Often ignored by many developers in both commercial and residential projects, interior design is a vital
part of the planning and execution process in construction. Good interior design helps to create a living
space that is both functional and aesthetically appealing using some of the latest design techniques.
From our experience, the majority of developers who have neglected interior design eventually
regretted it after they started using their building and they had to engage in costly reconstruction.
Interior designers are also in Kenya unfortunately confused with ‘interior decorators’ or ‘décor’ people.
Those are two very different fields. Many interior designers are also décor specialists but not the other
way round. Interior designers dictate internal building elements like walling type and shape, ceiling type,
shape and function, permanent flooring among others. Décor deals with ‘softer’ moveable’s like
drapery, art, furniture etc. Interior designers provide drawings that are often part of your building
contract whereas décor items are rarely in contracts as it is more a service.
Let us look at some reasons why you need an interior designer during the design process and BEFORE
you start construction.
- To guide your electro-mechanical and plumbing engineer to design circuits and other building
systems that are in line with the interior functions. It is not possible for an electrical and
plumbing engineer to EFFECTIVELY design for their systems without an interior design. If an
interior designer is brought in late into a project, your options will be limited and if one insists
on the options they like, then demolition and repair works will be expensive.
- Drawings are critical in the quantity surveyor coming up with a bill of quantities or schedule of
materials. We have preached the creed that mawe, simiti, changarawe na hardcore ya kayole na
ya Runda is one and the same thing. What changes are more intricate specifications like larger
spans that necessitate more expensive reinforcement, window size and type, floor, wall and
ceiling finish, sanitary fixtures specification, kitchen detail specification, among other
specifications that can vary 2-100 times over. Your interior designer will guide you and give
documentation that will also be guide your electro-mechanical designs. With good
documentation, disputes are kept at bay.
- Interior designer works closely with your structural engineer and Architect to ensure all
elements introduced to the building are in line with your vision for your interior. You don’t want
a beam crossing through your room.
- Sourcing of finishes. This is an area we insist. Sourcing of all interior items need to be sourced in
the presence of your interior designer. Flooring and walling applications like tiles, boards and
carpets, lighting fixtures and features, sanitary wear, kitchens etc.
The value provided by a good interior design leads to substantial cost savings in the long term. An
Interior Designer is usually conversant with all the types of fixtures, lighting, drapes, paint, sofa designs,
and carpeting that you should put in various parts of a house. However, some home owners who feel
that they can save money by avoiding the service of an interior designer sometimes spend more than a
year trying to figure out what to install and how to install it correctly. Furthermore, a good interior
designer will help you to save cost by providing the best materials, fittings and furniture that you can
afford with your current budget. This will help you to avoid costly renovations and remodeling shortly
after you move into your new home.
Functionality, efficient use of space, stunning aesthetics, and cost savings are some of the factors that
demonstrate the importance of good interior design. No matter how much hiring an interior designer
may cost, their fees will still be less than the cost of tearing down the walls of a building and
reconstructing them a short while after completing a building project.
Do not gamble, or you will crumble.