IF ONLY. Two dreaded words you never want to utter — especially when it comes to a significant investment, like building a new home. “IF ONLY we had known.” “IF ONLY only we had thought of.” “IF ONLY we had done it that way.”
Frankly, the stakes are just too high here and you want to get it right from the get-go — and that’s when it’s time to bring in what I like to call the New Home Dream Team: builder, architect, and luxury interior designer.
Each of these three disciplines has a different, specialized focus. There is an area of overlap, before the disciplines diverge again. So, it’s beyond important that you have excellent and collaborative professions — true team players.
THE ‘S’ EFFECT
Let’s think about our dream home trio like the letter S.
The top of the S hook is where the builder and architect play the biggest role. They are creating the grand gesture of the home – the structural integrity, of course, but also the lines, the forms, and the shapes of the residence in total. They are thinking about things like where load-bearing walls must be placed; running the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing; controlling water drainage; and more: the true infrastructure of the house.
What they aren’t thinking about is where doorways should be placed for optimal furniture placement, space use, and flow — or how much room on either side of a French door is needed to run drapery panels if you know you want them in your dining room.
This is where the center of the S comes into play. It’s in this space that my focus and a luxury interior designer picks up the mantel. This is where the magic happens when all three disciplines collaborate: our luxury interior design team, the builder and architect. IDH is the creative director guiding the thinking on everything from room openings to doorway placement, to flooring and finish selections, ceiling design, lighting, fireplace surrounds, and more.
As you now picture the lower of that S, this is entirely the domain of our design team: We listen to what the house is whispering — and how you as the homeowner want to live and feel each day and in every space in your home.
It’s our job to create a livable, fully furnished dream space that is luxuriously and richly yours — right down to very last rug, piece of artwork, and stick of furniture in Pinterest-perfect detail.
MAGIC HAPPENS WITH COLLABORATION
All the roles on a Dream Team are equally important. But that intersection in our S curve between builder, architect, and luxury interior designer is where the magic really happens — where good work becomes extra-amazing with the melding of minds to attain homeowners’ ultimate dreams. And we do.
And when there is respectful collaboration and connection, each of these Dream Team players makes the other even better. We love a great team.
Sure, you “could” decide to make all the decisions with your builder and not bring in an interior designer. But as one client on a new home build once said to me, when faced with his plumbing fixture selection meeting near the onset of his new build: “I feel like I’m picking out the shoelaces before I know what kind of shoe I’m wearing!”
That means you’ll show up to a plumbing meeting and be asked to pick out the floor tile, the fixtures, the backsplash, and more for your kitchen and every single bathroom — before you even know what the spaces look like. But, because our client had IDH, we had developed concepts for all his needs, so we were able to seamlessly guide the selection meeting.
Or here’s another scenario: It’s time to select the lighting for your dining room with your builder. But do you know the size and shape of your dining room table and what light design would work optimally for that space? Possibly not!
Our design team, though, will have already done the design discovery with our client as well as creative development needed to have the right answers for your specific aesthetic and lifestyle needs.
PUTTING TOGETHER THE RIGHT DREAM TEAM IS CRITICAL
At IDH, there really is no greater joy than working with builders and architects where trust, admiration, and respect are mutual.
When collaboration reigns supreme, there is an opportunity to build upon each team member’s specialty, even to challenge each other — in the best ways — to get the most glorious dream-home results for our clients. As interior designers, we can riff with builders — even on a job site still filled with mud and framing — about a design target you’ve asked us to hit, leaning into the builder’s area of expertise and knowledge for the best solutions.
What a golden thing this is.
It’s so important to be intentional about your Dream Team. You want to have excellent rapport between the three disciplines, because you’re going to be working with them for 16 months, 18 months, even 20 or more months for a custom design-build experience.
And the last piece of guidance which is the million-dollar nugget: If you’re putting together your own dream team, we always recommend having candid conversations at your project’s beginning to ensure that the players are the best, and that the spirit of collaboration is alive and well from the get-go.
Let’s chat about how we can play a role in your Dream Team.