The Need to Know: Design Tools

Communicating with a designer can be tricky, but the Need to Know series is here to help, giving you the inside scoop on some designer lingo.

When remodeling your home, there are a ton of things that a designer may spew at you that can be quite confusing for the everyman. From floorplans to fancy terms, there is a lot to grasp. The latest installment of the Need to Know series is here to help, giving you the rundown on all sorts of elements that us designers may use to communicate our vision.

Generally, most high-end interior designers use similar methods to convey their designs. Still, every designer is different, so there is wiggle room in what they may use. Laliberte specializes in the client connection in design, so we focus on thoroughly communicating our plans with the client in many different forms. 

Floor Plans

Everyone has heard of a floor plan before, but not everyone has a full understanding of it. There are two types of floor plans that we use: one that is as the name suggests and the one you likely think of when you think of a floor plan. Most people think of a floor plan as a layout of the remodel from a bird’s eye perspective. It shows all of the different rooms with their integral pieces, like a shower or a dining room table. This is great for seeing the flow and functionality of each room. You can also get a sense of the traffic of the project. The other type of floor plan is a little more literal; it is literally the plan for the floor. It pinpoints where each floor material is going to be. This is really helpful for the contractors so they know where everything is supposed to go.

Lighting Plans

If you see a piece of paper with a square and some lines and dots in it, fear not, for this is a lighting plan. A lighting plan demonstrates how the light will hit and shine in the space. Light is an incredibly important part of the design process that cannot be neglected as it dictates how the design will function in the client’s day-to-day life. While these lighting plans might not mean the most to you, it is crucial that your designer has them as it means that they are taking the lighting of the room into careful consideration.


Elevations are a look at a major wall as well as any appliance or piece attached to it. This is a head-on view of a specific, more detailed piece of the floor plan, essentially. Sometimes, there are measurements or it is outfitted with color and pattern to match what has been chosen for the room. Elevations give the designer the chance to share key design features with the client so they can gain an understanding of how that space will both look and operate. 

3D Renderings

3D Renderings are an amazing service that we offer to our clients as part of their renovation, where they can see a gorgeous mock-up of what the space will look like. With these renderings, we can easily share our design concepts and give the client a fairly accurate look at the room. Of course, it will vary a bit from the final product as the renderings lack depth and texture, but overall, they look quite similar. Since the renderings paint such a clear picture of what the room will look like, they are great for feedback. If a client decides they actually don’t like the wallpaper, we can quickly change it as opposed to putting it up and wasting time and money just to change it. 

Furniture Selections

Here at Laliberte, we specialize in custom pieces suited specifically to our client’s needs. In order to get pieces that are both functional and beautiful, we work with a team of curated professionals. For these pieces and any other furniture we utilize for our design, we make models of them. By doing this, we can get a sense of how they will work in the space and also potentially catch any issues that the piece may propose.

Material Board

A material board, also known as a lay flat, is a surface that has all of the room materials laid out on it. It is super useful so the client and designer can notice how the textures and colors play off of each other and how they will work when paired together in the space. While they are quite simple, material boards are a fantastic tool, especially when paired with something like a 3D rendering. The 3D renderings have all of the detail but lack texture, while the material board has a plethora of it, complementing each other and allowing the designer and client to comprehend the full design for the space.

Hopefully, you now feel armed with information and ready to face your home remodel. If you have any questions about other design elements, our design process, or how we can help you create your dream home, be sure to reach out and contact us!

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