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  1. How to measure the space


    I hope the list of decisions needed for a project that I gave last week helped you to visualise all the decisions to make on your project.  It might feel a bit overwhelming but great to see them listed and I hope it prompts you.

    The other hugely vital point was the importance of a furniture layout.  If you put the effort into designing out mistakes at the drawing stage it will save you money and wasted time - and will be so much less stressful.  


    Measure your space as accurately as you can. I have a guide that will help you which you can download here.  Measure the floor area and doors & windows.  Get the wall areas in between windows measured correctly.  Add socket, switch and lighting positions.    Draw all this on grid paper.  Measure any fixed items such as fireplace and add.  Measure items of furniture you’d like to go in the space - whether existing or new.  You could draw the footprint of these items and cut them out so you can play around with options.  Or overlay a sheet of tracing paper.  If you are introducing only a few new items into the space - then use newspaper or cupboard and measure out the exact space. Seeing the space in 3 dimensions early on will help you to feel more sure about the work. If you are drawing the floor plan - have a look at elevations where things are happening on walls - check they work in relation to each other. 


    It doesn’t matter how you do it - use the method which works best for you.  


    • How is the flow/circulation through the space?
    • How is the view into the space from the adjoining space?
    • Are you making the most of any nice views outside and maximising daylight? 


    Are you looking at large items in your design?  

    1. Look at whether they are delivered in one piece or not

    2. Look at your door sizes (including the front door)

    3. Look at the hallways, staircases and any turns need to get the item into the room


    Please do this before going too far with your design and DEFINATELY before you order!  We want to design out mistakes!


    Now look at your furniture layout in conjunction to existing sockets, switches and lighting.

    Is everything easy to access?  Are any sockets covered up that need repositioning or new sockets adding?  Is the lighting going to light the right areas or do you need a rethink?  Would the space benefit from some different types of lighting with this new arrangement.  How often do you use the central pendant light?  Could you use layered, low level lighting instead - table lamps?


    • Can you still reach the window to pull down blinds/drawer curtains?
    • Is any heating clear of obstructions?  Have ugly radiators appeared that now need addressing?
    • Imagine using the space.  Have you got enough storage for real life living?  Can you factor in anything that will improve the day to day use of the space?
    • Have you had a rethink about a new item?  Update the drawing just to be sure of the fit.


    I can’t stress how important this is to do if you want to plan the project well.  You will thank me for encouraging you!  It’s good to know any knock on effects early on as it all affects budget and we all know that’s when it becomes stressful.  I really hope this helps you!


    Can you see parts of the process you’d like to do yourself and other parts you really don’t want to do?

    That’s where I can help.  I can help you on the parts you need help with.  

    A TWO HOUR CONSULTATION can happen in-person (in Brighton & Hove area) or online.   

    In addition to two hour consultations - time can be pre-purchased in 10 hour or 20 hour blocks.  

  2. In my blog last week I talked about a project that started as fun for a client but quickly became overwhelming and no longer fun.

    I don’t want clients to be hard on themselves.  There are a HUGE amount of decisions to make. Even if looking at a room or two.  Being organised and one step ahead will save costly mistakes and will alleviate stress.  It IS possible to enjoy the process!  But an early understanding of the types of decisions needed will prepare you.


    Perhaps if I list the decisions it will help!

    (deep breath...!)

    1. Look at the space - could flow be improved, are door positions good? are views out of windows optimised,  how are the views within the building?  use of skylights, best positioning of the space for maximum daylight? 

    2. The space in conjunction with the furniture.  Choosing the furniture and getting it on a furniture layout - get it on paper with the exact furniture you are using.

    3. Audio visual - much of this is furniture layout dependent - at the very least - is a TV involved?  Where will it go?

    4. Lighting and sockets need to correspond to that furniture layout

    5. Lighting decisions - functional as well as aesthetics and correct lamp selection

    6. Heating and cooling….  At the least - what type of heating - what does it look like - where do radiators fit in with the furniture layout?  (are you getting that the furniture layout is so important?!) 

    7. Home automation - if you are having it, this is the time to get this factored in while walls and floors are open.  Made your home super energy efficiency with lighting sensors, temperature control, window shading as well as security

    8. Flooring decisions - choosing a specification that is right for the space AND the right aesthetic.

    9. Timber selection floors, furniture

    10. Woodwork - door types and designs, skirting, door frames

    11. Metal finishes: sockets, switches, handles, door furniture, taps  - plus what shapes are they all?

    12. Sanitaryware - WC, basin, bath, shower, enclosure, 

    13. Brassware - taps, shower fittings 

    14. Wall and ceiling finishes 

    15. Tile 

    16. Appliances, equipment 

    17. Fabric selection for soft seating, window coverage

    18. Window coverage type and operation

    19. Artwork 

    20. Decorative items 


    Even an interior designer will not have the answers for all of the items on the list.  But we know specialists to use and we can guide you through the process.  

    I realise not everyone has the budget for this.  Plus there are parts of this process that clients really enjoy doing themselves.  I don’t want to take the fun bits away from clients!

    Can you see parts of the process you’d like to do yourself and other parts you really don’t want to do?

    That’s where I can help.  I can help you on the parts you need help with.  


    A TWO HOUR CONSULTATION can happen in-person (in Brighton & Hove area) or online.   

    In addition to two hour consultations - time can be pre-purchased in 10 hour or 20 hour blocks.  



    Testimonial - 5 lines

    My client approached me seeking help, saying “I’m having work done to extend our home and I’m struggling with what people say is the fun part!”  She really wasn’t finding it fun.  My client-to-be was no longer able to stay one step ahead of the decisions needed by her building contractor and was in danger of holding things up.  She was starting to feel railroaded into hasty decisions and was really not enjoying any of it.

    The project involved removing and replacing the kitchen so the down time needed to be minimal!  The family were living in the house while the work was happening.  This experience would be stressful to any of us.  But on top of this - my client was having to work from home thanks to the pandemic. - and she works with colleagues in other time zones - so she was working elongated hours as well.  Things were really not fun for her.  

    I’m so glad she contacted me. I was able to talk through the issues and design around some of the problems.  Her project was on my online portal so I could provide product suggestions to suit complete with links for ordering. 

    My client kindly wrote a lovely testimonial for me afterwards and this sentence jumped out from it…  “In a short video call I had my challenges solved and felt relieved and positive.”  I'm so happy to be able to help.  The work is just about finished now and the new space has made a huge difference to the family.


    This was a TWO HOUR CONSULTATION which can happen in-person (in Brighton & Hove area) or online like this one.   I’d really prefer clients not to experience this stress and would very much encourage having this consultation earlier in the process - OR better still for me to provide more in-depth help and preparation for them. In addition to two hour consultations - time can be pre-purchased in 10 hour or 20 hour blocks.  Use the links below to find out more.

    Online consultation

    Ten hour block

    Twenty hour block

    Here’s the whole testimonial….


    “I needed urgent advice on the aesthetics of a home extension and reached out to Chloe from Materialise Interiors.

    Chloe arranged an online consultation later that day and had prepared for the conversation by looking at plans I sent in advance.

    She was patient and supportive and clearly understood my dilemma with how to best light a high sloping ceiling amongst other key design elements.

    Chloe provided creative solutions that I had not considered and sent me pictures of examples. My own personal project page was established and sent to me too. I was so impressed by the care and attention given along with the creative design solutions suggested.

    In a short video call I had my challenges solved and felt relieved and positive. Chloe’s manner is so reassuring yet professional and her creativity and understanding of my individual needs were perfect!”