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DESIGNER INTERVIEW | SARAH DURNEZ | Using Sketchup as an Interior Designer

SketchUp at its core is very user intuitive with a simplistic interface that makes it very attractive for designers of all skill levels to use.

– Sarah Durnez

We are going to continue our series of designer interviews with Sarah Durnez! Sarah is a dear friend and has mentored me for almost two years. She is one the people that I can talk to when I have a struggle with business or need a second pair of eyes. It’s important for designers or designers offering services to others to network with others, and cultivate relationships with people that have gone before you that you can learn from.

Sarah has taken time out of her busy schedule of designing luxury homes and rendering for other designers to answer some insightful questions for us about the importance of Sketchup as an interior designer.

Sketchup Interface

Let’s Get Started!

Hey Sarah, Thank you so much for letting me interview you. You are certainly one of my dear friends and mentors, but for those that don’t know you please tell us about some of the fabulous work that you do? 

Thank you, Lauren, I’ve been working in a remote design capacity for over 10 years.  Primarily focusing on consulting for interior designers, while providing them with detailed accurate renderings. Most recently, I have been providing luxury design and visualization to homeowners all on a remote basis.  

When did you start using Sketchup?

I started using SketchUp back when it was still owned by the founders of @last Software in the early 2000’s.  At that time it was a program you had to purchase on disk and install on your computer.  It was so new, my college didn’t even have a course for it yet.  

What are your thoughts about the importance of designers or future designers learning to utilize Sketchup in their workflow? Would you consider it an essential skill? 

SketchUp at its core is very user intuitive with a simplistic interface that makes it very attractive for designers of all skill levels to use.  It’s approachable from a user-friendly aspect as it is from an investment aspect. This makes it a great tool for designers to work into their workflows, even if it is just for the preliminary or conceptual design of projects.  I would say some level of knowledge of SketchUp would be considered an essential skill.  SketchUp files can be integrated into so many other platforms and file types, that it has become a common denominator for a lot of other BIM softwares. 

What is your favorite Sketchup Youtube Channel? 

I’m laughing right now because I’m sure we have the same one.  The SketchUp Essentials is usually my go-to.  Justin, who runs the channel is on top of all things SketchUp, among every other program.  Whenever there is a new release or feature I always check out his page to get the deets on everything.  He does a great job of going over functions as well as other possible uses for everything.

What is one of your favorite tools or plugins to use within SketchUp? 

Fredo Tools is my fav.  The Thru Paint tool is a saving grace for applying materials on curved surfaces.  Correctly mapping materials is instrumental for a good rendering, and correctly conveying design intent. 

I know you have modeled so many pieces, what is the name of one of your favorites? 

One of the most memorable pieces would be the Soleil Cocktail Table.  The form is so simple, but it did require some troubleshooting of innate SketchUp tools.  I learned a lot about creating just that one model.  

Do you have a public page on 3dwarehouse? 

I sure do, you can find me at Sarah.D on the 3DWarehouse.  I’ve uploaded some of my models and have curated some collections of my favorite models from other contributors.

What is the funniest file name you have given a Sketchup file? 

This one might get me in trouble, but if I’m working through a bug or glitch with a file and have to save it multiple times, at this point I’m usually pretty frustrated and will give it a profanity to make me feel better.  Yes, it’s petty, but at the moment it feels good lol.

Lastly, what role do you believe tools like SketchUp will play in moving towards virtual reality (metaverse, Web 3.0, and going into 4.0)? 

At this time SketchUp isn’t the primary file type for most metaverse platforms, but for anyone willing to figure it out, it’s still a good option for getting content on a platform. I have already seen plugins to convert and export other metaverse-friendly file types.  SketchUp has been at the forefront of VR, so I would imagine it won’t be long before they have a release that will make it easier for metaverse content creators to migrate files onto various platforms.  

Edward Counter Stool 3D Model by Lauren Ashley Design LLC

I am so appreciative of Sarah for taking the time to answer all my questions. Please follow her on all her socials below and check out her fabulous website!

Sarah Durnez | loft design

loft design

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