So, some people think that working with a Designer is only for the rich and famous. My own Mother really had no clue it was that I do. She, along with many other people assumed I chose paint colors and pretty fabrics all day.(To learn how I can help you, check out my bog post: 8 ways a designer can help you) Not only do a lot of people not know what an Interior Design Consultant does all day, but they also have no clue what to expect when they make the leap and hire a designer. In a nut shell, this is what you can expect:
The first date- The initial consultation
If you are considering working with a decorator or designer, finding the right one is imperative. Your home is a personal space, and you want to feel comfortable with the person that will be helping you through the building or renovation process. Above all, you should be looking for someone that listens to you. Ask family and friends if they have a designer they can recommend and do some research on local designers through websites such as Houzz. Once you feel you may have found the right fit, it’s time to schedule the initial consultation. Evaluate a designer during a getting-to-know-you interview. During this first meeting, the designer should analyze the client’s needs and goals. It should be time spent thinking about the ‘vision’ of the project. This meeting should also be a brainstorming session where ideas are exchanged and creativity is nurtured. Building a home is a personal process, so don’t be afraid to share how your family lives. It’s important that there’s a comfortable and open dialogue so good ideas can grow into great ideas! If after the first meeting you don’t feel like the designer will be able to help you achieve your dream space, perhaps explore finding someone else to work with.made comments and more.
What we need from you… your homework
The design process is a team effort, and in order to create the space of your dreams you need to do a bit of homework. It’s always beneficial to start doing some research sooner than later.
Start saving images of spaces you love, tear pages out of magazines, and start touring showrooms and suppliers to see what’s out there, and available to you. Collect fabric and paint swatches. Visual examples are a great way to communicate with your designer the overall look and feel that you that you are after. When considering a photo to share, keep in mind that you do not have to love every element of the space in the photo. It could just be a small detail or two, such as a light or paint color.
Prior to the Initial Consultation, I always ask clients to come up with a wishlist. A written description of likes and dislikes, needs and wants. This helps prioritize features in the design. The more thorough you can be in the early stages, the less time will be spent in fact-gathering and planning, which means your project will move along faster!
Once you have decided to move forward with the designer of your choice, a site measure is required.
The designer will need to take measurements of your existing space to have a starting point in the drawings. When coming up with a new floorplan layout, the existing dimensions will allow the designer to provide accurate, to-scale drawings. Wall lengths, window and door openings, ceiling heights, bulkheads and any details to consider will be measured.
The design drawings
Once the site measure is complete, the drafting process can begin. Every designer will have a different procedure, but generally speaking this is what you can expect in your drawing package. The first page will include your existing floor plan. We always include this to communicate with contractors what they will be dealing with prior to construction. The preliminary plans may be a couple of layout options, that don’t generally include a ton of information or dimensions. The preliminary designs are intended to get the conversation going, and the final design may be a combination of several preliminary floorplan options.
Once the floor plan has been established, the elevations are next. Elevations are drawings that showcase what each wall will look like as if you were standing infront of it. Elevations are especially useful in kitchen design or custom design details, as they indicate heights of different elements, such as drawers.
Some other components of the drawing package may be an electrical and switching plan to locate lighting and switches, a flooring plan to indicate flooring transitions and, a painting and material schedule to clarify where each color and material will be used.
Investing in drawings is one of the best things you can do for you project to give it the greatest chance to be executed smoothly. With scaled drawings, you are able to get accurate quotes of materials because the desired end result is conveyed. The drawings are like a road map that help you get from point A to point B.
Once the best floor plan has been finalized, the fun part can begin! All of the materials can be sourced and specified to make your dream space a reality!
Not all designers act as a project manager, but if you are looking for help to execute the project, and for a liaison between you and the contractor, be sure to ask your potential designer if this is a service they offer! The headaches this service will save you will be worth every penny.
I am here to make your life easier! I get the privilege to help facilitate your renovation project or new build and help you create the space of your dreams! How lucky am i?