Usually, your designer will either secure pre-existing construction and/or architectural plans, or will develop for you any necessary plans the project requires. If you are not familiar with reading architectural plans, your designer will help you learn how to read them comprehensively.
Particularly in older buildings – commercial or residential – the original plans can be vital. Over time, buildings may have been altered, certain aspects covered or removed, and your designer must know about any changes that might require architectural or engineering review for stability and safety. You would not want to invest in new surface finishes or floor treatments of any kind only to learn at a later date that something is wrong under the surface, and remedies are required.
Before proceeding to the vision you are wanting, the facts of the skeleton beneath surfaces must be known. Sometimes it is discovered that an essential weight-bearing wall or support has been completely removed with no substitute construction built to compensate. That is just one example of why it is important for you and your designer to do these two important preliminary tasks: Take photographs, and acquire or draw the relevant plans.
Not every project involves the necessity for plans. Perhaps your project only involves cosmetic treatments on walls and floors, and replacement of furnishings and equipment. Your designer will know where the lines are drawn on essential preliminary information regarding the site itself.
Internal to your designer’s professional process, every detail of your project will have been subjected to that designer’s preferred methodology for organizing, timing out, costing out and prioritizing each and every detail. There are many ways to do that, and your designer will be glad to acquaint you with theirs.
Now your project is at the starting gate with feet planted firmly in good preparations. It is now time to take all the speculation and translate it into the solid choices that will allow you and your designer to begin finding specific components.
Nothing confirms that you are underway quite like actually visiting showrooms, perusing the real samples of all relevant finishes, and beginning to see things take shape, coordinate, and come alive with actual textures and colors!
Your designer will help you differentiate between a “decision,” and “a decision to decide,” and will make sure that it is only real, confirmed decisions that translate into an action, which translates into an expenditure.
(“I think I’ll go with that.” is not a decision!)
The decision-making process is where Authorizations, confirmed Meeting Notes and other support documents will come into play. You will see almost immediately the value of conscientious detail management.
Now things are on the move! If your project is a facelift, a refresh, or a full remodel, transformation is underway and you will see progress almost immediately. If, however, your project is more complex and involves an addition or some repair or re-construction before the interior finishes and appointments can be addressed, you’ll need to be patient and even be ready for unexpected, unforeseen delays. They happen.
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
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Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo