Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What I Can Do For You

My role as an interior designer has greatly expanded over the last 10 years as our  designs have become more complex and detailed.  This is due  to more intricate technology, a need for leadership and coordination over other design and trade team members and more knowledgeable clients.  Most prospective clients want me because I understand the  big picture, share their goals, and act on their behalf as their advocate so that the project gets completed as we have envisioned.

We create the interior back bones of a space before any finishing materials are selected.  This often includes the floor plan layout , furniture plans,lighting plans, electrical plans, multi layered ceiling designs with up (indirect)  and down lighting( direct), wall elevation design, staircases and railing design, custom interior doors, moldings and door casings.

We act as the team leader for all the other design professionals hired by the client.  This  typically includes  the architect, builder/GC, landscape architect, lighting designer, audio visual company, engineers, etc.   Most often we do drawings for all team participants so they understand the requirements of the project, even if they end up doing their own final drawings for permits.

We oversee all design elements during construction and act on the clients behalf throughout the process including administration and orchestrating our installaions.  Even though many sub trades work for the builder or GC, my team does the detailed drawings so that the work can be completed  per our master design.  (In Florida, an interior designer cannot act as a general contractor unless we have that license).

Being the last out the door on our design projects requires an enormous amount of problem solving and coordination.  I’d say I am more like the captain of a very large ship.  Ahoy!

Thanks for reading this since it is my mantra.  I’m a big communicator and like to have my role understood.  Most people come to a design firm expecting a decorator.  We do that too but that is only a small part of the game.   That’s why our clients love what we do.  We make a daunting process fun for everyone.

The Sketch

Here is one of many sketches done while in the process of designing an 11,000 square foot home along with the photo taken of the master bath after the home was completed. Our sketch presentation is  remarkably positive  since it’s easier to erase on paper than replace if we’re not in sync with the client.  (That has never happened).  This is part of our master plan presentation to our clients so that they understand our design clearly, long before anything is built or purchased.

The initial sketch presentation along with materials used in the space is unique since most firms do not take the time or forethought to completely design, draw and plan a project in advance.  It is based on my commitment to communicate clearly to our clients so that they become excited and  understand the outcome before they need to spend any money on furnishes or finishing.  It makes them appreciate that “we get it” early into the process.  That is the beginning of trust.