Interior Designer Elkhart Goshen Indiana
I believe that all building and design projects start out with good intentions. But if you don't have a clear vision or a shared vision of what you're trying to create, a stressful time can quickly turn into a project that is stuck and can't move forward, or is full of design regrets and broken relationships. I believe that design done right, is a fun adventure that enhances your relationships at home and blesses those who work with you and I also believe every successful design should begin not only with a plan but also a shared vision of every couple's unique style.
In the project I am sharing today, the couple had different points of view about style and thought they had plenty of time to make color and finish selections later in the design process. They were also relying heavily on their well-respected General Contractor to guide them as they went but because of lack of a design plan and a shared over all vision, things started going south soon after construction began.
In an effort to help them, their Contractor offered the services of an interior designer. But, the designer quickly discerned that the couple were not united in their vision and instead of making the problem smaller, it grew into a massive proportion. Then the usual 'construction stress' quickly escalated to include feeling; bullied, confused, overwhelmed and cornered. To make matters even worse relationships started to suffer, lines were drawn, sides were taken and little mistakes began to snowball into potential massive regrets, and that dream for a happy home was looking more like a potential nightmare!
But luckily this couple had a friend that referred them to me because they understood that if they got the canvas wrong it would affect not only how they feel every time they walk into the home but also every other design decision they make from now on as long as they live there! Yes you may quote me!
Now I'm not going to bad mouth another designer (heaven knows we've had enough hate and negativity lately trying to distract us) instead I'm going to share with you how I do things differently.
My initial process for creating and designing great homes is different from how others work. It is collaborative, educational, fun, client focused and is built around your budget, your availability and how much you can help with your project. It begins with a starting point that leads to solutions not additional stress. I call this initial programming phase; Pre-Design Planning and Discovery and it is the starting point for every new design project.
First, I focus on my client and I listen to their needs, wants, dreams and limitations and then I interpret those needs by bringing my expertise to the table. Then if needed I can also help them translate those dreams into reality. I'm not an ego driven designer instead I'm a facilitator between my client their ideas and their goals.
I ask my client if they have done any research on inspirational images they like. Sometimes they already have a collection of interior photos and will send me a link to their online houzz or pinterest boards but often, they have no desire to get lost in the rabbit holes of either platforms and need a different approach to discovering their style.
So, to help my clients save money on design fees, I may ask them to participate in the design process.
Depending on where you are in the design process your pre-design and planning homework could look like this:
After both parties finish their homework, we schedule a design consultation where I share, discuss and analyze their color preferences and color personalities. We also discuss all the other design elements as well, including texture, pattern, line, shape....so that they understand how to combine their favorite elements to create their own personal style.
Then we discuss practical information. For example..what else is going in the room (don't forget to tell me about Granny's cupboard and collection of dishes!). And How is the space going to be used?
I explain how to equitably combine styles and how to use color proportionately so their rooms flow and communicate with each other. This pre-design discovery and planning phase not only helps create a Whole House Color Palette but also a Design Plan that combines styles in a way that looks cohesive, is easy and makes sense so they can get the canvas correct now and make future design decisions together based on their unique design plan.
Below is an example of the client's color palette evaluation after participating in my 'Design Discovery' homework. This is very important because every design decision you make limits your options for the other design decisions yet to be made. Color is important and I teach them how to use it to establish boundaries for their canvas - because if you get the canvas correct, all the other design decisions will be easy!
Below is the Overall Color Direction or Concept (vision) Board.
When we are finished, the client is empowered and can confidently move forward and finish their project themselves. They know what they want and where they're going and can make the rest of their design decisions together as a couple - indivisible, professional, united - without the pressure of biased opinions or be influenced by someone who doesn't have their best interests at heart.
They know they've got the 'canvas' correct--and their home will reflect them and not someone else.
Everybody wins and everybody lives better and everyone loves to come home and be recharged (to God be the glory)!
P.S....And that's what it looks like for me to "love the LORD my God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind and love my neighbor as myself." Luke 27:10
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with color or other design decisions? Has another 'design professional' ever tried to benefit from or drive a wedge between you and your partner for not having your project planned out or sharing a design aesthetic? Having the basic design decisions all established before your project begins will save you time, money, relationships and stress in ways you may never actually see on a bill but you will pay for in other ways. I know this sounds dastardly, but unfortunately, it happens a lot.
Contact me today if you'd like help discovering your unique style and color palette or if you need help planning an upcoming design project!
Newsletter Subscription Options:
Welcome to my personal design notebook. If you already know me, then you know my mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. During this journey with her, I realized how important it was to keep a record of the things that reflect who I am and what is important to me, because one day my memories too, may be gone and what would that mean to the people God gave me to care for and the good works He gave me to do? So here is where I share the important stuff so that you can learn real design, not decorator tricks, but fundamental and salient concepts to apply so that you can create your own exemplary home and so that my family and I can remember the life we lived and created here in our home, our sacred place. Because my work is important, this is also where I share my favorite design projects and how good design enhanced their lives as well. I hope you're inspired and encouraged as I share my memories, my work, my mission & my life. Many blessings, (Numbers 6: 24-26)