
  • Builders will not put them on an outside wall (for insulation purposes).
  • Know the size of the objects you want to use them for.

Here we are discussing the details and the details are the size of the tile and not having to L -shape cut a tile to fit it into the wall.  Look at these beautiful niches.  and how they start and end at a top of a tile and end of a tile:

6. Size of the tile you are using and make sure your pattern makes sense.

When you know how much tile area you need to cover.  Then choose a tile that is the correct scale so the pattern will read well.  You need to see a pattern repeating 3 times for it to look like it’s the right size for the area.

A pattern like a double herringbone will not read in kitchen backsplash of 18″ unless the tile is 1″ X4 ” or smaller.   A tile larger than that you will not even comprehend the pattern and the cut tiles will ruin the overall aesthetic.

If you have any questions on how a pattern lays out or how to determine the best pattern for tile for your space. Try out Design Appy to play around with patterns shapes and sizes.

How to select Finishes for a home

Interior Design program and bathroom design documents

The Best all Inclusive Home Interior Design Software: Design Appy

Design Appy is an interior elevation drawing program for the iPad.  This software will save headaches by planning ahead for your new build or renovation

Planning and designing a new build or renovation of your home can be overwhelming and stressful. But there are some things you can do to make the process easier.

-Save images on Pinterest into board groups

-Consult a contractor to help you plan and design

-Get an estimate on the project

-Find out about permits and regulations in your area

-Figure out what kind of materials you want for your build or renovation- this is where an Interior Designer will be able to help.

Documenting your design concept

Remember designs are often refined over the course of design iterations to create a final product. Understanding each iteration is one of the best ways to teach others about your process. One way to do this is by documenting the design concept. I like to sketch the room in 3D or draw each one of the rooms walls in elevation to explore where the windows are and how the room will begin to come together.

A finish schedule is a spreadsheet that will list off each room and surface in the space that you will be needing to select.  I recommend Design Appy’s Interior Finishes Selection Sheets download. This allows you to see each room and what you will need to select.

The steps will vary depending on the type of surface, but typically include some if not all of the items on the lists. You could have more items so keep a running list of all the items by room.

Once you being selecting items you will learn about HOW you will want it installed.

Here is an example of how you might want to request your paint based on your circumstance:

In a remodel:

  • – Disassembly (or removal) of any items that might get in the way
  • – Removal of any loose paint, wallpaper, and other finishes
  • – Clearing out material from inside rooms

Material Installation requirements each decision will have an accompanying choice needed to be made as well

  • Grout colors: for all tile
  • Carpet: Carpet pad
  • Wood Floors, stain and finish
  • Paint colors, finish of paint, brand

Keeping track of these decisions: Noting them correctly is the Specification Process for Home Design

How to Create a Specification for Tile Installation

A professional Interior design specification is a document that states the requirements needed for a given project, which will allow you to estimate costs and installation.

A specification includes many details about the building design and construction process, including all of the finishes, design plans, lighting, space plans, finishes, fixtures, equipment, appliances and more.

Specifications typically include a list of required materials or products for a particular project in order to provide a clear idea of what’s going to be used in the construction process.

An ideal specification would contain an AutoCAD detail drawing with elevations for each wall straight on. These are known as elevation drawings. The rooms that would need these drawings are shower walls, bathroom vanities, kitchen walls, laundry room, millwork details, built ins, stairwell details, bars, and fireplaces.

What Dimensions should be on the Elevation drawings

One of the most important elements that a home design requires is really good elevations. All kitchen and bath drawings require details explained the exact size of the objects being used and exactly where you want them located.

In a Shower Elevation:

  • This is where the height of the showered should be indicated.
  • The location of the niche, height, width and location
  • The bench: the seat and the front, the material used
  • Where the hand shower would be located.
  • Shower floor style color size, drain and threshold material.
  • Your shower design should also include the tile and where it is located.
  • How high up on the wall the tile will go? Should the ceiling have tile?

Vanity or Washroom Elevation:

  • A vanity in a bathroom will need to have the information to cover all of the details,
  • What is the baseboard and how is it finished?
  • How tall is the vanity? how wide is it?
  • What is the faucet? and where will it be located?
  • The size of the mirror and where it is located?
  • Where are the lights and where is the plug?
  • What is the countertop material? how thick was it? What is the edge detail?
  • Knobs and hardware type and location

The Kitchen Elevation Drawing:

  • Details on the style of the cabinets
  • Details of the kitchen hood
  • All the appliances
  • The cabinet hardware and where its placed
  • Countertop
  • Sinks and faucets sizes and locations
  • Pot filler location
  • Decorative lighting
  • Floating shelves sizes and locations

The Fireplace Elevation Drawing

  • The opening of the firebox
  • The size and the type of filler in the firebox
  • The mantel size and materials
  • The the surround, the flooring in front of it
  • If you have decorative shelves all of the details for the number of shelves and the space in between

What are the details needed on a specification?

One of the most important elements that a home design requires is really good elevations. All kitchen and bath drawings require details explained the exact size of the objects being used and exactly where you want them located. These items are noted on the elevations for each wall in the home.

In a Shower Specification:

  • This is where the height of the shower headed should be indicated.
  • The location of the niche, height, width and location
  • The bench: the seat and the front, the material used
  • Where the hand shower would be located.
  • Shower floor style color size, drain and threshold material.
  • Your shower design should also include the tile and where it is located.
  • How high up on the wall the tile will go? Should the ceiling have tile?
  • where is the shower door? How big is it? How is it finished?
  • Where does the plumbing go?

Vanity / Washroom Specification:

  • A vanity in a bathroom will need to have the information to cover all of the details,
  • What is the baseboard and how is it finished?
  • How tall is the vanity? how wide is it?
  • What is the faucet? and where will it be located?
  • The size of the mirror and where it is located?
  • Where are the lights and where is the plug?
  • What is the countertop material? how thick was it? What is the edge detail?
  • Electrical placements
  • Specialty blocking for grab bars

The Kitchen Elevation Specification:

  • Details on the style, species and stain of the cabinets
  • Details of the kitchen hood, material, who is making it
  • All the appliances names, sizes style and details to order it correctly
  • The cabinet hardware and where its placed
  • Countertop, Countertop edge detail
  • Sinks and faucets sizes and locations
  • Pot filler location
  • Decorative lighting, finishes, sizes and location
  • Floating shelves sizes and locations

The Fireplace Elevation Specification

  • The opening of the firebox
  • The size and the type of filler and interior in the firebox
  • The mantel size, location and material
  • The surround, the flooring in front of it ( wood burn ing fireplace will require 12″ of non flammable material- check your local codes)
  • If you have decorative shelves all of the details for the number of shelves and the space in between
  • Electrical needs
  • TV location and Cable, electrical, mounting blocking

 

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