When a client allows us to design their entire home, we take seriously our role and responsibility to protect our clients from routine stressors, while creating something truly beautiful and life enhancing. Whether you’re renovating or building a new home, the earlier you involve our design team, the better the outcome. A good renovation or new construction project has an architect, a builder, and an interior designer. The architect draws the plans then the builder executes them. You might think you need to call us when the builder starts construction or after the home is built, but time and again, when we are involved from blue print stage onward, clients gain so much more and achieve the life-enhancing dream home or addition they were after in the first place. Our design team sees things a builder or architect won’t.
Architects Aren’t Designers
We love the architects and builders we work with, but they aren’t designers. They are masters in their craft. But they are not interior designers, nor should they be focused on the detailing we do. Their job is to focus on the macro – the big picture of your home. Our job is to focus on the nuances and details of function, luxury, and livability….truly how a space will feel and look when you are actually living in it. For example, when we can review architectural drawings before building begins, we’re able to catch small nuances, or suggest powerful yet simple changes to optimally accommodate furniture or specific functionality that fits exactly the way you live. Once construction starts, you can’t easily shift a window or door. Without these modifications, we see people faced with deal breaker rooms – that were supposed to be dream rooms.
We think forward in detailing, down to how it feels to walk into a room, how it feels to entertain in your dining room, how drapery will close in your bedroom, how it feels to watch movies with your kids in your great room or family room. Yet! When all three disciplines work in harmony, there is a seamless rhythm to your home. Bringing our design team on early also protects you from decision overwhelm, or worse, making design decisions from a limited view point, in a panic, or in a vacuum.
Good builders have to run a tight ship, and they have a tight schedule. They have to order materials in a specific sequence to complete your project on time. Without our guidance from the onset, you will find yourself choosing fixtures, tile, flooring cabinets, or countertops without having a detailed or developed aesthetic plan. The wheels fall off the wagon and you end up with a home full of non-cohesive design elements that you can’t change.
The worst words to utter after your reno or new build is completed are these “If only we had….”
Include us early and you gain so much. It’s our job to steward the cohesion in your creative design. It’s part of our wheelhouse, as is the design development right down to the artwork and accessories. What depth did you need those bookcases built to? Which painting was important for your tricked out home office or library? Will that cabinetry hinder the shades you wanted in your gym? Our vision naturally goes to this level of creative detailing.
Architects and builders are also thrilled by the level of nuance we bring to their designs – and we are told often that they love not only our vision and nuanced design ability, but also the excellence of our collaborative spirit, and project management…all of which not only delivers more to our clients, but makes life easier for our builder and architect team members.
As I like to say, it’s the designers role to bow to the builder, but thread the needle so your home feels seamlessly cohesive.
We could write another post altogether on budget management, but for now say only this: Bringing us in early also helps us help you control and manage your soft furnishings budget.
Whole Home Design
One of our favorite recent projects was a whole-home design-build, in Upper Makefield PA, that was a significant investment for our client. This is their dream home. We worked closely with their selected builder, who ultimately expressed how thrilled they were with all that we brought into the project. The collaboration between their team and ours, was outstanding and allowed the building group to do even more to make our clients thrilled!
Our client asked us for a rustic glam aesthetic, maximized entertaining space, and livable luxury. The homeowners have a big family, love to entertain and throw big parties and small gatherings.
In particular, they wanted their dining room to have wow factor while easily accommodating a crowd. Rather than one long table, we suggested two rounds to encourage easy conversation and intimacy in the 2 story barrel vaulted space. Mechanisms in the tables allow them to pie chart open to fit additional guests. The custom curved bench, original to us, pieces apart for additional guest. This space oozes luxury, but it’s designed for use!
The tables keep it cozy when there are small gatherings. The second table can be used for desserts or hors d’oeuvres.
Because the client had the foresight to involve us quite early, we were able to get all furnishings on order in time for a swift installation as soon as our clients got their keys. This is another major reason to involve us early. In no time at all, following closing, they were living in their perfect dream house. If instead they had waited to involved us after building was complete, they’d be sitting an empty home for months and months.
After nearly 2 years working together on this Upper Makefield PA project, the clients were over the moon with their results. Their house fits them perfectly. And how thrilling it was when our client walked over beaming and said, “Donna, I could not imagine doing this without you and your team.”
If you’re planning to build a home or renovate extensively, call us today so we can help you make the most of your investment and help insure that you get the dream home you want.