Last week, I shared one of our most recent design projects with you (The House with All the Kids!), but when you see reveals like that, it’s easy to forget there’s a long and detailed process required to bring it to life.
This week, I want to take you back to the very beginning, where all of our projects start… A design consultation.
We like to think of the consultation as the first date of our 9-12+ month relationship. Of course, we’ll get to know each other a bit on the phone first (it’s not a blind internet date), but above all:
The design consultation is the 2-hour, jam-packed meeting that kicks your project into gear!
So what are we jam-packing into that meeting? And how can you make the most of it? I’d be delighted to tell you…
What Does the Design Consultation Include?
Real stuff, no fluff. Here’s what you’ll be doing with myself and our Junior Designer:
• Discuss your project goals & get clear on our mutual destination
• Review all rooms that need to be addressed
• Decide upon the project’s scope
• Settle on your budget & adjust it (or scope) as needed to meet your goals
• Start problem-solving right away with sketches, ideas, and plans
• Create a project roadmap that will get us to our destination
• Consider any style photos you’ve brought to the meeting
9 Ways to Prepare & Make the Most of Your Design Consultation
Here are nine ways we suggest you prepare for our meeting. All of these will contribute to efficiency. Yes, we’re all creatives at LBI, but we’re also very systematic — which helps us save time and funds all around.
1. Bring a (realistic) budget
Be honest about your budget and come to the consultation with a number in mind. Although we’ll discuss that number with you and adjust if needed, a starting point gives us the proper direction for quality, sourcing, and scope.
A ballpark number is necessary for the best result, and we don’t leave the consultation without one.
2. Eliminate distractions
If you have children, please find the appropriate child care for them during this time. If you have cell phones (I know you do…), please put them on silent.
We love giving you and your project our undivided attention, and we request that we receive the same in return!
3. Nominate your point (wo)man & bring all decision-makers to the consultation
I love cutesy couples banter as much as the next girl, but when you’re paying for our time together, squabbles or a “slow burn” method of decision-making slow the whole process down — not to mention they’re an inefficient use of your design funds!
We suggest you and the other decision-makers decide in advance how you’ll make any tough calls. Rock-paper-scissors? Heads or tails?
You should also nominate one point person through whom all communications will go — this will help us keep on schedule!
4. Give thoughtful consideration to your space
Before you meet with us, put some thought into how you currently use your space, how you want to use it, how you want it to look, and how you want to feel at home.
Honesty is your friend. Maybe you don’t want us to know that you make coffee 6x per day… but there’s no judgment here. Part of designing a home that is beautiful and functions with your lifestyle is getting to know that lifestyle… exactly as you all are.
5. Create a list of questions, concerns, and goals
Straightforward enough! We want want to hear your goals. We want to give you answers.
6. Create a Pinterest board or Houzz lookbook of spaces you love
Compiling spaces that you (and the other decision-makers) love will help us get a feel for your style. Even if you think a particular space will never happen for you, even if you think two spaces are so drastically different they don’t belong in the same collection, include them.
We learn a lot from these photos and can identify common design threads between them.
7. List of favourite home décor stores
Where do you love to shop? We’re all ears. Even if we don’t source from these places, it will help us get a feel for your style.
8. Floor plans of your space…
…if you’ve got them.
9. An open mind
An open mind can be the secret ingredient to an amazing final design. We request that you be open and ready to consider ideas or compromises that you may normally discount. A designer’s point of view can create a dynamic and unique space, but only if you let us…
And we hope you will!
If you think there’s a first date in our future, reach out to us here! We can’t wait to get past the awkward stranger phase. 😉