It's always exciting taking on a new project and what is important is working with clients to ensure they get the most out of the service we provide. For us, this means we can use our design expertise to ensure our clients get the most out of their space, whether it be providing more storage solutions producing a well thought out design scheme or above all else, being there to take away some of the stress of renovation so they can get on with their busy lives. However, there are a few things we recommend all our new and potential clients tell us in advance which helps us get a better idea of their design requirements and allows us to hit the ground running in the process. The tips below are useful not just to us but anyone looking to project manage a renovation themselves, so make sure you check these off and you'll be fully prepared to take on what lies ahead so you can plan the space you've always dreamed of having and avoid some of the many pitfalls when it comes to designing interiors!
Love Omar x
It seems obvious but we need to know where your space is, as various councils have varying approval processes and regulations when it comes to scaffolding, how high an extension can be. Will you need to ask permission to fell a tree for example?
We need to know the dimensions of your room or rooms. Another seemingly obvious thing to have to hand when approaching an interior designer but you'd be surprised how many people haven't measured their space. For us knowing the size of the space will rule out certain design suggestions immediately and allow us to focus on what's achievable.
3. No of Spaces
Are we designing an entire home or just one room? Knowing this information ahead of a project will allow us to consider how any new renovation will complement the rest of the building. Does it need to reflect other areas which aren't changing at all or do have the flexibility of allowing a fresh new look to be integrated throughout?
You never want to start a project and be told you can't park vans outside or be told that large furniture delivery isn't allowed anywhere near the front door. Does your interior designer need a parking permit for the duration of the project as you may find yourself incurring parking fines for those deliveries you or your designer has arranged during 'no parking' periods on your road? A common mistake which you can easily avoid with forward-planning.
5. Access For Waste Removal
There's going to be a lot of rubbish. Many people rely on their designer or builders to source a skip supplier but sometimes it's worth knowing looking around for local firms as they can offer great deals rather than opting for the bigger waste removalist companies. Another idea is to ask your neighbours who have had renovation work done who they've used too.
6. The Location of Boiler And Electrics
When it comes to designing your space knowing where your boiler and electrics is incredibly important and can influence the layout of your bathroom and kitchen appliances. So mark out your boiler room or cupboard, all the sockets in each room and circuit breaker on any plans you submit to your designer so we can decide if we need to alter anything and ensure any changes don't affect your budget.
7. What Do You Love and Hate About Your Space?
If you love the original fireplace or cornice, want to keep the vintage floorboards, compile a list of the elements of the space you want to keep or perhaps improve rather than replace. We can incorporate these into our redesign and ensure the features you love remain that way. As a designer, we can usually tell what needs to go when it comes to a makeover but sometimes, like the things you love about a space, there may be parts you loathe and can't wait to get rid of and never want to see again. So along with the likes list your dislikes, it really helps us get an idea of your tastes.
8. Colour Preference
A brief that is too open and vague might seem like a gift to an interior designer but actually, constraints help us form a tight brief. It's your vision and your space at the end of the day. So when it comes to colours we realise this is a very personal choice. Some like bold bright colours, others want monochromes or a neutral canvas. Tell us the colours you love to surround yourself with and the ones you can't stand too!
9. Project Timeline
Not all clients want a job done start to finish as soon as possible, especially those who may not have the budget initially to do the entire vision they have for their home or office space. So let us know if there are any stages to your renovation project and if there are any periods in your calendar where your home is unavailable like school holidays, if you work from home or if you have visitors staying.
10. What's Your Budget?
Talking about money is never easy but we don't want to overpromise or undersell our services either, so have a budget in mind when you initially talk to your interior designer and consider the fact your may want to include a contingency budget too.