Posted by Simone Aïda Baur, a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-passionate international interior designer and ex-hotelier, who’s discovered her love for blogging. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Have you ever asked yourself how interior designers come up with a design concept? Have you ever wondered where to get inspiration from and how to channel your ideas? These questions and more have been addressed during my recent interior design workshop ‘How to develop a design concept’.

If you have been reading my other blog posts about design hotelsdesign exhibitions and decorating styles you may have realised that I am very passionate about interior design; some may even say addicted… You will probably agree, that when you are really passionate about something, you feel the urge to share your passion with others. Personally, I feel that when you are passionate about something, there is no greater reward than doing just that – sharing your passion with others.

This is why I decided to run a workshop on ‘How to develop a design concept’. The workshop was held on World Interiors Day on May 31, 2014 and I think it is safe to say that the workshop was a great success. The workshop was held at my home/studio in Basel, Switzerland and 6 lovely ladies, including a very creative and motivated teenager took part. It was a very mixed group of ladies from the UK, New Zealand, Slovakia and Switzerland, who had different motivations for attending the workshop. Some were simply looking for a bit of inspiration and ideas for their home, others had just bought a home and were looking to develop a scheme for a specific room, but all of them were hoping to find a way to get started.

During the first part of the workshop, we briefly discussed the many elements that interior design entails, such as decorating styles, colour, materials, space planning, lighting etc. Then we looked at decorating styles, colour theory, colour schemes and colour psychology in more detail. For example did you know that red can increase your appetite? I think everyone was quite surprised about the impact colour has on our lives – not only in interior design.

We also briefly spoke about the importance of functionality in interior design. You may have heard of the expression ‘Form follows function’ – a concept that was developed in the 20th century during modernist architecture and industrial design.  At the end of part one of our workshop we also examined the impact interior design has on our senses, not only our sight. It actually has a greater impact on our health and wellbeing than most people may think. This is why it is so important to dedicate time and allocate money for interior design. After all, our home is our refuge, the place where we recharge our body and restore our mind. Space planning, colour, lighting and materials will greatly influence how you feel in your own home.

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Before heading into the second part of the workshop, we had ourselves a well deserved coffee break with some home made apple tart (yes, I also do some cooking and baking) 🙂 and inspiring conversation about everyone’s design dilemmas. It really made me realise that a lot of people feel the need to create their perfect little refuge, but are not sure how to approach it.

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After a short coffee break we learned about the ‘concept board’ or also called ‘mood board’, which is a great tool to use, when you are feeling stuck, as it will help you focus and channel your ideas. We looked at different ways of approaching a concept board and also talked about finding our style.

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And finally, we got creative! It was lovely to see how the creative juices started flowing and the ladies, almost as if in a meditative state (creative work can be very relaxing) were leafing through magazines and snipping away.

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Everyone, was very happy with their concept board and we had some proud moments as well! 🙂 They all expressed the exercise helped them focus and find more clarity with regards to their design dilemma and that they were keen to implement their design concept.

B6_board Sally

Proud moment: Far Eastern inspired concept board for a living room

B6_board Cathra

Proud moment: Concept board for a guest toilet

B6_board Eleanor

Proud moment: Concept board for a Kid’s Play Barn

My youngest participant said: ‘I had a lot of fun working at the workshop and highly recommend it.’ Another participant stated: ‘I had a really fascinating time and it helped your creative side be explored. Thank you.’ whereas another one declared: ‘For me, this was just right – just what I needed.’

From my perspective, it was a great experience and I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and above all my passion for interior design.

Would you like to attend one of my upcoming workshops? I look forward to welcoming you soon and sparking your creativity.

Creative regards,

Simone xx