Two years ago when I first began to study the art of Interior Design and Decorating I had to learn what COM meant, use an architect’s scale, put a portfolio together and read Blueprints and Bluelines.
Initially, it seems overwhelming, but you get through the process and it’s all good on the other side. To give you a head start in your quest to be a serious designer or decorating, today we’re going to be looking at some terms you’ll need to know in the Interior Design and Decorating business:
COM – Customer’s Own Material – This means that a company other than the furniture company is supplying the fabric for the piece of furniture.
Furniture Plan – A scaled drawing of a room or house showing the location of walls, doors, windows, and other built-in items, as well as the location of furniture (both new and existing). The plan may be drafted, prepared on a computer, or sketched on graph paper. The furniture plan is viewed from above, looking down on the room, like you’re floating on the ceiling.
Blueprint/Blueline – A method of copying a furniture plan or other drawings, such as an electrical plan or a floor plan. Historically, blueprints had a blue background with white lines. Today, the lines are blue and the background is white. Technically, this is a blueline, although the terms are frequently used interchangeably. Bluelines are made from original drawings only, not photocopies. Some decorators just make standard photocopies for speed and efficiency.
Public Spaces– In residential design, public spaces are rooms which are generally open to visitors. They include more formal rooms such as the foyer, living room, and dining room. They may also include more informal places such as the family room or great room, kitchen, and study.
Floor Plan – The floor plan is similar to the furniture plan but includes only the built-in items such as walls, doors, windows, and cabinetry. Sometimes a client may already have a floor plan of their home drawn, although frequently you do have to prepare the plan and then draw the furniture plan.
Portfolio – The interior decorator’s portfolio is a presentation binder illustrating past projects. It is used in conjunction with a resume to market your work.
Architect’s Scale – A ruler that is divided into scaled dimensions that allow you to create floor plans and furniture plans at a reduced buy accurate scale. Decorators typically use ¼” = 1′-0″ scale, meaning that each ¼ inch on the drawing represents 1 foot in real life.
These definitions will give you the basics in understanding the main tools and terms you will be using in interior Design and Decorating Business. Next week, we’ll go into specifics on how to draw a basic floor plan with your architect’s scale. Until then, Happy Decorating!