INDUSTRY INSIGHT: HOW I START A DESIGN

Curious how a designer gets from here:
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To here:
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And even better, to here?
20130930-214549.jpg After photos by Larry Arnal.

In my new series you can expect on Mondays, I’ll be sharing “Industry Insights” on the design process my team goes through, interviews with industry colleagues I think you might find interesting, and a general behind the scenes on how design gets done.

In today’s post it’s all about the client assessment and how we try and figure out what a client really needs and what’s going to give them the best quality life possible.

1. IT STARTS WITH A QUIZ
It starts with a little quiz that the lovely Lara Cupido and I developed. Through a series of questions we help clients realize if they are more modern than they are traditional, more into colour than not, etc. etc. The quiz isn’t really about putting clients in a design box so to speak- it serves as a tool to help us have a conversation and get on the same page.
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2. THEN WE PIN
And do we ever! With my team on a Pinterest secret board we compile an inspiration board of the direction we’d like to go in. We include images of finishes, layout, and images that just inspire. We invite the client to do the same and again it helps us to visually get on the same page. Here’s a Pinterest board example of a new bathroom project I am working on:
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3. 5 WORDS
Then we come up with 5 words- I force myself to use 5 words to define the design- all major decisions when it comes to colour, pattern, finishes, profiles, etc.

For example, the bathroom at te top of my post had these 5 words attached to it:
fresh, youthful, modern, minimal, cheerful.

It’s a tool that really has helped me be discriminatory in how we decide finishes and fixtures- and ensure all design decisions contribute with purpose toward to the overall aesthetic. I don’t ever put something in a room just because I like it- it has to satisfy the 5 words we give ourselves as perimeters.

4. 20 QUESTIONS
At the same meeting we do the design quiz, we ask a ton of questions (more like 50 plus depending on the size / scope!) This includes questions about the way the space is going to be used, who is going to use it, what they value, etc. It’s at this stage I take a lot of time, and I weigh all design decisions based on the answers to questions at this meeting. This is the part that is all about function- as I say often to my clients, at the end of the day once it is photographed and cleaned- it’s not me living in it. So I really try and make sure that everything we decide is tailored individually to the client.

I an so pleased this bathroom (and a second one in the same house!) got published in this month’s Reno and Decor magazine.

If this blog post made you start thinking about an area in your house that could use some pretty and better function, happy to discuss your project with you.

Until next Monday- where I’ll be sharing how we build a successful floorplan and the tools we use to build it.

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2 responses to “INDUSTRY INSIGHT: HOW I START A DESIGN

  1. Pingback: INDUSTRY INSIGHT: BUILDING A FLOOR PLAN |

  2. Pingback: INDUSTRY INSIGHT: NOT ALL CHAIRS ARE CREATED EQUAL |

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