When you are embarking on a new home construction or remodel project it is important to communicate clearly with your designer. Communication is the cornerstone of any project, and when it comes to renovating your home openly conveying your ideas is crucial; after all, these changes are not only an investment, they are decisions that you will have to live with every day.
We’ve compiled a list of suggestions and tips to help you and your designer collaborate on your home renovation. It’s not just about communication, but effective communication. Read on:
• Expectations: Set expectations up front. Discussing your expectations with a prospective designer in the beginning ensures that everyone is on the same page. What do you expect from your designer? Make sure you know so that you can clearly communicate those expectations. It’s also important to ask: what does your designer expect from you? You are the other half of this project, so it’s good to know what your designer expects in terms of design decisions, product selection, and signing documents.
• Budget: No one likes to talk about money. It can be an uncomfortable subject for many people. This is one of the most important topics to broach when approaching a home project. A budget discussion holds value for getting a realistic estimate of costs; if your designer has a budget range they can steer you toward the right choices in cabinet lines, door styles, finishes and layout, all of which affect the bottom line.
• Style: Just like you might bring a photo of a hair cut to your hair stylist, we recommend doing the same thing with your interior designer by bringing images of designs you like from magazines or websites. If you can, bring pictures of your current space to show the designer your style. Some places (like us) offer free budget estimates when you bring in a floor plan or measurements of your space.
• Speak up: Designers aren’t mind readers! If you have questions or concerns about some aspect of the project it’s important that you speak up and let those concerns be known. If you absolutely do not like something, that’s all the more reason to speak up and be clear about your design preferences. To paraphrase a great designer, you should have a reason for every decision made while designing. Every design choice should have a clear motive; if you don’t understand the “why” behind your designer’s choice—of color, size, placement, etc.—ask them about it.
• Timeline: Whether you are remodeling your existing home or designing from scratch, design is a process. Communicate your desired timeline with your designer; they can help you make decisions that will keep the project moving at an acceptable pace. Not sure about the typical process for interior design projects? Communicate that with your designer, who can help walk you through the process and answer your questions.
• Practical concerns: You and your designer aren’t just designing an aesthetically pleasing space; you use the rooms in your house, right? Don’t just communicate how you want the space to look, communicate how you want the space to work. If you are designing a kitchen, discuss your cooking habits with your designer: Are you an avid cook? Do you frequently use your kitchen space to entertain? Are there other cooks in the house? Do you have children? Addressing the logistics of a room as well as the aesthetics helps your designer create a room that pleases in both form and function. Let your designer know what you like and dislike about your current space so that changes made during the remodel are improvements.
Working with an interior designer should make a design project easier, not harder, but they depend on you to communicate your desires clearly and effectively. Successful collaboration depends on good communication – a two-way street no matter what the project.
Are you ready to make your remodeling dream a reality? Our designers are ready to help. Come visit us at Cabinets and Designs and let’s talk!
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