I am often amazed at the misconception that surrounds what I do. Most people have a television idea of what exactly it is that an interior designer does. And most often that idea is incorrect or incomplete.
Plain and simple, it is my job to take the whole picture into consideration. Enabling your renovation or new build to take shape from concept to completion.
The concept is the very most important step! This is where we work on your ideas and floor plans. Map out mathematically what will work within your space. Design is 50% math, 25% education/experience and 25% creativity.
I have been working with clients who decided that they wanted to renovate their kitchen and update their home. Their first instinct was to contact a custom cabinet maker. Great! Except that they forgot the first step. The Concept. What happens when this planning stage is skipped? Well, for these clients, it meant a beautifully designed kitchen and living room with some pretty fabulous built-ins around a show stopper fireplace. But that’s just it, the show stopped there. The kitchen layout did not flow into the other spaces of the home. On its own, the kitchen was perfect but taking the whole picture in mind, and the day to day traffic that will flow in and out of this room, it was a disaster. Oh! That fabulous living room built-in, not so fabulous. When the rest of the room was taken into consideration (the whole picture) with doorways, windows and size of the space, there was no longer any room to put furniture.
Did the custom cabinet maker do something wrong?? Not at all. He executed what was asked of him beautifully. He gave the client exactly what was asked of him. His specialty is cabinets. Not Interior Design. That is my specialty!
Luckily for my clients, they called me onto the project prior to the cabinets being manufactured and we could stop their progress right away. Tweak the layouts and home saved! But here’s the thing, they had no idea that they should have called me first! They also had no idea that this was my training!! Their impression of a designer was basically that of a decorator. Someone to come in and choose the paint colour and finishes like flooring and tile. This is of course a part of my training and expertise so I am always happy to help clients with the decorating phase of their projects but my specialty is in the planning.
On another project, that was again designed by a custom cabinet maker, a new space was being carved out of an adjoining room to give the master bedroom a beautiful walk-in closet with custom cabinetry. The initial design on paper looked great until I walked into the master bedroom. The door to the closet was in the wrong spot. Looking at it from the whole picture perspective, the master bedroom was not taken into consideration. With the current plan, the clients would not be able to utilize bedside tables and the entry into the closet was cramped and awkward. Simply moving the placement of the door allowed for bedside storage and ease of movement transitioning from bedroom into closet. I always design my spaces with function as a top priority and the new ideas that I gave my clients, definitely improved the function. Home saved!
During a large scale full service project, (that means that we designed a main floor renovation from floor plans to finished space with fixtures, furnishings and decor) I was on a site visit to go over some details with my client. While we were going over particulars, a friend of the client stopped by unannounced. My client introduced me to her friend and seemed embarrassed to admit that she had hired a designer to help her with her project. The friend picked up on this insecurity and quickly reassured my client by saying that she herself and her mother always used a designer for their homes. The friend told my client that her mother always said, “We spend so much of our lives at home, it should be beautiful! It should be functional! And most of all, a home should be designed by a professional!”
Thinking of renovating or redesigning a space in your home? Contact me first to get your project designed in the most beautiful yet functional way for your home.