• Nikole Starr

Interior Design Game Changer - 3D Renderings

Kitchen Remodel 3D rendering

You Guys. I am so excited to introduce to you my new favorite way to express and show my design ideas #photolisticrenderings. Since this new remodel I was hired to design required extensive relocating of major appliances, I felt getting renderings were necessary. I've only used this tool for one project so far and can already tell it will be a complete game changer moving forward.

I'm not sure why I held off on hiring out a rendering artist for so long. I've seen other designers post photos of their completed design renderings for awhile now - just seemed too complicated and impossible to provide enough information via email to someone remotely located and get a correctly scaled finished product. Boy was I wrong!

You can see the cooktop is located in the island - which client dislikes.
Current Kitchen Layout

As you can see, the kitchen for this project is dated. The island, while big, has many crazy angles and since there is no counter overhang, it is not comfortable to sit at with a counter stool. Many changes need to be made.

Kitchen and Living Room Area

Further - this home was built in the 80's and while there are some really beautiful features, there are quite a bit of design challenges we plan to fix. Such as this pony wall and drop down living room. The drop down living room makes for an awkward layout and minimal furniture. Client requested a super large comfy sectional and large island to replace the need for a breakfast table. My work is cut out for me!

The first thing we decided to do is infill the sunken living room so that it is all one level and we can fit a big comfy sectional in there.

Check out that painted river rock stone detail. Yikes. Also - that door that leads to a pool bath will now be closed off and accessed from backyard.

Proposed new Floor Plan

By removing the sunken living room we were able to meet the homeowners request to have a big ole comfy sectional in the living room. The console table behind the sofa is the perfect piece to divide the spaces and allow for a spot to drop your keys or mail when entering from the driveway door.

Renovated Living Room Proposal.

Ahh doesn't that feel so much better? I just love how cozy the large sectional feels and the new fireplace stone brings a nice warmth to the space. Did I mention this home is located on Sweetwater Country Club's golf course? The views are spectacular!

Good kitchen layout - But not perfect.

Now this is when I jumped on the struggle bus - The kitchen layout. As any good designer does - the client's requests come first when planning a space. The requests here were maximum cabinet space, keep the windows to the driveway (which in this layout I only kept the side windows) and last request was the sink in the island.

I was able to gain cabinet and counter space by removing oven/microwave combo wall for a wolf range instead. I thought having the range in the corner was most functional and a good focal spot. Well in theory this was a great layout on plan.

However, like my college professor once told me:

"Just because it looks good on plan, doesn't mean it will work in elevation."

He was right. I disliked in this layout how much natural light I eliminated and it feels like the sink being in front of the fridge will cause congestions problems. So next layout:

Option 2 kitchen Layout. Center Range on wall where fridge is now.

At first I thought this was it! Nice balance of the kitchen, nice work flow, great natural light pouring in.

Option 2 layout from living room

However when looking at the kitchen from the living room - The big giant fridge takes center stage. Not the look I'm going for. So back to the drawing board once more.


Ta-Da! Finally arrived at a solution everyone is happy with. Minor tweaks will be made - different backsplash, different style vent hood - but the important part which is the overall layout is now finalized.

I would have eventually arrived at this layout - however thanks to 3D computer modeling, I was able to arrive at this solution much more quickly.

So what is the process to get to these realistic renderings of a space? Glad you asked! It's much easier than I anticipated. First, I give the rendering artist a floor-plan of the space. Thankfully she was able to decipher my janky hand drawn plan for the formal living. Next, I provide her with links or images of what I plan to use in the space as well as photos of the room itself like this one below.

Current Room Photo

I honestly don't know how she keeps up with my rapid fire way of giving her so much information at one time - but she does! Next I get a preliminary design where I can make changes before the real rendering is made - as that part takes the longest.

Preliminary View

The preliminary views are helpful because this is when we can make adjustments before the final rendering is made. For example I told her to add doors to the bottom of TV built in, hang the mirror, shrink the florals, Add a sink and shelves to the wet bar, accessories to the table etc.

Fully Rendered Formal Living

To say I was thrilled when I got the final renderings back from this room was an understatement. I was jumping for joy! There is really no question of how a completed design will look when explaining my choices to my client. This is such a valuable tool.

I won't use renderings for every project, although I'd love to! There is an expense tied to these renderings that not every project calls for. However, when it comes to remodels for kitchens - I feel strongly that they are necessary. Would you agree?

Thanks so much for stopping by guys!

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