The Value of a Mockup

ID Collaborative blog post

As designers, we dream big. We will gladly perform a task of any size that you give us, but we relish the opportunity to give a space a fresh new look. After coming up with a conceptual design and receiving initial client approval, we begin to research our concepts further. The majority of this research is done through conversations with industry partners or internet research, but sometimes a mockup is the best way to make sure our designs will deliver the big results we’re aiming for.

Typically, a mockup is most valuable for large-scale projects. This is due to the fact that the cost of the mockup is minimal in comparison to the cost of the entire order or cost of labor. If you’re ordering 285 sconces to install along the corridors of a large facility, ordering a handful to install and review for light distribution and brightness is a small drop in the bucket compared to the overall expense. If you’re switching to a new bathroom layout or size for all of your apartments, mocking up one bathroom for review can save time, labor costs, and possibly money lost if you were to switch fixtures or change the layout at a later time.

Recently, we coordinated a mockup for one of our wonderful senior living clients, River Landing at Sandy Ridge. IDC renovated their Independent living buildings on campus, and one of the areas within this renovation with a repetitive design concept was the resident room corridors. Each of the 4 Independent Living buildings has 4 floors of resident rooms. When doing an initial walk-through of the facility, we noticed that these areas have inconsistent levels of lighting. So, we proposed adding sconces at each resident room door to hopefully even out light levels, and to change out the pendant fixtures. In addition to selecting new light fixtures, we selected LED bulbs with a warmer glow (similar to what you’d have in your home). Lastly, new carpet was installed, the walls were re-painted, and new artwork was hung.

At the beginning of the mockup, we picked a section at the end of a resident corridor to re-paint with our new paint colors. Then, we coordinated an electrician to install a handful of the specified sconces and ceiling fixtures in the section that was painted.

Upon completion of the labor, we scheduled a meeting with the client and their resident advisory committee to review the finishes in the field. We brought carpet samples with us to place on the floor in the mockup area to give an idea of the finished design. Overall we received approval, but did have to tweak one thing – the pendant fixture. A staff person and a committee member both commented that the pendant fixture could easily be bent when hit with a ladder carried by a tradesperson, or bedposts as someone is moving in. So, we ended up having a custom acrylic shade made to look like our linen shade, but it’s dent-proof! Their insightful comments at this stage in the project allowed us to avoid this potential problem on 4 floors in 4 buildings, resulting in a potentially sizable cost savings.

At IDC, we strive to give you the best design possible, completing our “due diligence” along the way. This research can be conducted in many ways, but no matter how we go about it we believe that input from the end-user is crucial. We believe in working as a team – amongst consultants, manufacturers, customers, and end-users. We can’t wait to team with you on your next project!

Before Photos:

Mockup Photos:

Finished Product Photos: