Finish schedules and the struggles of studying in your spare time

As you know I started studying for a diploma in Interior Design some 6 months ago now. By now, I should be graduated and well on my way to being a better designer. But as I’m sure most people find with trying to study in an around full time work, hobbies and a social life, things can take a little longer than originally planned!

The course has been a good one so far, I’m exactly half way through and have so far learned about:

  • The visual language of design
  • The history of style, decoration and architecture
  • Design styles
  • Space planning
  • Electrical plans
  • Color
  • Finishes
  • Decorative textiles

I’ve begun to learn how to spot different historical influences in design such as Rococo, Arts and Crafts, Modernism, Art Deco etc. The importance of color combinations and use of mood boards. And from a technical standpoint, I now know how to create an accurate floor plan with electrical plan and finish schedule. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an electrical plan or finish schedule before this! And I wondered why the electrician installed the spotlights in the wrong places…!?

The finish schedule is something I’d honestly never though about before. My designs have always been an ever-evolving process over a number of years, as we’ve saved the money to fund our renovations. But even so, a mood board and finish schedule are things that I’ll now be sure to think about in my future renovations to ensure that the whole house is cohesive.

Previously I’ve always wondered why my whole house designs don’t look like the show homes you see. Even though I’ve been really happy with the rooms I’ve done based on their own individual merits, the overall look and feel has been choppy and not very professional looking. Having a mood board and finish schedule is something that can help tie the design all together, and get you thinking about the whole house and not just room by room, which will give a much more professional feel.

Here’s my finish schedule that I created for our imaginary house design that we’re working on in our course. Having the whole house features specifically mapped out before you start will help with choosing colors and furniture etc later down the line so everything works as one cohesive design.

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The finish schedule according to the Interior Design Instituteincludes a color schedule and specifications of any other finishes that you have decided to apply to any of the structural or fixed surfaces in the space being developed.” Things such as the trim, doors, windows, cabinetry, hardware, lighting, flooring etc. Seeing all these things in one place helps you to visualize the overall design and also helps the builder to see what you’re thinking.

One mistake I’ve made in my current house, is painting all of the rooms without thinking through the overall color pallet and then deciding to paint the doors and trim after this. Whilst the grey doors look great with certain colors in the house, they look pretty bad in others. Meaning I’ll probably want to repaint these rooms at a later date, much to my husband’s delight! Whoops!

Here are my 3 tips for avoiding bad or in-cohesive designs, costly mistakes or rework:

  1. Think through the WHOLE house design before starting on a remodel, even if you only plan to do one room at a time. Having a cohesive end game in mind will help make your design look much more professional.
  2. Make a mood board before picking up the paintbrush, be specific and get samples together so you can see everything together first.
  3. Make a finish schedule of everything that will be applied to a fixed surface and think about how these all interact. Do the door colors go with all the wall colors? And does the flooring match the door color etc?

I hope you enjoyed these tips and have learned from my design mistakes so you can start your design project more confident in the knowledge you won’t have to re-paint any walls!

Until next time…


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4 responses to “Finish schedules and the struggles of studying in your spare time”

  1. Searched “Finish Schedules” and found your blog. This is excellent information. Thank you!

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