Having a home that reflects you and how you live is a goal for many of us. But achieving that goal takes time, a realistic budget, a vision and the resources to bring your vision to life. Whether your home is in need of a minor refresh or a major renovation, there are BIG benefits to working with a professional interior design firm.
BUDGET & TIMELINES
A huge benefit to working with a professional design firm like Patti Wilson Design, is that we are fully committed to your budget and timeline. A renovation has a lot of moving parts, and each one impacts the rest. From ordering and scheduling timely delivery of materials to booking and scheduling trades who will put it all together, there’s a lot to juggle. That’s where my team and I step in, doing all the heavy lifting, in order for your project to go off without a hitch.
We will work with you to determine a realistic budget and timeline and you can expect scheduled check-ins which will give you an opportunity to see the work done to date. Now, don’t mistake the “check-in” as your chance to change plans. It’s an opportunity to flag and correct any issues before it’s too late. If you do change your mind about something you’ve previously agreed to, which does happen, just be mindful that revisions can impact your timeline and budget.
At PWD, we will have our eyes on the budget and are accountable to ensure that your project comes in at the price you have agreed to. We’ve all heard tales of scopes and costs creeping up and up, and homeowners left scratching their heads and wondering how they ended up so far over budget. Look for a design firm that provides a detailed written scope of work and itemized budget before you start construction so that you know exactly what work is involved and the cost. Doing this also prevents changes and add-ons during construction, which can result in overspending.
EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with PWD is our years of practical experience and an innate eye for design and detail. We will work closely with you to understand your needs and wants, then communicate how we intend to bring it all to life, using drawings and visual aids.
Taking into consideration things such as scale and proportion in the design stage, and factors such as maintenance, durability and suitability of products, materials and finishes, we will advise on where you should splurge and where you can save on your budget.
A professional design firm must take accountability and offer creative “solution management,” should any major challenges arise during the renovation or new custom build, liaising with the contractor and client to ensure that the design and finishes are executed as intended.
If you’ve done your due diligence in choosing a design firm with experience and a good track record, then rest assured that they’ll deliver on their promises. Design firms like Patti Wilson Design are known for bringing an innate understanding on how best to allocate the budget and the know-how to bring the biggest visual impact into the space. This is where you can take a step back and let us take the lead. There will be opportunities to check in, and of course, there will be times when your input is needed. Rest assured, we will loop you in as needed along the way.
A DEFINED PROCESS
No two design firms are alike. There are countless factors that impact how they work and the final outcome. Some design firms have a special focus, such as condos, commercial spaces or custom homes. Each one will have their own signature style, go-to suppliers and roster of resources that may not be available elsewhere. To that end, find a designer with principles and practices that align with your own values. Are you eco-focused? Budget-minded? A supporter of Canadian-made goods?
If you are looking for a design build firm that specializes in project management, ask for client referrals and testimonials, and for the opportunity to see previously completed projects. We are extremely proud of our work and we encourage and are happy to share client referrals to our potential clients.
Furthermore, choose a design firm with a transparent process and understand the contract and fee structure before you commit. Some design firms bill hourly, which usually involves a retainer payment upfront, with periodic payments when certain project milestones are reached. Some firms, such as PWD, charge a fixed fee, quoting for the scope of work and staying within that price point, provided there are no significant changes or unknown surprises along the way.
CHOOSING A DESIGN FIRM
Open, honest communication is key to building trust and a mutually respectful relationship. Choose a firm like PWD, that provides an itemized budget and regular reconciliation of fund reports so that you know how your money is being spent.
Just as importantly, the designer needs to be able to take the lead, and advocate for their client during the estimation phase of the project and during construction to ensure that the designs are executed as intended and the project comes within budget and on time. It’s true that hiring a professional design firm is a financial investment, but in the end, a good designer will actually save you time and money.
It’s critical for the designer and client to have a “style synergy,” although a good designer will be able to turn any dream home to reality, regardless of their own aesthetic preferences. However, don’t discount the importance of personality. Find a designer who shares a similar nature; someone you actually get along with on a personal level. This will make the process smoother and much more enjoyable.
At Patti Wilson Design, we believe that the interior design process is an equal partnership between the client/homeowner and the designer. When the designer knows their stuff, and the client lets them do their job, everyone wins. Let’s chat today about your dream designs and how we can help you bring them to life!
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