May 17, 2017

Physical vs. Digital Samples for your Material Selection

In the early stages of your new build or remodel, several obstacles may present themselves- one being material selection. In the past designers were often limited to the few small sample chips that accompanied a product’s brochure. The internet has brought users endless options to choose from with the touch of a button. Many product websites are equipped with useful tools to help you envision their products in finished spaces. High resolution images, 3-D renderings, and install pictures help bring the products to life.

As a professional designer, having these product tools available to me has expanded my access and ability to quickly select practical options for my clients.

Along with all the advantages to researching options online, there are variables with digital samples that can’t be avoided. Computer monitors and color printers do not show true product color. Below is just one example of color discrepancy within product literature. This image of lap siding shows the variance in color you get from an image printed from the product website, 2 brochures provided by the manufacturer, and a physical sample.

None of these samples match (left), including the professionally printed brochures showing the same image. Another challenge with digital images is the difficulty in determining pattern scale, texture and overall product quality.

Because of these issues, physical samples reign supreme. With a physical sample you can view the product in its intended space, under the actual light source of the space.  Even more helpful than product websites, are the product representatives we work with directly.

The relationships we have developed with product reps allows us access to physical product samples that we are able to share with our clients at no cost. Our reps can provide us with full size samples to determine scale, color & quality. Often times a small mockup of the finishes is needed to determine the final choices. Many of our reps are able to supply us with the needed materials to make this happen.

Acquiring physical samples is one way we are able to help our clients see the vision before commitment and completion. Contact us or view our blogs for more information on interior design services and advice.