Interior Design Tools and Resources for the Interior Designer

I’ve been asked many times what design tools and resources I use in my daily job, what tools I use and what books I read.  Below is a list of the most common items that I use.  The books are ones that I started off with and still reference – more so than the ‘home decor’ coffee table books that come onto the market every week.  I will add to this list as I go along as I know it’s a useful list for many of you starting out. If you would like me to look at other items – please email me and I’ll look into them.  Happy designing!

Roland R-05 Mobile Audio Recorder

Not strictly one of my normal design tools, this item has been spoken about and reviewed countless times over the past couple of years. A great little item, the Roland Mobile Audio Recorder, allows you to record your voice (and a guests for that matter), rather like one of those old dicta machines.

Well worth a look, I use it for my podcasts and to record first hand information when I am out and about..

It comes with an instruction manual and various leads and attachments..

interior design resources

A truly great piece of equipment. This is the microphone that I use to record my videos and my podcasts.

The Audio Technica 2100 comes with a mini tripod and the USB cable to attach it to your computer.

The thing about this microphone is that it’s known for it its quality. Many podcasters start out using this and never stop. I started using this for my videos because I didn’t want to invest in another microphone straight away. I would highly recommend this for anyone that is looking for a dual purpose microphone with great quality.

This Hama Star 63 tripod is a little one that is very inexpensive but does the job if you are after something light, practical but not professional.

It looks and is small and can fit into a rucksack for travel. But the legs are extendable so you can either place the tripod on the table or the floor.

It’s easily adjustable in height and leveling – in fact it even has a mini spirit level built in – so you can see if it’s level.

interior design tools

The C930 Logitech Go Pro Webcam has recently been updated so this is the older version. Many professional users have stayed with this webcam despite the upgrade.

I’ve put this under the design tools umbrella as you’ll be designing the look of you with this item.  With its neat ‘’attach to the top of your monitor” design and clear lens, this trumps your computer’s camera easily.

You plug the cable into a USB port on your computer and you’re good to go. Easily saveable to your desktop film/video editor of choice, this is what I use to film my you tube video and ad campaigns.

interior design tools

A Clip on Microphone that the professionals use.

This microphone is a must if you’re going to do video and you want to move about, be more animated and have a clearer voice. Simply plug the Rode Lavalier Microphone in and clip this onto your top half (in or out of sight, you can do both) and the Rode Lav will pick your voice up without overhead mics or having to hold anything.

podcasting tools

Audacity is an audio recording and editing piece of software. Download to your desktop and record away.  Used extensively by those on PCs, rather than Macs.  

It looks a little confusing to start off with but you don’t have to know what every tab and menu means. There’s support documentation and videos online to get you started.  Best of all – it’s free! Try Audacity here...

interior design tools

The Pur Steam Fabric Steamer is something you’ll need onsite when you’re hanging curtains and blinds.Fabrics get creased during transportation and you’ll often need to steam the creases out of them after they’re hung.

This one is smart, light and comes in it’s own carrying bag; this will also be a useful alternative to an iron at home! A truly handy design tool.

It gets the steam going in just 60 seconds so is great when you don’t have the time because the client is watching you. 

design tools

The Stanley 8 metre measuring tape. One of my most important design tools.  This is worth getting in this large size as often you’ll need to measure large spaces and large rugs.  

A 5 metre tape hasn’t been enough for me in the past. But any tape is a must-have design tool.

The tape is very robust and stays straight when you need it to.

This travels with me daily and sometimes acts as a long pointing stick when I am surveying properties with builders!

design tools

The Stanley Moisture Meter is a useful item to have when you suspect damp is present and you want confirmation.

There are plenty on the market but this one wears well and isn’t fussy.  You hold/stick the two pins into the wall and it reads the level of damp in wood and masonary on the LCD screen.

Very handy before you get plumbers out to look at leaks. You can monitor a wall over time yourself, without the use of a professional.

design tools

Room Colour is my own book that my clients have asked me to produce for many years. It covers how to choose wall, woodwork and ceiling paint as well as tackling feature walls, proportion, accent colour and daylight effects on paint colours.

There are also over 70 colour palettes to choose from that you can lift from the book, straight into your home and additional worksheets that contain all the work done for you. A quintessential part of anyone’s design tools because colour is paramount to design. Enjoy!

design tools

One of the better organisational tools.  I use Slack to communicate with my team. Think of it as a messenger service that allows you to attach documents and keeps all your projects organised.  Get the app on your smart phone and tablet too – just to be even more up to date!

It’s FREE for a basic account which so far, is all that I need.

design tools

Evernote is used by many people, both business and otherwise.  It is one of the original apps or software that was created to organise and keep our daily thoughts and to do lists.

I don’t use its full capacity as yet but I have various ‘notebooks’ that I add to; whether these be products, YouTube and blog ideas or simply books that I want to read someday.  This is a FREE app providing you keep to the ‘Basic’ package.

design tools
Hootsuite is where I organise all my social shares and media. There are various levels to go for, depending on your need and use.

Start with a FREE trial and see what works for you.

design tools
This is great idea from Designer Paint. No more running about or going online to every popular paint brand that there is to get colour cards. Get them all in one go and sent directly to you home – where you’ll use them!

These cover all the main colour houses of Little Greene, Farrow & Ball, Albany, Sanderson and many more.  I used these paint houses for the palettes in my book Room Colour.

These are probably my most used design tools overall.

design tools

Paint Samples – ready painted – Farrow & Ball ONLY

Now, if you do want monile paint samples as opposed to those painted on the walls, I would suggest you look at

  • Delivered in protective plastic pouches so you can easily file them away for future reference and re-use them time after time.
  • Easy to carry with you when shopping for co-ordinating fabrics and furniture.
  • Ideal for cutting up to create mood boards
  • Perfect for writing on the back so you never forget where in your house you have used that colour paint
  • Far more environmentally friendly than tester pots
  • Less time consuming than tester posts and far less messy

I used Farrow & Ball paints for some of the palettes in my book Room Colour. Take a look if you want some cards already painted up for you!

design tools

Siteground is my new web hosting account.  So far, so great! It has the easiest and quickest ‘email set up’ instructions I’ve ever used.

You normally get 6 months of service free when you join up so be sure that you only buy this when you are READY to set up your website. Otherwise service is payable.  The good news is, there is an online forum that you can post in, to get any answers that you may need. So far this has been helpful and I haven’t needed to pay for anything else. They have many support documents to get you going and the set up panel is laid out clearly.

design tools

123.Reg is one of a long line of places that I have tried for buying domain names.  I use this as it’s quick, easy and is clearly laid out. Simply put in what domain names you want and it will tell you what’s available and how much they are. Better still, you’re not bombarded with ads when you access the site.

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these products, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the tiny commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.  These products continue to work for me; I know they can work for you.