Planning with an Interior Designer "is No Small Potatoes"!

 "I just want you to do a little interior design."

What? Wait a minute. What is, "just a little interior design?" Perhaps it's the mentality that interior designers are shakers, grinders, and graters that salt, pepper, and sprinkle interior space as if they were condiments pinched and applied in doses suited to taste. This thinking that interior designers are condiments or confectionaries stands to be corrected at length, but for now, here's an abbreviated response.

"Just a little interior design" could be a perfectly apt request for work of a minimal scope.  Or, "just a little interior design" may infer a deeper misunderstanding about a designer's role in project planning

If planning and timetables are but incidental and decisions are expected yesterday, this is precisely the unhealthy understanding of a designer we wish to correct. Unncessary urgency is a recipe for panic, critical errors, and failure. Interior design is not an afterthought. It is, however, an integral, crucial, and primary part of the complete design process and requires planning to handle the complexities and layering of a project's timing. It's an art to pull off without a hitch, and when we do, we illustrate and voice the value of interior designer.

Here is an example about a kitchen remodel, in the kind words of a recent client, of a healthy understanding of an interior designer's value in the role of project planning.

She begins by sharing that Jennifer, her interior designer, gave her project momentum because of her intelligent, motivated and creative planning.

"This project was a nearly total kitchen re-do that I'd been considering for a couple of years and thanks to Jennifer's creativity, energy and can-do spirit it finally got planned, started and now nearly finished."

She goes on stating her timetable along with her overall goals for this project.

"Being in a position of selling this home within about 4-5 years, the kitchen needed to be something I'd love, but not so individualistic for me that it might interfere with selling later."

In these very early stages, Jennifer began some critical, broad, and basic planning.

Right at the start [Jennifer's] very practical suggestion was a realtor's assessment to evaluate a price range on the remodel that made sense within the context of the value of the home. I wanted to keep my teak parquet floor ( also kept sink, faucet and the dishwasher) and she worked wonders around that starting point.

Having ideas on the sense of how I wanted the kitchen to feel and work, but not really where to start, Jennifer brought her knowledge of the many options available, resources to use, and excellent trades people to bring it all together into an integrated whole that works so well with the rest of my home, too. And there were things I just wouldn't have even thought about (till it was too late!): for instance, right off the bat she said the lighting was inadequate and I realized it had been a problem all along, but yet I wouldn't have thought to change the ceiling cans, which, by the way, was easy and has made a huge difference!

From planning to project completion, we're so thankful this client understood the value of our role in thinking ahead. Her comments on the results testify to the importance of working with an interior designer for project planning, beginning in the early conceptual stages of her project. 

My kitchen is contemporary with a nice, light, clean feel to it exactly as I wanted. Her optimism and positive, helpful attitude has been critical when the unavoidable delays and problems have popped up. Finally, Jennifer has been just plain fun to work with and that is no small potatoes when remodeling a kitchen!