Mohammad Abu Seer, cofounder and managing director of Lamar Interiors, shares his three-point checklist for novices aiming to execute interior design concepts

With the abundance of innovative ideas presently available for interior design, one has to ensure they are opting for an experienced fit-out company that will help bring their concept to life. Interiors contracting can vary from a basic fit-out job for a smaller space involving decorative painting, to major decoration and civil work for a building that involves the wall, floor and ceiling finishing.

Do employ environmentally friendly building materials. Some products can be toxic to humans, making this an important factor to consider when designing a space. Don’t fall into the trap of using poor-quality products, especially when laying your foundations or for features that aren’t in immediate view. For example, a client may offset the expense of buying fancy tiles by purchasing a cheap but ineffective glue, which could lead to problems over time. We encourage our customers to stick to reputable suppliers for a durable result and lower maintenance costs in the long run.

Discuss and prepare a budget for your project in collaboration with your interior designer and fit-out contractor before they begin the work. Try not to exceed the budget and always have a contingency plan. We’ve observed that most people start their project with a certain figure in mind and without a professionally prepared budget. This has led to unforeseen additional costs arising during the project.
While you shouldn’t comprise on quality, bear in mind that the most expensive materials aren’t always the most appropriate for your needs. Consider the pros and cons by consulting a licensed contractor to establish a balance between quality and price, a practice we call ‘value engineering’.

Image and branding
Ensure the design concept you are creating reflects the message you’d like to deliver to stakeholders, not just the employment of innovative techniques. For example, for our client Kitchen Nation, which offers business support to F&B entrepreneurs, we created an industrial environment for the incubator concept to represent the idea of a factory producing food. Don’t overdo the design of a space – remember that less is more. There’s many a case in which it’s obvious that a lot of money was spent but the result just wasn’t up to scratch.

Lamar Interiors is a design practice consultancy specialising in the core disciplines of contracting, fit-out, project management and interior design. It has operated in the UAE and Jordan for 13 years