Some designers like to help you decide on your sub-contractors at the very beginning, even though some of the services will not be needed for a while. The reason for that approach is to get all relevant parties on the same page as early as possible. By giving your subs the opportunity, in advance, to see the scope and the challenges of the overall project is very helpful.
The pool of insight that can be gathered from combined experience is invaluable. This is called the team approach as differentiated from communicating with each party separately. When you think it through, it makes sense that electrical, plumbing, and other construction components such as flooring and wall covering become close relatives in the finished project. It just makes sense to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, as early as possible.
Your designer will approach your activated project’s initial actions in one of several ways. Some professionals use the big picture approach. That might consist of study sessions viewing wide ranges of options. For instance, instead of going directly to a specific kind of floor treatment, your designer may present and discuss many ways to handle that aspect, in the context of your environment. Using that approach, the same would happen with color scheming, wall covering possibilities, window treatments, and furnishing styles.
Even though we all feel pretty sure of what we like and want, those certainties might be based on limited knowledge of what is actually available and possible. Your designer wants to educate and inform you more broadly in order to be sure you have the fullest range of choice for your decision-making.
A designer who takes the big picture approach as a starting strategy has your satisfaction in mind. He or she wants to expose you to a broad range of unfamiliar availabilities, while keeping in mind the guidance and preferences you provided in the beginning discussions.
In addition to the many in-house resources available to your designer such as catalogs, samples, web sites with virtual environments, and photographs of installations, there are actual showrooms and site installations that may be physically visited.
With your scope of possibilities broadened, your initial desires held in mind, and your designer’s ability to collect and evaluate reactions and perceptions, it is more likely that you will realize your specific vision.
Another approach is to strictly adhere to what the client described at the front end of your association, i.e., I know what I want; don’t confuse me with broader exposure to possibilities. Your designer will respect that position, but will probably advise that there are more options available than the limits you are placing on yourself.
It is important to seriously consider and respect your designer’s evaluation of the best way to launch the action agenda. Remember the care and caution you applied when deciding to use professional services? Now is the point at which to trust that decision and choice.
Your designer is expert at handling multiple priorities that involve challenges such as changing direction unexpectedly, multi-tasking, and stacking. Don’t misinterpret these patterns as “confusion!” Your designer knows that several forward motions must get underway simultaneously. He or she is comfortable and confident with such patterns. If you don’t understand your designer’s prioritizations, just ask.
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
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Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo