Things You Just Don’t Know: Part 1
Designers do more than select colours, flooring, fabric….all the “fun stuff” that our clients want us to dive into when we show up on their door step. Here are three key things you just don’t know about working with a designer:
Things You Just Don’t Know #1: Planning + Conceptualization
Most of the work I do is in the planning stage before any decorative features are selected.
It doesn’t matter if it is a renovation or a new home, combining my understanding of your lifestyle (how you and your family use your space), your needs/wants in the new design, and your goals for the new space with my knowledge of functional design is what makes the space a success for you.
I’ve always said to clients “it doesn’t matter how stunning your kitchen is, if it doesn’t work for you, it is not a good design.”
This is why I spend a lot of time on the functional layout – not just the layout of cabinetry, but what is inside the cabinets too. If you hate your KitchenAid Mixer on the counter, I’m gonna make sure you have a space to store that mother of an appliance!!
Now that I know the layout, the conceptualization begins. For me, I can close my eyes and picture a space, add a detail, then take it away. Sometimes I will stand in the space and look around without saying anything (clients sooooo wanna talk during this time). I am conceptualizing the space.
This “conceptualization” leads to a design concept which then fine tunes what I look for in a selection whether it is flooring or a light.
And now that I know so much more about you than you are comfortable with, I am able to make informed decisions on the selection of material type too.
Things You Just Don’t Know #2: The Design Process
My design process is not in place to help keep me organized. I have it so clients can see their home evolve before their eyes – step by step.
Yah, we go through creating the functional plan – the layout based on how you live in the space, how you want to use the space, how much storage and for what, where is that mixer being stored, blah, blah, blah… It can be tedious for some but in the end you have a fantastic design that is YOURS.
And then all the fun stuff happens beginning with the largest design features – cabinetry, flooring, and wall colour, followed by design details that make the space special to you.
You see your design come to life right before your eyes!
I know that my clients will benefit from my design process and that is why I use it and get great results!
Let’s just stop for a second.
Think about this scenario…
I show up to begin designing your kitchen. I bring samples with me and say “I thought this countertop would look great on your island. And I’ve got some nifty pullouts to show you for your pantry!”
If I were you, I’d be asking “what island? And where are these pullouts going?” You have no idea what your kitchen looks like and I’ve got you picking a countertop!
Now, this scenario
I show up to begin designing your kitchen. I stand/sit with you in the kitchen and start asking you questions like “does this layout work for you?”, “do you have enough storage?”, “who does the cooking? You or both of you?”. There are so many more questions…
Then I start tossing ideas out on how to achieve what you need/want in a new kitchen design. I see obstacles and point them out to you. If I have a solution, I offer it up. If not, “let me think about that one.” There is no mention about design selections at all….maybe the client mentions she wants white cabinets and a blue island. But that’s it. I’ll tuck that nugget away for later.
See the difference? Or rather feel the difference?
Things You Just Don’t Know #3: The IKEA Hack Experience
Knowing where to spend your money and where spending is a waste of time is my job. Especially if you are on a limited budget.
I call it the IKEA Hack Experience.
Its where you want something so bad but you don’t want to spend the money on it right now….or EVER! Or you want it but do not have the budget to do it.
The IKEA Hack Experience is all about how you use your budget.
I have the experience to know where you can save money, where you need to spend your money, and where not to waste your money. It’s experience you do not have.
I recently launched an innovative self-guided online design process that helps you create your own Renovation Design Plan with my guidance! It’s called Design Your Renovation and it is at a fraction of the cost of my full design service. Want to learn more?
A Final Word
I have to say….my clients learn a ton from me when we work together, so much so they start using design words that is the norm for me. And I LOVE it! To boot, they also “get” my design process and embrace it so much that they send me referrals. Now if that isn’t the best compliment EVER, I don’t know what is!
Until next time, stay safe…
P.S. If you want help with your renovation check out my Renovation Design Plan service. The best thing about this service is it is tailored to YOUR needs.
The next best thing is that I work on a flat fee basis. You pay only what the flat fee is, no more. I do this because I do not want my clients to worry about escalating design costs; I would rather we all focus on the plan and the design. Wouldn’t you? Set up a 20 minute chat with me to see if it is the right fit for you.