4 Tools for Every Interior Design Enthusiast


Interior design often means making a barely functional space both beautiful and user-friendly.

You may have a great eye for furniture, color, and fixtures, but you also need to be able to show travel patterns, easy motion for all the family members, and long term growth options for the space.

Color Wheel

Carry a detailed color wheel so you can carefully review what your potential client loves in their current layout and find colors, patterns, and light sources that work well with their existing items.

Make sure that your color wheel offers a wide gradation of colors that move smoothly from blue to green or from red to yellow.

Once you have the ideal color selection to match a client’s existing furniture and paint choices, you’re ready to put your color chips to work.

In addition to a color wheel for the basic layout of color choices, consider also using a larger collection of paint or color chips to help you choose the right shade for the new items you’re incorporating into the space.

While there are many apps that offer color selections, a collection of color chips will be less likely to be impacted by screen sheen or other color variables generated by tablets and laptops.

Tape Measure

Carrying a tape measure and some well-gridded paper to allow you to sketch out the space you’re working in may feel a little old school, but part of your thinking process will be quicker and more impactful if you need to physically draw out possible plans.

If you’re not interested in carrying a tape measure, consider investing in a distance measuring tool that includes a level so you can at least get close.

Not only will this tool make it easier for you to return to the office with the right information, but such a tool will be lightweight and may travel more effectively than a tape measure.

In addition to a tape measure and some gridded paper, consider keeping some simple shapes in heavy-duty construction paper so you can maneuver items around on your grid.

Large pieces can easily be settled onto your grid paper while you determine the best additions you can make to the space.

Textile Samples

Access to a detailed textile library is critical to showing off a specific fabric, tone, and sheen to a potential client.

Because upholstery fabric can take a while to bring in, having a well-managed stock of popular colors and sheens can make you the go-to designer for clients who are under a tight deadline.

Every home has a unique light. The sheen of wall paint, the bounce off of reflective surfaces, and the tone of light bulbs can make two homes with the same footprint act very differently on the fabrics you’re demonstrating to your potential clients.

You can also travel more easily with small fabric samples that can be easily compared to the current pieces that your client wants to keep and needs you to design around.

Fabric is a combination of weave, sheen, and shadow in the event of a heavily textured fabric, nap, and finally color.

Digital Camera

Once you have a space thoroughly measured, you can take photos of the space and carry with you a feel for the space, the light, and the current things the client loves and wants to keep.

While there are apps and online tools that can allow you to link or pin photos to the software, having a grid that demonstrates the physical layout and allows you to manipulate printed pictures of the current space and what the client loves.

As your business grows, you’ll enter a lot of spaces and take many sets of measurements.

Having a digital camera that allows you to take detailed and even panoramic shots of the spaces you’re quoting on and working in is a great investment.

While high tech tools can make life easier for an interior designer, it’s also important to remember that putting pencil to paper is part of the thinking process.

Paint chips are flexible and easy to tape to a wall or pin to a piece of furniture.

As the day progresses, the color of light will change in many ways. Be ready to go a little old school when you’re ready to make final choices.

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