Saturday, 22 August 2009

ID Lingo- Part 1

florence mini chandelier with 4 lights quoizel

Florence Mini Chandelier (lumminaire) with 4 lights (lamps)

I asked my assistant to buy lamps the other day…when she called me from Ethan Allan, she asked what style…hummm….I’ve done this before…you say tomato and I say tomato…that was my fault.

What I meant was, what most people refer to as bulbs…I needed the A19 soft white type.

So, I realize many of us are Interior Designers, but I though I would break down a little of the lingo for those who don’t speak ID.

While we are on lighting…the correct term for a decorative system of lighting is lumminaire…not lamp. Of course, chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps can all be specified under those terms, but the broader term for all of them is lumminaire.

If you want to sound like an Interior Designer, use sofa, not couch.

Concrete is the correct term for the wet mix, cement is the powder. There is nothing worse than being the only woman on site, using words like cement. I learned that one the hard way.

Know your nominal sizes for lumber…a 2x4 is 1.5 x 3.5” Also, ask if you don’t know…”is this lumber nominal?” This is super important- especially for millwork! Use the term lumber…not wood.

The proper term for all cabinetry attached to the walls is architectural woodwork, but most use the term millwork. Anything not permanently attached is called furniture.

The finished end panel of a cabinet is called a gable…also if you know your standard dimensions for appliances, counter height and depths of standard upper and lower cabinets, this can help make quick decisions, and make you look good on the job site. While we are on this topic…learn how to use a tape measure properly…it seams easy enough, but that burly contractor will let you know that you are not doing it right!!

Fabric is the preferred term…not material…material(s) is a broader term, we don’t want confused with another spec item.

I found earlier in my career, that if you learn a few BM paint colour names, and you throw them around, a client has confidence in you…it’s weird…I could move a wall 4 inches more than they intended, or mount the vanity mirrors too high, but they are often stuck on a paint colour from the very beginning. Know what you are talking about, but use those colour names…even know it may be the last specification…it’s closer to what they know.


Lisa Porter said...

Oh my God i'm printing this out and scotch taping it to the front of my screen! I always feel so much smarter after a visit with you. Thanks for filling many of us in on the lingo.

qerat said...

You are absolutely right Michelle. Every designer should get the lingo right.


Great post! Michelle,

This is the kind of things we learn and we never realize how important they are in our industry. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Darrell Morrison said...

I am definitely no designer but work in the trades industry as an artisan, its fantastic to learn these new terms. where can I learn more? Great post BTW

Beaman the Interiors Chap said...

I think authority or at least an image of authority is very important when it comes to Interior Design and client meetings. As you say, by throwing in a few choice words, your image as a professional who knows their stuff increases.

Great words and their uses. I always say sofa. ;-)

Danica said...

Thanks for the tips! This will be invaluable information.

Renae Moore said...

I like this Michelle....I'm with Lisa...I need to print this out. At least I got a few right...need to add lumminaire to my vocabulary! heehee

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Thanks for the lingo lesson Michelle. You may help some of us avoid embarassing moments.

Took me a while to get back to you, but the family in Ucluelet are the Shores. My aunt and cousins moved there many years ago and I have lost touch, but I think they are still there.

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Great post. And oh so true. Many of those I learned the hard way. :)