I love being a designer because I love people. People inspire me and people motivate me. Not my own ideas. I think in order to be a successful designer your portfolio should be extreme! From extremely traditional to stark and modern – that’s my goal anyways. I think every designer has their role (and they all look different – comparison is the thief of joy), but I can’t get past the first thing they taught me in school…LISTEN.
Listen to your client, hear what they are saying. Seems very simple, but you would be surprised how difficult this can be when a creative mind walks into a room of opportunity! The challenge, and the education comes into play when I have to listen and design a space for their home.
Here is a glimpse at my process:
1. LISTEN and collect all their ideas as best as possible (notes, pictures, sketches..etc.)
2. Set their ideas aside and re-create the space as it is ( I use Auto CAD or sketch up).
3. Using the plan that you created, sketch out several options on how to make it most functional – or my obsession is maximizing the space (I cannot stand wasted corners). This step takes up most of my time, and after considering several options I will choose one that obviously stands out to me. You need to consider their requests, their patterns of life, and their needs for whats functional for their household.
4. Take the most functional option, then incorporate your client’s wishes. Most of the time your client usually is just thinking colors and materials. Rarely are they considering maximizing the space. I will show my clients computer rendered drawings of the materials and finishes that they mentioned to me. Of course at this point I will also make suggestions, but I always use my client as my inspiration when I make my selections.
5. After landing on a layout and design pull in your materials and finishes, and start the project.
6. This one is really important and most designers check out in this part… but walk with the clients through the remodel. Check on it often; re-assure them that it will all be okay. The dust will be cleaned up, the tile will be beautiful, and yes once you get the paint samples up you will have a better idea. This stage is brutal on all contractors, home owners, and designers. I personally think the designer, the one who can visualize the final product should be the one to get everyone through this phase.
7. Then step back and celebrate their home with them. Even if it isn’t your style, or they didn’t take all of your advice – if they love it, you win!
Here is a job that was a “win” – a steam room done his way:
It always helps to have a great contractor too – I worked with Harris Remodeling Inc. to finish out this space. Click the link to contact them.
As always a special thank you to my sweet friend, Tabby for the beautiful pictures (TabbyZPhotography).