Turning architects plans into dream spaces – how to work with a designer
From kitchen extensions to whole house renovations, any major work on your home can feel like a big undertaking. Once your architect has drawn up their plans and you’re happy to sign them off it’s time to get the ball rolling on turning what’s on paper into reality. This is where working with an interior design and/or a furniture designer that you can trust becomes the logical next step.
It’s a big step too, because it is important that you get to know your designer and make sure that they are the right fit for the project, whether you’re looking to add a boot room, utility, create a new living space or to refurbish a bedroom. So, what kind of things should you ask the designers on your shortlist and what will they need to know about you and your home in return? Here are some key topics to cover that will help you and your furniture designer get to know each other.
Do a background check. This means more than simply asking for examples of their previous work, although of course this should happen too. Your interior designer or furniture designer will be making something that is very personal to you and spending a lot of time in your home while the work is being done, so you will need to feel comfortable around them, as well as confident in their ability. Ask them what inspires them and even find out what kind of home and furniture they have themselves, to give you an idea of their tastes.
Put their knowledge to the test. Ask the designer about current trends and you’ll be able to quickly tell if they are up to date with the latest styles. This will help when it comes to assisting you with picking colours, materials and accessories. If your tastes are more classic than contemporary, your designer should also be able to advise on the best ways to creates a timeless look.
Get to know their team. It’s likely that you will have one main point of contact during the project and it’s certainly helpful if this is the case, but there may be times when you speak to other team members and it can be good to get different input and fresh ideas along the way, so check how big their operation is.
Talk about budget. If the designer doesn’t know how much you can afford to spend on a project they may present ideas that are simply too expensive. Disclosing your budget early on means your designer can achieve the look you want, using materials and options that sit within your budget.
Think about presentation. You’ll already have your architects drawings to hand that will have determined the layout of the space and any structural alterations, but how will your interior designer or furniture designer present their own plans? How many options will you be given? A good designer will work through every aspect with you, tailoring it until you are happy with it. CAD drawings will then help you visualise what the end result will look like.
Determine timescales. This is particularly important if you are living in the property while work is being carried out and even more so when there is more than room being designed. Think about not only how booked up the designer is but how long will it take for furniture to made and delivered too?
What brands does the designer work with? The furniture might be bespoke but what about appliances and worktops in the kitchen? A good designer should be able to make recommendations based on your needs and budget so that these things don’t look out of place.
Once you’ve got to know your designer and enlisted their help it’s time for them to get to know the space they will be designing. Again, here are some points worth covering before work begins.
Determine the right style for your home. If you want your new rooms to be in keeping with the look and feel of the property overall then your designer will need to get a good feel for this. Meet with them at home if possible, but if not go armed with plenty of photos, so they can advise on the styles that will work best. Want to create a contrast instead? Our advice still stands – let the designer know this and make sure they have a clear understanding of what your property is like overall.
How will the space be used? If it’s a kitchen extension, for example, will it be used for socialising and family time as well as for food preparation. If it’s a new bedroom, who is it for? Is storage and an uncluttered finish particularly important – what’s on your wish-list?
Discuss your likes and dislikes. You will most likely have spent a long time already looking at interiors magazines and websites to get a flavour of your favourite colour schemes and must-have pieces of furniture. Share these ideas with your designer so they can try to incorporate them into the end goal, or at least explain why they wouldn’t work and advise on alternatives!
At Drew Forsyth our team of talented designers are highly experienced in working off-plan, bringing architects drawings to life to create dream spaces that our clients are proud to call home. We can also draw on a wealth of specialist knowledge to cover specific aspects of a project, such as structural alterations, plumbing, electrics, plastering and flooring.
Contact us today for more information.