Mandil Inc. Breathes Life Into Designs Through Hand-Drawn Sketches

AI won’t be taking interior designers’ jobs anytime soon as industry pros like Sean Hughes emphasize the beauty and life that hand sketching brings to a project.

In an era teeming with technological advances, the world of interior design continues to value the time-honored artistry of hand-drawn sketches. For Sean Hughes, a seasoned senior interior designer at Mandil Inc. in Denver, sketches serve as agile tools to vividly convey concepts to clients. “You can be in a meeting with a client and quickly draft a sketch, easily erase things, and bring beauty and soul to the project,” says Hughes. Whether it’s a mantel design or a kitchen island, the immediacy of hand sketches accelerates the process of fleshing out project interiors while elevating it beyond a mere blueprint. The drawings imbue the initial project stages with a holistic, human essence, fostering a fluid and organic decision-making process between designers and their clients.

Hughes and his team begin most projects with hand sketches. “It is a great way to show perspective in a room,” Hughes explains. “For example, if you are designing your kitchen based on a floor plan, you may forget to take the view from the kitchen into account and hang lighting that obstructs your outlook. A sketch that shows the beautiful mountains outside will not have that same compartmentalized problem.”

This is not to say that Hughes and his firm shun innovative technologies. They transition from the preliminary sketches to digital designs using technology like CAD and Revit to refine project details. These tools facilitate virtual walkthroughs and precise measurements. Additionally, permits usually require computer-generated images rather than hand sketches. But, Hughes says, “Without taking the time to first put pencil to paper and think about the project creatively, designers miss a level of detail that is essential for creating vibrant spaces people love to live in.”

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