In The Details: AutoCAD

Every good design starts with a plan. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised with how many Designers can get ahead of themselves at the beginning of a project. I’ve worked in this industry for 10 years and I cannot stress enough of the importance of having a good plan set in place, prior to any project. Proper Planning & Design can make or break your designs right from the start. Without it, you run the risk of constantly going back and forth & wasting your clients’ time. And as we know in this industry, time is money.

Love it or hate it, AutoCAD is a wonderful tool used by many design professionals to prepare proper plans and execute your design vision. My background in Millwork design has taught me a thing or two about the details that should be included in a full set of drawings. Below are some examples where having the right details in place made for a successful end product.

Starting with a clean slate, we were able to create custom designed Television millwork for this large Family Room in Klein’s Ridge. Warm, rich tones were used for the millwork, contrasting beautifully against the freshness of the walls & ceiling. Designed by Jessica Kelly Design 

When there are a lot of moving parts & multiple finishes in one design, it is crucial to indicate what goes where to avoid confusion. With clear & precise drawings, your millwork installer should have little to no questions when bringing your vision to life. This was a playful Guest Bedroom I worked on for LH Decor & Design

This was a very simple reception desk I helped design for LH Decor & Design. Although we showed the Installer an inspiration photo, we still had to prepare a basic elevation to show the scale & proportion of all materials. Photo Cred: Workplace One 

While some design elements were changed during installation, I was able to indicate every important detail in the original drawings. It’s always tricky working with stock-cabinet sizes, but with a little creative thinking and a few custom pieces, this Kitchen was the perfect fit for our clients newly renovated home. Design by Rebecca Hay Designs

I contributed to this exhibit for Metrie Interior Mouldings & Doors which was on display at KBIS in 2015. By creating a detailed drawing package, this display was perfectly executed on a tight deadline, just in time for the show. Design by Amanda Forrest Design

Listed below 3 tips on how to achieve an organized, well-thought out design from start to finish.

Initial Site Measure – Learn the space. Get a feel for the layout, how it’s being used and what you intend to do with it. Take note of all of the plumbing & electrical, as well as any other feature that could impact your Design. Get yourself a good quality laser measuring tape (I use THIS one) as well as a manual tape to get the most accurate dimensions. It doesn’t hurt to double or triple check your measurements if you’re ever unsure of something. Better safe than sorry!

Design, design, design – This is the process that often takes the longest. Prior to presenting to the client, a design can go through many transitions before landing on the one. Be patient. While doing revision after revision may seem annoying and often a bit redundant, it’s simply part of the process. Inspiration may sway your initial plan and you may have to start from scratch – it’s all trial and error.

Note the Details – My motto is the more information you include, the better. You’d be surprised how quickly contractors will play to blame game, if information is incorrect or missing from drawings. Make sure to note every tile specification, every paint colour, every piece of trim. Look over your drawings multiple times before sending them off for approval. The devil is in the details!

So, are you a Designer who uses AutoCAD? What are some of your tips on how to execute a successful design? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and let me know!

Thanks for reading!