As a design/build remodeling firm, all of our remodeling projects begin with a partnership between our designers and our clients. Like all collaborative efforts, having a shared vocabulary allows everyone to understand each other well. One challenge in design projects is that so much of what we talk about is subjective. For example, what one person thinks of as sea green may not be the same as another person’s idea of that color. So how do we create a common language among our designers and our clients?
Project Pictures – As our clients know, we take professional photos of each project we complete. These shots serve many purposes within our organization, but first and foremost they are a communication tool. Even though each home remodeling project is unique, there can be common elements. As we discuss design ideas with our clients, it is helpful to pull up pictures of previous projects that reflect the conversation. For example, if a client is unsure how the roof line of their new screened porch will be incorporated into their existing home, we can show them examples of how it has been achieved for other projects. In other cases, we can show clients how particular designs and materials, like tile patterns or cabinet finishes, look in an actual home.
Material Selection Assistance– With the many decisions that must be made in our home remodeling projects, we find it essential to join our clients when they are shopping for their materials. Once a design is created, going out to choose the backsplash tile that matches the granite countertop, that coordinates with the copper vent hood, etc., etc. is a daunting task. We lead our clients through the tile store, helping them weigh their options in material, shape, color and pattern. We wander the aisles of the lighting and plumbing showrooms with them, considering style and finish. This shared experience allows the homeowner to understand how their choices affect their design, and ensures they end up with the look they want.
Design Inspiration Tools – It used to be that homeowners would bring a manila folder full of magazine clippings to show us their vision. While we have some clients who still do so, many more are using online resources for design inspiration. Websites like Houzz.com and Pinterest.com have become powerful tools for creating a common vocabulary.
Houzz.com is a website dedicated to home design. It contains millions of pictures of interior and exterior design projects from designers, residential remodelers, and suppliers. Homeowners can search for project ideas within the website, and place the pictures that reflect their vision into Ideabooks. These Ideabooks can be shared electronically, or can be viewed on a computer during a design meeting. Click here too see examples of Ideabooks on Houzz.com.
Pinterest.com allows homeowners to collect and organize design ideas from almost any website. Users create Boards to electronically Pin pictures or videos. For example, a homeowner can search for “images of chrome faucets” on the internet, find a picture of a fixture that reflects their vision, and Pin that image to his/her Master Bathroom Remodel Board. Users can also invite others to Pin to their boards, allowing ideas to be shared easily. Click here to see examples of Boards on Pinterest.com.
Whether it is sharing vacation pictures of the ocean that is the exact color sea green needed on your walls, or creating a Pinterest board of open concept kitchens, having a common vocabulary between designer and homeowner ensures that you end up with the space you envision. Have questions about any of the tools we mentioned? Reach out to our Marketing Director, Jennifer Riley Simone at 317-846-2600 or by email. She would be happy to help!