How to make a brief for Interior Design Project

Do you find it difficult to convey your requirements and thoughts to your designer while designing your house? Are you clueless about how to start? And what to mention? Or rather, what not to mention? It’s OK. That’s absolutely normal. Conveying your thoughts to the designer is a part of the process. It is called the “Brief”.

You might not know where to start from, or you might feel a bit uncomfortable to open up about your problems and requirements, but it is very important to do it correctly and without any hesitation. And it can be done very smoothly when you have clarity on how to do it. Usually the confusions or questions asked by the clients are similar and hence, today we will see a common Question & Answer series for generating “The Brief”.

So let’s see what the common questions are…

Q.1: What is a Brief?

Brief is the simple information of your requirements that you give to your designer who is designing your space. And a designer’s job is to understand the brief and solve your issues.

Q.2: Why is the Brief essential?

When you approach a designer, and show your space to him, he starts visualising the entire space according to his likings and preferences. It is your brief that guides the designer to shape a place as per your likings and preferences. The designer understands the brief, addresses your issues through his design & comes up with a solution for it. But if you do not have a clear brief, it will be difficult for your project to take its next step. Briefing will guide your designer in right direction to arrive at a design solution which is as per your taste, liking, budget, lifestyle & expectations.

This is all fine but the most asked question is…

Q.3: How to make a brief?

The most intimidating part of making a brief is to start it. It might leave you clueless. But don’t worry. Make sure you have a piece of paper or some digital notepad. Start noting down your requirements, problems, aspirations, desires and expectations. This will give your brief a direction. You may also have some ideas on how to solve a particular issue, or you might have a desire to have a certain kind of solution to a particular problem. Try to note all of this down. Your brief may not just include information in the text format. The brief can be in any form, be it images, videos, books, models etc. To obtain this, try to surf the net. Save a few photos or videos that you like. Try to flip through few magazines, you may have cut-outs or marked pages from those magazines. You may also try to visit some exhibitions and showrooms to have an idea of what is available in the market and what you like from it. Creating a brief is a very interesting process as you get to know a lot of new arrivals while you research. Try to get yourself updated so that you exactly know what is available and what you want.

However, the best to have a brief is by talking your designer, as much as you want and as much as you can. Try to open up to the best of yourself. Talk about your problems, requirements, desire and expectations from the project. Try to talk about your personal choices, hobby, family and culture as well. This will give the designer a clear idea of the palette of your taste. The designer will then scrutinize the inputs and come up with a proper brief. And will eventually be able to design as per your taste and requirement.

Q.4: What should be the content of the brief?

When it comes to a residential interior project, you should talk about yourself, your family, culture, preferences, like & dislikes, hobbies, profession, daily routines and desires. While in the case of commercial interiors, brief your architect about your organisation, the nature of work, your staff, its hierarchy, the services that you provide or even about the clientele that you cater to. Or for rented premises you might want to mention the time period that you will be occupying the space for, so that the designer suggests materials and layout according to the time you occupy the space. Mention the physical requirements of your space, for example; how many bedrooms do you need? How many bedrooms should have attached toilets? How do you like your kitchen or pantry to be? How much storage do you need? And where would you like to have it? You may also give a brief idea about your comfortable budget to the designer. In case of rented premises, there is a permissible timeline for fit outs, inform your designers about it, so that he can make sure the work is done in the given timeline. Or you might want to open the space on some auspicious or special occasion, inform your designer about such plans, if any, so that the work is planned and completed accordingly.

Q.5: Who should be involved in making the brief?

In case of residential interiors the users are from the age groups of 15-65, so involve them while making the list of requirements. Try to take in account the needs and desires of all the members that will be staying in the space.

In case of a commercial organization there is a range of hierarchy, from peon to CEO having different requirements for work atmosphere, everybody’s needs should be listed and considered while designing the space. In case of rented premises, try to first understand from the owner, what is ok to be done and what is not. Some owner’s don’t like their walls to be drilled by the tenants, while some don’t like a different colour on their walls that might be chosen by the tenant and so on. So make sure you involve all the right people while making the brief.

I would summarize all of it as; “The Brief” is the “bible of the project”. Your space will be as good or as bad as your brief. So make sure you give the right brief, in order to receive the right design, the right timeline, the right look and feel and most importantly the right end product.

So curate a right brief for your designer and I will reach you in my next blog with more tips, tricks and hacks. So make sure you….


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