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Glossary of Design Terms

Colorway - A color or arrangement of colors.  For example, a particular printed fabric may be sold in two color combinations...the first is blue and green, the second is orange and red.  Each of these combinations is called a colorway.  

Concept Board - A visual tool used to convey all of the actual elements to be used in a design including colors, materials, furnishings and decor.  The board is composed in such a way that the room can be visualized as it will be laid out.  (Different from a mood board)

Consultation - A meeting with a Designer to discuss particular design issues and gain advice or a professional opinion.  

Design Agreement - A contract between the Designer and a client that outlines all of the requirements of both parties and the terms of the work to be completed.  

Drape (Fabric) - Refers to the stiffness of a fabric and how it hangs under its own weight or flows when moved.  Fabrics with a high drape will fold easily and move more gracefully.  Fabrics with a low drape will be stiffer and hold their shape better.  Drape may be related to the Weight of a fabric this but is not always the case. 


Eclectic Interior - An interior that is produced using a wide variety of design periods or styles.  


eDesign - Interior Design completed through a virtual process using one or more modalities (internet, email, virtual calls, phone calls etc.).  This allows a Designer to work with clients that may not be in their own geographic area. 

Floorplan - A plan of the placement of furnishings and decor in the room.  It is drawn as if you are looking down on the room from directly above.  A floorplan is a useful tool in space planning to determine the flow of a room, where to place items in the room and the ideal scale and dimensions of those items.  


Hand (Fabric) - Refers to the feel of a fabric against the skin.  Adjectives like soft, smooth, crisp, cool and heavy can be used to describe the hand.  For example, one would say, "This velvet has a soft hand."  


Mood Board  - A visual tool used to convey a general tone or mood of a room.  This can include colors, patterns, textures or inspirational images that evoke the feeling the room is meant to elicit.  It does not include all of the actual elements to be used in a design but may include some of them. (Different from a concept board)

Negative Space - The space left around furnishings and decor (or the "blank" spaces).  In a floorplan this allows navigation around the room between furnishings.  It can also be used to visually highlight certain aspects of the design or allow the eye to "rest" as it travels around a room.  


Photorealistic Rendering - This is a rendering that is hyperrealistic in its detail to the point that it resembles a photograph. 


Rendering - In the world of Interior Design, this is a realistic image of a space using a 3D model.  Traditionally these were drawn by hand, but computer generated renderings are quickly becoming the standard. These are more easily saved, shared and viewed by both designer and client and are a great tool in eDesign.

Scale - An understanding of how the size of one object in a space relates to the size of the other objects in the space.  

Staging - The act of preparing a home for sale, in a way that makes the home attractive to potential buyers.


Timeless Interior - An interior design that can't be dated because they don't cling to a single era, trend or look.


Weight (Fabric) - A result of the type of fiber used in a fabric, how it was woven, and its finish.  It is not a measure of the thickness of fabric.  There are some thin materials, like a tightly woven linen, that will weigh much more than a thicker material, like fleece, which is bulky but light. Weight is measured in ounces/square yard or grams/square meter.  

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