Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Building or renovating can feel like an overwhelming task. Utilising the services of a good team of experts will help you to better enjoy the journey; by giving direction, constraints (good ones!) and structure to your project.
It's important to feel at ease with your designer, you need to be able to work together and that means voicing your opinions when necessary as well as being open to your designer's suggestions. It’s good to meet in person to discuss your design project and ascertain that everyone feels comfortable working together before proceeding (I like to offer a one hour free consult).
During that first meet, there is a bit of fact finding, photos taken/floor plans sourced - really just getting a handle on your design views and tastes. Discussion around lifestyle requirements in terms of who and how the space will be used gives your designer more insight into what will and wont work within the space. This is primarily an information gathering consultation and it is unlikely that you will gain all of the design solutions you require from this one visit. Allow a bit of time for your designer to head back to the office and put together a creative plan tailored to your specific needs.
Some of the questions we ask may seem quite personal, but we are designing this interior with you in mind. Naturally, budget plays a big part as it's important to be able to deliver a cost appropriate design. Unless your budget is unlimited then furniture and product sourcing needs to be kept in check! We will also want to know any non-negotiable's, for example if you have a favorite painting that must stay or a height chart that's a little piece of nostalgia; these will need to be incorporated into your new design regardless of look and feel if they are significant to you
One thing I like to do, prior to the first meet, is ask a client to provide me with a list of around 5-10 images of a space related to the design that they love, and 5-10 that they dislike. This gives me a good understanding of any common threads that crop up and allows me to get to know your tastes around design.
Some architects offer in house interior design services, but for the ones that don’t, it is a wise investment to integrate the services of an interior designer to your team of experts from the onset. The more you plan and have direction for a project the more this should help minimise any potentially costly changes and alterations to the plan further down the track where it's often too late. It also makes for a streamlined cohesive design throughout your home too, without chopping and changing as you go.
Lastly, there will be times when an interior designer showcases a product or design idea to you that you don’t immediately warm to. Be upfront, but also be open to take the time to let the idea sink in, if you're still not sold on the idea after you’ve given it some thought and heard the justification behind it, then take that idea off the table, this is your dream interior after all! When it comes to the end of a project, whats most important to me is that the client is happy - and good communication and project management will help to deliver a superior result - a result that you & your family will love for years to come!