Make notes, and even develop a binder with pictures and ideas that reflect your taste and your “comfort zones.” Photographs are very helpful and can give your Designer valuable clues. The more research and thought you put into this very preliminary stage, the better you will be able to communicate your vision to a Design Professional.
Try to prioritize your envisioned project. Let’s say you want to enlarge a residential space such as a family or living room and refurbish and redecorate the existing space that would be adjacent. What is your sequential priority?
If you decide, for instance, to first refurbish and redecorate what now exists, and then a bit later add the expansion, you could approach your overall project as two phases, two stages of expense, with minimal disruption of the overall home environment.
In an existing commercial environment, any changes are disruptive to daily business. It is therefore very important to do the visionary homework suggested above, and to tighten down pragmatic steps and phases.
Think big. It is important that your Design Professional learn the broadest scope of your vision – not the narrowest. In this way, while studying what you want and what the projected budget parameters can manage, your Designer will be better able to assess what is possible.
In the early stages – dream! It is much easier to economize the dream than it is to try to retrofit impractical limitations. With your thorough and thoughtful homework in hand, your Design Professional applies experience and knowledge to the mix, takes the visionary goals and assesses what is required for success.
Don’t worry about pulling together all the loose ends; that’s what your Designer can do with you. It’s your Designer’s job to help you achieve consensus among participators. There will be differences of opinion and preference among wives, husbands, partners and those whose perspectives you take into consideration.
So now you have a good beginning. The investment of thought and time that you make at this preliminary stage will serve you well pragmatically as disruption occurs, emotionally as you take the leap, and financially as good judgment sensibly meets the vision.
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
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Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo