Material selection for Interior Design project

Do you feel confused while choosing a particular item out of so many available? And especially out of all the choices that you have to make, it might feel intimidating to choose the materials for your interiors, as it will be exposed to all the visitors. But relax! You might feel this way just because you must not be aware of the process to do it. Once you are aware with how to do it, you will be as confident as you can be.

Any interior design project needs a lot of raw material to be chosen. It is like preparing a delicacy, you need to add a lot of things but in small and correct amounts. You need all sorts of materials like wallpaper, flooring material, cladding material, paint, hardware, sanitary fittings etc. to be chosen and fitted on site. The site also needs materials like cement, pipes, wires, gypsum sheets etc. for the place to take shape. So the question is, “Do you need to select everything, right from a nail?” The answer would be a clear “No”.

For selecting any material or insisting to do it, you must understand the concept of “Enclosure and Exposure.” The materials that won’t be seen directly after the finishing, such as cement, pipes, wires etc. are called as “Enclosures”. Here you do not need to worry about anything and can readily leave the selections and material procurement on the designer. However, for materials that will be seen directly when the end product is ready, such as tiles, exposed wall claddings, hardware, upholstery, furniture pieces, lights, windows, veneer etc. which is known as the “Exposure”, you need to give your inputs and be there for the selections in person. Investing time in selection of the “Exposure” material is very important.

I understand it is a bit overwhelming and you might feel, I have appointed a designer for the project, why do I do all this?

Why am I needed for the selection?

You are need because it is your space. And your selection will represent your personality. Let’s understand it by a simple example, Consider your wedding scenario, you surely might have appointed a planner for the wedding, but the selections need to be done by you, only then the planner can make the arrangements, similarly here you need to do the selections only then the designer can arrange for the execution of it. The designer can definitely do it for you, but in that case you have to make up your mind to have a house as per designers choices and not yours. In that case, there a possibility that you might not like all the fittings and finishes and would then have thoughts like, “I should have gone” or “I would have chosen differently”. So to simply avoid all the “Ifs & Buts” get involved and chose the material that you love. Afterall, its your space, and it has to be according to your likings.

How to do the selections?

Once you have decided to do the selections, the first question that occurs is, how do I do the selections? Where do I start from?

I know it might seem like rocket science for some of you, but that isn’t the case at all. It is just a simple process if followed correctly. You may start doing it by taking baby steps. Try to visit the market at first. The market is a free flowing buffet of items. Your visit to the market will give you a clear idea of available materials, latest trends and new arrivals. While you are at the market, try to talk to the vendors, collect samples, touch a few finishes in the catalogue, this will educate you further. For all the technical specifications of any item that you like, you may try to Google the item and acquire the direct contact details to the parent manufacturer. This way you can have better and clear understanding of the product. This will also give you a scope to compare few items; so that you can chose the better suited one for you. Try not to leave the primary selection to your designer’s disposal, but make sure you involve the designer while finalizing the choice.

In some cases, it might happen that the selection might be budget driven. You should definitely keep the budget at the back of your mind while making the selections, but do not let the budget overpower your selections. Few materials might be over budget but the beneficial for the project. Select them. Take a rational decision of Quality over cost. Remember, you should drive the budget; the budget should not drive you.

How to choose the material?

Once you have a fair idea of what is available in the market, try to narrow down to few final choices. Do finalize the items try to consider the material that relates to the concept and vision of your project. Keep the design style of your project in mind while making choices. The colour palette has a major impact on the look of the overall interiors, try to maintain it throughout the selection process. You may select items in isolation, but try keep the selected materials in mind while selecting the next ones. Try to click photos of the selected materials and add them to a mood board. Take the mood board along, while selecting the next material. This way it will be easy to match the colour scheme of all the elements. Do not forget taking in account the budget of the project while making the selections. Also make sure you give preference to the materials that are widely available and have long presence in the market.

Once you select the materials, make sure you look into its guarantee, warranty and after sales service policies before making a purchase. Be smart while finalizing the choices.

How to finalize the selections?

Finalizing the materials, will end your process of Material Selection. So, before you fix your mind onto something, try to explore the available alternatives for any product. This way you can have options in colours, features, finishes, quality and cost. Finalize the product only after confirming it’s history and long presence in the market. You may also use your good wisdom and try to get some discounts and offers on the selected products. The art of bargaining may get you a good product at a better price.

But your raw material will be converted into a finished product by your designer so, KINDLY LISTEN TO YOUR DESIGNER

 Your involvement doesn’t mean that you overrule your designer. The designer will always assist you and guide you towards good selection. You have appointed the designer to help you. The designer wants the interiors to look good as much as you it to. You might have an experience of doing the interiors once or twice but the designer does it every day. You may discuss your likes & dislikes with your designer. Your project is the end product of all the pains that you have taken through the process of its shaping. The materials that you select have a cascading effect on the budget, timeline & overall look & feel of the space. So CHOOSE WISELY!

So choose your materials with the right process and I will reach you in my next blog with more tips, tricks and hacks. So make sure you….


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