Great Free Online Resources For Interior Designers

Who doesn’t love free design information? Recently in one of the groups we belong to in LinkedIn, the CEO of Mudpie Design (a trend forecasting company) posted a great discussion. “Great resources for designers – Free!” This inspired us to take some websites from this discussion and add some of our own favorites to help designers and furniture manufacturers looking for freebies. This first list of a 2-part series is websites. Next month we will feature the top home furnishing blogs.

1stDibs

Why not look at the past to predict the future! 1stDibs is an antique website, focusing on high-end antique furniture, home decor, lighting, and has now added fashion and jewelry. We’re constantly amazed by this website, and there is no harm in getting inspiration from 70 year-old designs that are surprisingly on trend for 2010! Also, we recommend subscribing to their newsletters. The writers at 1stDibs have fantastically interesting comments on different styles and how interior designers should use them today.

2modern

The name pretty much says it all. This website has some of the best looking modern furniture, lighting, and home decor, on the web. The site’s design and feel are fun, and the editors are constantly adding new modern products. Also be sure to visit their Design Blog, which is also a fantastic source for wildly creative ideas in home furnishings. They have “Eco Friendly” and “Made in the USA” product sections, and a newsletter + RSS Feeds.

HomePortfolio

Home Portfolio is the largest database for home furnishing suppliers in the USA. This site is simple to navigate, featuring all types and styles of home furnishings to help interior designers find the right furniture for their products ( customers?). It works like an online catalog and is really simple to use.

Trendir

Trendir is a Home Decorating Trends Magazine. The Trendir Interiors website has fantastic posts; and although they call themselves “modern” interiors, they also feature some beautiful traditional home furnishings. They cover all items for the home, from bathroom hardware to outdoor living, and also cover architecture and appliances.

ElleDecor

The popular fashion magazine has made it easy for web users to dig through their past stories and images of products. The PointClickHome.com website features images from both Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home. Users can view great designs in the “Room Finder” and select the type and style of home. Home Furnishings can be found in the “Decorate” tab, and housewares are in the “Entertain” tab. Also, the blogs on this site are good: Savvy/Chic, Design Daily, Word on Modern Style, I on Design, Stylemonger, and Deal of the Day.

Thecoolhunter

This website focuses on ground-breaking design. Probably more for interior designers and architects, we think that everybody will enjoy the products, buildings, and fashion concepts these guys bring to a fun-to-use website. The most relevant area is the “Design” section, which can be found on their navigation menu. This site tends to feature the bright and exotic and is really fun.

Inmod.com

Another modern design focused retail website is Inmod. The coolest feature here is the “Design Your Own”. You can design your own pillows and bedding! Overall, this site very is similar to 2modern, and they have a blog, newsletter, and RSS feed. If you like modern, this site is a must see…

TODL.COM (Trade Only Design Library)

The Trade Only Design Library is another large database of products for home decor, furniture, and housewares. This site is operated by the same company that sets up the HD Expo in Las Vegas, for hospitality and commercial furnishings. While you cannot normally view this website if you enter directly, if you click this link to Hopitality Design, I have found a secret way to access the website!

Dwell.com

Dwell is a modern home magazine (print) but they also have a great website. It has a dedicated product section, which allows users to select what to view by product category, ranging from clocks to wall coverings.

ArchitectualDigest.com

Long one of the most prestigious architecture and home design inspiration magazines (print), Architectual Digest now has a decent website that allows free access to the design features and beautiful images that have kept this magazine on the shelves for almost 90 years! It is not as easy to navigate products on this site, as it shows the latest stories as features, but if you type in the name of the room or type of furniture into the search box, you should come up with some nice design concepts.

General Interior Design Ideas

Most homeowners around the world are consistently seeking new ways via which they can get the results they want to amplify their home’s interiors. In order to accomplish this, they are ever willing to go the extra mile and get access to the best of tips and tricks provided by some of the most reputed names and brand in the interior designing industry. Today, one of the most formidable platforms that has been able to provide homeowners with this level of expertise is that of the internet where its plethora of blogs, sites and portals have provided individuals with enthusiastic aspects via which it can be achieved. There are a number of interior designing ideas that can be procured from the web world, each of which are capable of inspiring homeowners to make its applications vivid in their own households. Fact of the matter is that the World Wide Web is overloaded with these interior design ideas that it can become a daunting task to find the perfect ones that are capable of living up to the expectations of those that need it. What needs to be understood is that the best of interior designing ideas can only come from the best in the industry. Hence, if you are opting for a platform to provide you with the best of interior design ideas, you would need to scout the web effectively so as to make sure you can get the best of tips, advice and DIY notes.

As people around the world keep on trying to find new ideas to amplify their home’s interiors, they are poised with the most difficult task ahead of them – How to do it? This is where online blogs and portals step in and offer individuals with the best of ways which will help them accomplish their tasks. There are a few sites that offer individuals with samples to be inspired by. There are other sites that offer social networking platforms so that homeowners can interact with other interior designers across the globe. Truly speaking, the internet has certainly brought the world closer together. With the help of such a multitude of options available in the online world, home owners and interior designing fanatics will be able to get their next big idea adorned into their own homes. If these sites and informational portals do not serve up its purpose to those interested, individuals can opt for DIY sites that offer individuals with eBooks and manuals that would help them achieve their desired interior results as per their financial and personal specifications. If you are on the lookout to get inspired with interior design ideas, you would be able to find these informational resources on the net to help you out. Scout the web world frequently from the best of places and stay abreast of the latest happenings that will help transform your home into an interior haven. What you need to understand is that you should always keep yourself to ideas.

Department Store Buyer Becomes Interior Designer

A man contacted me about promoting his commercial interior design firm that he was starting. At that time he was working as a department store buyer where he was very bored in his job. He was interested in making a career change to interior designing. He had no formal training but had educated himself in interior design and had worked on some very small showroom and office design projects in an assisting role.

After meeting with him and learning his goals, I did some research into office and showroom designs, and the correlations between new designs and increased business. I discovered that office interior designing was a lot more plentiful but more competitive. The larger design firms concentrated on the office designing market. I decide for my client that it would be best if he would concentrate his efforts on the showroom design market which was less competitive and easier to break into.

I helped my client create a web site that would express his unique approach to designing showrooms. The web site allowed clients to request information on the different types and styles of showroom designs that my client has to offer. There would be articles and links to articles that would be of interest and help prospective clients with what type of showroom design would be best for their business. The web site would provide examples of other projects that were successfully done.

I wrote articles on the positive correlation between new designs and increased business and distributed them on the internet were clients would be looking for information. I included links in the articles back to my client’s web site. I created a newsletter for my client that contained helpful information to prospects by explaining several different ways of how new showroom designs can increase business. The newsletter contained links to my clients’ web site as well as links to articles and sources of information that would be of assistance to any potential prospects.

I created a print ad for the New York Real Estate Journal and wrote an article under my clients’ by-lines that appeared with the ad. After the article and ad appeared, I ordered reprints, wrote a solicitation letter, and bought a list of approximately 500 real estate lawyers (new showroom tenants typically have their lawyers negotiate their leases). The solicitation letters gave my clients web site address and where to find his newsletter. The solicitation letters were mailed with a bulk mail permit from a local post office. They were also sent via email.

A few weeks later after sending out the solicitation letter and reprints, a lawyer who represented a men’s suit designer company responded to our ads. I prepared for my client a four color brochure, a PowerPoint presentation, and a script to follow during his presentation. My client was up against 3 other firms competing for the contract. My client was rewarded the contract. The contract was for 1.5 million for a showroom on a very fashionable Manhattan street.

Five months after getting the contract to design this showroom my client completed the project. The showroom turned out to be a huge success for the men’s suit designer company. The company even recommended my client to an accessory manufacture and design company that the suit company was doing business with.

With the permission of the men’s suit designer company I arranged for several stories about their work to be published. I made changes on their web site to include the success that my client had with the suit design company’s show room design. I also included it in the next company newsletter that was going to be published. I repeated the process with the mailing list both of them (conventional mail and e-mail) promoting the success of my clients work. As a result, my client got three additional clothing design companies each of whom required large showrooms and offices

The success of the first contract allowed my client to break into a new market segment which is designing offices, which is the largest and most profitable in the interior design business. Here is where my client decided to expand his business; and in order to do this he must hire others who have the skills to execute the appropriate tasks at hand.