As an interior designer, you should always be on the lookout for resources that can make your life easier. There’s a lot of information out there, and trying to simply know everything is an excruciating exercise in futility. Better than knowing everything is having the resourcefulness to find information when you need it.
The good news is the internet has made being resourceful as easy as typing it in and letting Google do the work. But, if you’re looking to streamline your process, having a collection of go-to websites where you cherry pick all of you information, 3D models, product information, or furniture trends, is as important as your background in design education itself.
Not only will these websites make your life easier, they will lend themselves to allow you to create better interiors for your clients. You’ll wow people simply by knowing where to look for things (and look like a genius in the process). Whether you're looking for the next great line of modern light fixtures, or the latest trends in furniture upholstery, the websites on this list will have something for you to drool over.
Most interior design firms have fully adopted SketchUp as their go-to modeling program in aiding design and presentation drawings. The 3D warehouse should always be onen on your web browser, offering thousands of ready-made 3D models for you to quickly run through ideas and populate scenes. The 3D Warehouse is always growing, meaning next time you dip your cup in, you’ll likely come out with something you’ve never seen before.
Get familiar with the 3D Warehouse, and unlock the true potential of SketchUp.
Amber Interiors is a successful interior design firm who puts a lot of work into their online presence. Following their blog not only floods your eyes with current, trendy inspiration, but their business practice is full of good precedents for your own office to mimic. Unlike a lot of other design blogs, Amber Interiors offers a fresh, sometimes personal perspective on the work they do and the lives they lead.
Inspiration in the more traditional sense. Apartment Therapy is a giant in the design blog space, and offers web page upon web page of quality design work for you to start putting together idea boards from. Clients love it as well, and don’t be surprised if they come to your first meeting with a fist full of ideas they just pulled from AT on their way over.
See what other people are doing and then try to do it better. Inspiration is all about making it your own, and using sites like Dezeen to get the creative juices flowing is important for any design practice.
The great thing about Houzz is that alongside an endless stream of powerful design imagery is the ability to purchase the products you see in those images. Furniture, materials, lighting fixtures, appliances, and in many cases original artwork can all be added to your shopping cart and bought for your next design project. This, of course, can be a dangerous proposition. But, with a bit of fiscal restraint, you can quickly and easily start cohesive collections of items to populate your designs.
Houzz is also great for keeping your business current and in the public eye. They offer services to designers and contractors so they can put their name out there and be contacted by perspective clients.
Everyone needs a little bit of help every once in a while, right? If you find yourself in a position where you’re ready to start producing high-quality renderings for your projects, but don’t want to invest the time or money in having someone staffed full-time, look no further than Easy Render. It’s an online job-finding service that specializes in connecting architecture and design firms with talented freelance rendering artists.
It’s a powerful service that is incredibly easy to use. The best part? You won’t pay a dime until you’ve received the work on time and up to the standard you agreed upon when agreeing to a contract. It’s a free market that weeds out the bad eggs, making sure that no matter who you decide to hire, they will be professional, prompt, and affordable.