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Demystifying the Decorative Finishes Mockup: What It Is & Why It’s Important

A mockup is a foreshadowing of the final project, a glimpse of what is to come.

When embarking on a restoration project in a traditional, historic building, or designing a more traditional interior for a newer building, a mockup offers a visual and insight on the trajectory of the project. For fundraising, mockups act as a critical design step for raising money for the project.

Depending upon the design medium, a mockup can take a number of forms. It can be a portable three-dimensional model, such as the capital of a pillar, a sculptural form of the proposed mouldings or an example of wood finishes. Often in our work, the mockup involves the proposed decorative painting and design for the interior of a church be it old or new.

The Importance of Design Mockups

Mockups provide an important roadmap for budgets and for fundraising. Not only do they provide a notion of the cost of the final paint design, they provide a window into the final product.

The mockup is a visual conversation between the designer and the client, in churches between the designer, the client and the parishioners. Time and again we have witnessed a mockup inspire donations to beautification projects. Once the congregation visually understands the possibilities for what the church could be, the money is as good as raised. People want to be part of beauty, they just need a little inspiration.

A mockup represents a unified vision and creates curiosity and anticipation among the church community. Watching a mockup being painted on site demystifies the process of restoration allowing the parish to understand the creative process in action. It also helps proves that though scaffolding and painting are ongoing, there is minimal disruption to the activities of the congregation; in fact, the project is rather exciting as opposed to upsetting.

The Opportunity for Input

A mockup also provides the opportunity for the proposed colors and design to be considered in the actual setting, rather than as a small sample seen out of context. In churches especially, it is important to understand the impact the design will have on the other decorative and architectural elements of the building. Stained glass, stone, ambient light, light from fixtures, and even nearby metal and wood finishes can affect how the eye sees the painted design. The mockup may suggest an adjustment of design or color palette choices. Mockups can inform the selection and design of choices in new flooring, metal finishes, wood finishes, furniture, lighting, and even vestments.

A painted mockup is often based on a paint study of the historic decorative design in a building or on a new design chosen by the design team. A painted or digitally designed rendering determines the design of the mockup on a smaller scale. The mockup is the foundation of the final design, predicting the finished work.

A Critical Piece of the Process

While it may be tempting to rush through the mockup process so that “actual work” can begin, a mockup leads to even better design ideas and an increase in funding for the project. Visualizing the design ahead of time makes it easier to finalize the plan and makes for a smoother final result.

October 15, 2019

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