Here are the Design Help Modules for you to choose from. They run in a logical order, particularly if you are doing a project that needs structural alterations, however, you can choose topics randomly as suits your needs. They all come with Video(s) and comprehensive notes to download.
You do not need to be a member and there are individual prices and bundle prices.
In this module we interview Chris MacGowan who is a Chartered Surveyor and discusses the five main issues when opening up space that is so popular with today’s lifestyle and open plan living with kitchen, dining and living areas combined together to give just one area.
Buying or renovating a property is probably the biggest financial commitment you will ever make. Achieving a practical and stylish home within your budget needs careful assessment to feel confident that you have made the right decisions. You want to know your investment is safe and makes the very best of your time at the property and enhances your quality of life.
If you wish to carry out your own survey then this is a great way to really understand the space you are working with and also get to know it intimately. There really is no substitute. You need very little in the way of equipment and if you can read a tape measure you have the skills.
I have seen so many people sit with their architect discussing their extension or new plans without any real idea of what they are looking at. They feel difficult to ask for an explanation and yet this would always be willingly explained, however, sometimes it is good to have independent advice and take the time to digest at your own pace and prepare your questions. Without real knowledge, decisions based on guesswork, lead to misunderstandings. Clients can often feel ‘not in control of their project’ and unable to make suggestions
Drawing to scale is essential if you are going to plan your space effectively. If you are using drawings submitted for a planning application then as long as they are at 1:50 or larger you can use the same drawings to plan your furniture layouts. The Scale Rule is the easiest way to read other drawings and understand how large a room is and the details.
If you have just done your first survey the following video shows you how to draw a simple plan from your measurements ‘to scale’. Design Help takes you step by step and makes the job very easy. We cover all the important parts of drawing your plan to scale.
Planning your space using Templates and a Scale Rule is an ideal way for beginners to get going with Scale without the necessity for using any complex technical drawing skills. It works with most rooms and open plan space and is mainly used for free standing furniture.
Design Help recognises that everybody does not necessarily want to become a professional interior designer but needs some of the skills to plan their own home. Therefore we have designed a set of templates of furniture to a most well used scale of 1:50 to help you with planning your space accurately. It works only in conjunction with a scale rule and an understanding of the plan you are working with whether it has been surveyed by you or a professional.
This Video is the next stage to technical drawing and space planning as its done with the scale rule and shows the design of a kitchen, an area for everyday meals and a sitting area. The design of a kitchen is not easy but the principles used are very relevant for many other types of design. This is a lesson in technical drawing as well which will allow you to become more proficient than just drawing a survey and using templates. It’s the next step up.
When working in a plan for a layout that will incorporate several different activities, especially open plan living, the first job is to discover what space in ‘general terms’ is needed for each function and how they link together to provide direct access. This can be determined by the sizes of anything new or existing, the amount of time spent on each occupation and the number of people living in the space, but there are many other factors.
This video is a must, especially the accompanying Fact sheets which discuss ‘open plan’ generally and specifically to this video. There is a second part to the Fact Sheets, initiates some questions you must ask yourself if you are thinking of working with your existing property.
This quick Video follows on well from Open Plan Living with a Lighting Overlay. It explains the advantages and disadvantages of spending money on fitted furniture and bespoke items. Armed with this information you can take an informed view of where you allocate your money. The Fact Sheets give additional help and should be read with the video.
The Lighting revolution has given the interiors world a massive boost to the look and moods we can create. It has also made it a very complex world and a simple pendant with some lamps no longer sufficient for a ‘designer sitting room’. There is also a flood of products to the market especially with the advent of LED becoming easier to use in so many different formats. Therefore the key is to arm yourself first with some basic principles and then build your knowledge of suitable products.
Very often you just need a few reminders of what to look out for when designing a lighting scheme and it may be that you have already completed something with your architect already. Therefore this quick video is perhaps all you need to use as a checklist of a diverse range of aspects that relate to lighting design. It’s also a follow up to the Video Introduction to Lighting with a summary in the accompanying fact sheets.
Designing lighting for your interior and giving clear instructions to your electrician works like an overlay to your furniture layouts, colours and focal points. These need to be decided before you can plan your lighting plus the sockets and switch positions even if you are using a lighting system operated by your phone, remote or panel.
Design Help does not get any sponsorship or funds from any company to promote its products but there are times when we need a business to assist us in getting over our message. In this instance we have chosen one lighting company to give you a broad outline of how a trade showroom operates and one company started and has developed with the changing times in this highly dynamic and technical area, that not only serves the trades but also the general public online. Therefore everything you see on camera here is available to you.
There are so many fittings to choose from to design your lighting scheme you need to find a good supplier who can help you explain the technicalities of their fittings, the options within the different ranges and also price. Knowledge, before you go, is also key so go with a plan of what you want, and this will make your task much quicker and focused. Design Help can help with your preparation.
Colour is such a big and influential subject in interior design yet it is often not used because confidence is limited. Recently there has been an explosion in pattern and colour in Interior Design as design kicks back against the safe white, neutral and natural palettes that have been the Estate Agents favourites. They may be safe but they are also boring! Design is booming with colour!
We use paint all the time and it is possibly the most economical solution for wall and ceiling covering – or is it? Today there are so many types of paints on the market and the pricing structure is so very different. As part of our Colour Programme this video concentrates on colour testing and how to choose the right one for your scheme.
The confidence needed to use the colour trends of today including some of the amazing patterns and textured wall papers is not to be underestimated. The cost of making a mistake guides the less confident to being more conservative and either using a very watered down statement which gets lost or its back to boring white.
It is one of the most asked questions ‘where do I find my samples’ and for the non- professional who has not done this before it can be a problem. If you live in a city like London or a large town you should have access to most interior design elements from retail outlets but it is not always easy to convince them that you need samples and more than one.
People will be familiar with the word Mood board because it is so widely used especially in magazines and online. Not always correctly, but the words Concept is used throughout the Design Help philosophy and the Sample Board is exactly what it says. It’s a board showing the samples that are to be used in a scheme but the way they are presented, their relationship to each other and size is what sets the professional board apart from the amateur media attempts.