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Success Stories : Sample Board Online – Eco Friendly Design Tool

An example sample board created at Sample Board Online
An sample board created at Sample Board Online

Creativity Success Story

Sample Board Online

Eco-Friendly Free Design Tool

By Rosena MacFadzean

It is amazing what we discover by accident. During 2009, I spent a number of months writing tutorials on Interior Design and Decorating. It was important to aim for and provide the students who would read the tutorials with as much information about how to carry out research as well as give them the results of my research. What a wonderful thing the Web is. In the 1980's when I worked as a young interior designer there was many days spent in the car. In Queensland this was a hot and sticky activity for the designer.

Before the days of the wonderful World Wide Web designers had to personally visit:

  • Wholesalers
  • Manufacturers
  • Agents
  • Importers
  • Workrooms
  • Suppliers

There were also the after-hour product launch parties. Although enjoyable it could be time consuming and tiring. This type of networking is still a pleasant way to view new products. Interior designers now also have the advantage of the wonderful world of the Web to help them with product selections. However the challenge facing designers is the number of products available and the cost of and time spent creating sample boards. The search for quality interior design products can still be time consuming.

During my research for the tutorials, I found some wonderful websites for my students to visit and hopefully enhance their studies. One of the most significant websites I discovered was Sample Board Online. I was so excited about this site I have joined forces with Ros in South Africa to promote and build the site in Australia.

Sample or presentation boards, as they are sometimes called, are created by designers, decorators and architects to present their design ideas to the client. Boards created in the traditional way are created by placing samples of the products to be used on large boards. Creating boards in this manner is time consuming, costly and not very eco friendly. It also involves all those visits to suppliers to collect the samples of the products to be used.

Sample Boards usually contain samples of (to name a few):

  • Flooring (carpet, tiles…)
  • Images of furniture selections
  • Curtain fabrics
  • Upholstery fabrics
  • Wallpaper
  • Laminates
  • Accessories (lamps, cushions, etc.)
  • Paint colors
  • Window treatments

When writing the tutorial on Design Presentations I recommend and show my students how to create presentation boards electronically.

It was at this time I discovered the wonderfully thought out, well designed and developed web site Sample Board Online. The range of quality interior design products on the SBO library is constantly being added to and updated. It is an easy to use, fun and quick way to source products and create professional looking boards of design ideas.

Sample Board Online is:

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Quick
  • Looks professional
  • Fun to create
  • Eco-friendly

Sample Board Online can also be used by students and the DIY interior designers. Anyone can go to the website and register for free.

A board can be created by:

  • Firstly selecting a category (for example, table lamps)
  • A number of thumbnail images of lamps will appear
  • Click on one of the images
  • Drag it onto the blank canvas to the left
  • To obtain information about the lamp double click on the image
  • Product specifications will then appear
  • To remove the lamp from the canvas go to the remove icon below the canvas

You can create your board by selecting all the products in this way. When you are happy with your creation you can save it as a PDF file. This will then be added to your 'My Profile'. To create another sample board you can then go to New Board. Another wonderful feature of SBO when the PDF file is created pages with the products image and details are also saved creating a specification sheet. Professional designers can then send their electronically created sample boards to the client via email. How easy is that? It is a fun site where the user can play around with ideas and use their creativity. •

© 2009 Rosena MacFadzean. All rights reserved.

Rosena MacFadzeanRosena is an interior design consultant, tutor and new Australian partner of Sample Board Online. Rosena studied interior design at the Queensland College of Art. She has also conducted a number of interior decorating workshops and created interior decorating guides. Rosena loves to mentor and teach others about the wonderful world of design.