The Process – A Designer’s Perspective

December 23, 2020

The number one goal of an interior designer is to make their clients happy with their spaces. On occasion though, this means telling a client that something they have their heart set on just isn’t feasible. While most things are technically possible, they either don’t work from a functionality, aesthetic, or budgetary standpoint. As a client, always be aware that your designer truly does have your best interests at heart and telling you something most likely won’t work is never a good thing. With a little insight on the process of a designer, you can be more aware of how and why they choose what they do for you. Read on to see how we approach our designs for you.

Observing the Rest of Your Home

If you are remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, there is a good chance we will get a sneak peak at the rest of your home while we come out for a consultation. There might be context clues about what you like that you may not even realize: a color that’s used throughout, a wood tone that is most prevalent, even a geometric shape that may be repeated. This gives us a good idea of what you gravitate towards and what you’d like to see in your remodeled space. That being said…

We Are Not Judging Your Home

Almost always, one of the first things out a clients mouth after introductions is “I’m sorry for the mess.” Don’t be! Homes are for being lived in. If we expected a picture perfect space in every home we stepped foot in, we would stick to showrooms. Stepping into hundreds of homes in our careers, we have most likely seen it all. Your toddlers toys scattered across the living room floor or your eager to say “Hello!” pup typically aren’t an issue. As long as the space we’re there to document has a clear path of travel for measurements, we’re happy.

Listening vs. Hearing

Most designers pride themselves on being visual thinkers, and while this is an incredibly important skill, what separates a good designer from a great designer is listening to their client. Most designers can walk into a space and give you their thoughts and opinions on what they would do immediately, but if they are not listening to their client’s input, it doesn’t do much good. Even the most seemingly insignificant comment from a client can be the catalyst for an entire design. If you have an initial consultation with a designer and they are providing more input than you, that’s not the best sign. This should be an information gathering step for us. We need to process your wants and needs and then provide our feedback later on.

Thinking of You “Off the Clock”

As designers, we can find inspiration pretty much anywhere (I once had a cocktail inspire the entire color scheme for a design). Our line of work is incredibly personal and any good designer takes that responsibility to heart. There is no “off time” in our process, so if we see something on our personal time that we think could work for you, we make a mental note of it. There is no 9 – 5 as a designer. It is an all-consuming line of work, but in the best way possible.

Saying “No” is Incredibly Difficult

No one wants to have one of their ideas shot down. The unfortunate part of being a designer is that this is a reality far too often. Maybe the structure of your home doesn’t support your new floor plan. That wall you want to remove entirely is load bearing. The paint color you’re in love with clashes with all of your other finishes- whatever it may be, we don’t ever want to say “Don’t do it!” but on occasion, we have no choice but to say just that. A designer will never steer you in another direction without good reason.

We Get Stumped Too

Usually more common on an initial consultation, as designers we don’t always have the best solution right off the bat. Sometimes we need to gather information and then take the time to really marinate on it before we offer a solution. This should be seen as a strength rather than a weakness from a client perspective. There are simple solutions to a lot of issues, but if a designer takes the time to cater a solution to you, that means they want to provide you with a custom idea. “One size fits all” solutions can be handy, but don’t take any sort of personality into account.

We Have One Main Objective

And that objective is your happiness. Many people consider hiring a designer as a frivolous or unnecessary expense, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone deserves to be happy in the place they call home, and if you can’t pinpoint what the issue is with your space, why not bring someone in who can? We are not just pillow fluffers and paint color selectors, we are problem solvers. We have the ability to transform the space you wake up to every morning, and the place you see before you go to bed every night, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. If you trust us, and our process, we will provide you with the best solution we can.

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During this transitional time, Chi Renovation and Design continues to provide our premier design and build services. For those that prefer it, we are now offering video consultations in addition to traditional in-person consultations - just be sure to mention which method you prefer during your initial call. Our top priority is to provide you with our high standard of expertise while ensuring your safety. 

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