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Interior Design Sketches vs. Interior Design Rendering: When to Use?

Interior Design Sketches vs. Interior Design Rendering: When to Use?-01

Interior design sketching and interior design rendering can both be used during the design process. These techniques allow you to finalize design concepts and present projects to customers.

Still, in some cases, interior design rendering is more suitable than interior design sketches and vise versa. Renders are used at the final stages of the project to feature every detail in the room. They are also more helpful in marketing campaigns and promotions. Drawings add a more personal touch to the project.

Learn about other applications of interior design sketches vs. renders in our article.

What is interior design sketching?

Interior design sketching is an ‘old-school’ approach to create images of the future interior with a pen, pencil, watercolors, etc. Designers manually visualize design concepts on paper to understand what they want to create and try different options. Unlike in the case of interior design rendering, they usually don’t use any programs to sketch.

To create an interior design sketch, you will only need a pen, a ruler, and drawing skills. It’s also essential to know how to scale and keep the right proportions.

What is rendering and how to create visualizations?

Interior design rendering is the use of software to create multi-dimensional images of rooms. Specialized programs generate 3D models based on custom settings and characteristics. Although some designers know how to create renders, this task is usually delegated to rendering professionals with narrow expertise.

Learn why 3D rendering is a separate process from architectural design here.

To create a visualization, you will need CAD software. Generally, it takes 4 main steps to generate a 3D model:

  • You collect information about the project (plans, drawings, dimensions, materials, etc.).
  • You create a white model using rendering software.
  • You add colors, textures, and materials.
  • You finalize the project and generate a 3D model.

    Interior Design Sketch vs. Interior Design Rendering: Use Cases

    If you are a designer, property owner, or businessman who wants to understand what is better, photorealistic renderings or hand renderings, you should know that the choice varies case-by-case. You can combine both drawing techniques at different stages of a project or do with one of them.

    Opt for interior design sketching if you:

  • Want to shape design concepts into correct forms and proportions. If you have some ideas but still aren’t sure if they make sense, drawings are a great way to see that. Create sketches to see if the color palette, proportions, furniture, materials, and other details match.
  • Prefer a more human approach. Manual drawings look more casual than 3D models and may be more suitable for customers that prefer simplicity. Many customers like to see hand drawings of their projects.
  • Want to make your project easier to perceive. Computer renderings may provide too much information too soon. If you want to share the main ideas without going too deep, create interior design sketches first.
  • Have no time to generate 3D renders. Visualizations take at least several days to generate. Thus, if a customer asks you to present the project as soon as possible, you should use sketches. Later on, you will be able to create additional 3D renders to show every detail of the room.
  • Need to finalize your ideas. Since sketches are easy to create, you can edit them as much as you need. You can also create different versions of the same room to choose the best one.
  • Want to be better prepared for rendering. Many design practitioners draw sketches as a draft project. When they are ready with all the details and dimensions, they engage a rendering agency to generate 3D visualizations.

    Opt for interior design rendering if you:

  • Have a project you want to visualize. Renderings are essential in your portfolio and help to convince potential customers to use your services. Thus, if you have previous projects that haven’t been visualized, professional rendering is a must-have.
  • Expect a more professional-looking image. 3D visualizations have all the details of a project and require the use of specialized software. Thus, they are often considered more professional than manual drawings.
  • Work for customers that want visualizations. Even though manual drawings have a unique look, most customers want polished 3D images in the end. Make sure to consider the preferences of your customers in every project.
  • Create a project that requires visualization for marketing purposes. Visualizations can help to sell a property, attract more people to a restaurant or pub, bring visitors to a hotel, and more. If you are working on a commercial project, always choose 3D visualizations instead of sketches.

    Overall, interior design sketching and rendering are not mutually exclusive. We recommend using drawings when you start working on the project and need to create concepts. As soon as the concept is approved, you should continue with renderings. These can be two stages of the same interior design process.
    Need help with 3D rendering? Contact us to discuss your project.