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PDX Interiors - Writing An Interior Design "Program"

There are many things to consider when developing a design solution. Whether you are considering a small re-model or building from the ground up, one thing reigns true, you must have a program. The term program is used in Interior Design and Architecture to describe the list or the guidelines of a project. Writing a program is one of the first things a designer usually does, along with conducting a site analysis. This identifies the criteria for the project. When working on a residential project for an existing space, such as a room re-model, a designer will sit down with the client and ask the following questions:

  • What can be modified?
  • Are there pieces of furniture that you want to keep? What can go?
  • Who will be the users of the space?
  • How do you want the space to feel? Do you have a theme in mind?
  • Where are the existing light sources, are they adequate for the function of the space?
  • What materials do you like?

These are just some of the very important elements to consider, and the list can turn into pages depending on the extent of the project, or particularly when working on a commercial project where there are many more safety regulations and building codes.

Having a comprehensively written program will also help the client and the designer stick to the prearranged budget, by having a tangible link to the priorities of the project. Inevitably, there will be glitches. You may not be able to knock down the wall you wanted, or you find out the tile you had your heart set on-has been discontinued. Referring back to the original guidelines allows you to see where you can make changes, without compromising the intent of the design.

By Jaime Ausborn for PDXinteriors.com

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