Home interior makeovers are all the rage, and both paper and on-line magazines, as well as prime-time TV, are full of them. Home interior-design is gaining popularity, and many people who buy real estate also intend to rebuild or renovate it. So, we got in touch with Hana Micková, home interior architect and designer, and asked her about the key to successful remodeling.
"Don’t think only about colour: a place to plug your computer in is also very important," says home interior architect and designer Hana Micková
What is the key to a successfully remodeling an interior?
"For me, there are three fundamental elements - the habits of the people living in the space, the style in which everything is to be created, and the possibilities offered by the space with which we will be working. All three of these aspects have to fit together harmoniously. What is perhaps even more important, however, being the key to a satisfied customer, is personal contact with the client. Personal contact is the only way to find out what the client does and doesn’t like, and what their particular vision is.”
What does your first meeting with a client entail?
"The introductory meeting with the client usually involves discussing the client’s ideas, desires, options and means. I often advise them to think about what precisely it is that they do not like about the interior as it stands. What, for example, do they miss having at home, at their friends‘ place, or at the hotel when on vacation…perhaps counter or storage place in the kitchen? Something lacking in the bathroom? Taking time to consider this kind of question provides a good springboard. And it is also extremely important to think of the future."
What exactly do you mean by that?
"For example, I have often designed a study that can easily be transformed in the future into a child's room. When I know what kind of plans the clients have for their future, I can take them into account. In this way we can also prevent the situation where, in a few years, the client finds that they are missing electric outlets or that there is inadequate lighting for a room’s new designated function."
And how long does the whole transformation process usually take? Say, if we had a 3+KK apartment and wanted to completely remodel it...
"... it could take 4 to 5 months. Or easily up to twice as long. The whole process, you see, must be divided into two parts - the design phase and the implementation phase. Creating the plans requires discussion with clients and design adjustments, which all takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Or some people only realize that they actually want something different than they originally intended only in the course of our joint cooperation. They come, for example, with a clear idea of particular colors they would like to make use of, but then see on the computer visualization that these colours don’t work well together after all. After we resolve all such issues, we start to create the plans for the placement of furniture to determine exactly what will be where in each room. And the length of the remodeling process then also depends on the state of the property itself. Modification of an apartment in a new building, where we are making constructional adjustments, can take, for example, 3 weeks. Subsequent furniture delivery 4 to 6 weeks."
What kinds of mistakes do people often make when planning a new interior?
"For example, people often stick to a specific type or color of furniture. They decide for a red kitchen, and they do not realize that they will get bored of it in a few years. I therefore mostly recommend choosing rather neutral furniture and appliance colors, rather making use of prominent paintings and decorations to add desired colour. That way the client can easily change the look of the interior."
What else should we pay attention to?
"Often people neglect technical and practical matters. People may choose a sofa and only after moving in do they discover that it doesn’t fit the space in their home. Or that visitors don’t enjoy sitting on it and that grandma has trouble getting up from it. That’s why it is so important to think about all the members of the household and the most common activities carried out in each room when planning the design of the interior. These days, for example, we often sit with our laptops on our knees. It is worth working nearby outlets, perhaps even with USB ports, into the design plans. Last but not least, people forget about seasonal furniture; where will the Christmas tree stand? And do you also need a couple of sockets near your windows for Christmas lights?"
What trends in interior design can we expect next year to bring?
"The word at exhibitions in Frankfurt, Milan and in the halls of designer studios is that next year will bring a return to stone and natural motifs. But I think the basic principles of interior design do not change much, and it is sometimes better not to be on the lookout for trends. This year's must-have mustard yellow may be the fashion, but next year it may be a completely different shade or even colour… and then to have to remodel the whole apartment? That’s why it is always necessary to concentrate on the style that the client will continue to enjoy rather than on some passing trends."
Where can people look for inspiration? For example, if they wanted to find out more about interior design or find interesting pictures and useful suggestions to serve as the basis of their own home remodeling.
"There are plenty of choices. In terms of online inspiration, even well-known platforms like Pinterest or Instagram are great. There are also many great print magazines - I recommend French or Belgian design and architecture periodicals. You can also collect great ideas and tips at trade-fairs such as For Interior. And there are also special design schools, where people can try all kinds of things in practice. I am very pleased that more and more people are interested in design, and that they pass their knowledge and skills on to others. I am glad that I can look forward to seeing more and more beautiful homes."
Home interior architect and designer Hana Micková has been designing interiors for more than 10 years. In addition to designing and reconstructing interiors, she also does restoration work, wood-carving and organizes exhibitions. She focuses primarily on modern interior design with an emphasis on practical and original solutions.