What it Means to Work with a Cleveland Interior Design Company
I have been a residential and commercial interior designer for the Cleveland, Ohio community for over 20 years. I have also written a book on my Universal Design Method – an approach I use in all my design projects. With so many interior designers, decorators and interior design company options out there, how can you know which one is the right one for you to hire? Well, let me tell you how working with me, works. 🙂
My Approach as an Interior Designer
As an interior designer, it’s my mission to extract your style and design ideas, and make them come to life. The first thing I like to do is discover my clients story. Why are you, as the client, wanting to make this change in your life?
When I go into someone’s home and they say “We’re thinking about remodeling our kitchen.” I will ask “How long have you been thinking about this?” and they will say “10 years.” Then I ask “Why do you feel now is the right time to make this change?” And I find there’s always a motivation.
There’s always a reason you’re ready to make this big decision today and the answers range from: “We just got married.” “My parents are moving in.”, “We’ve become grandparents.”, “We’re about to start a family.”, “I want a studio space to help me enhance my creativity.” – the catalyst is usually life changing. The common struggle is the same – you aren’t sure how to manage the interior design of these spaces to your new needs and where to begin.
Evaluating the Environment
The next step is to evaluate the environment you are living, working or socialising in – whatever interiors that you have been inspired to alter the design of. I do that by evaluating where you’re currently at regarding design and architecture and then discussing what your desires and dreams are for that space. We literally fill out a wish list. That wish list consists of 3 elements:
- THE LOGISTICS OF YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
For example, you currently charge your phone on the floor over there, but the outlet is over here, so you have to use an extension cord.
- THE WISH
A look at the good design ideas board or Pinterest board you’ve been creating from interior designers, decorators, architects and other service providers or even amateurs you love. The things you wished you had to support a more happy, mental health conscious, stress free life .
- THE DREAM
What design dreams do you have for these spaces/interiors we’re creating to one day serve (IE – I dream one day I will have lots of grandchildren so I want a table that will have room for everyone at the holidays. Or, sustainability is important to you and you want you to work with a design business that has knowledge in sustainable design materials.)
The Game Plan
After we discover these 3 elements, I ask the questions that will lead us to our Game Plan. This Game Plan will include:
- A Line Item Budget:
A breakdown of materials, furniture, services and labor.
- A Full Presentation :
A CADD drawing/layout design & footprint showing space planning. It will have a 3D rendering in color of the interior design elements and attributes. It will include furniture, art, lighting, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, paint color, wall features, window treatments, and accessories. All from our vendors (often local to the Cleveland, Ohio area) that specialize in each of their respective materials.
Implementation of The Game Plan
A Timeline for the New Construction
Plan out demolition, reconstruction, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, drywall, tile, construction, and finish materials.
A Scope of Work (SOW)
A service agreement that every trades person will sign before they begin their work. It will specify and clarify exactly what they are being hired to do based on their ability.
A Blue Tape Walk Through
The opportunity for you to point out any imperfections you’d like us to touch up.
We fully clean the project space and the areas effected.
The Finished Staging
This includes hanging artwork, light fixtures and placing the furniture and rugs.
We then send in a professional photographer and take photos of the interior design (with your approval) I may even ask if you’d like to be on my show 😀
Throughout this process we are developing our team, so that everyone has a reason to be there and input on services being provided. By team I mean that everyone is participating best to their ability – the homeowner (you, the clients), the designers (me and my assistant interior designers), the contractors, the builder and anyone else that might be involved such as the CADD designer or architect.
To be on the team, means you are allowed to be an interactive participant. So, maybe you as the clients want to do your own painting or demolition so that you can allocate that money towards a different part of the project? Since we are a team, we as Array Design Studio, will guide you and let you know where to start, how to do the project properly so that it’s helpful and how to repurpose materials from your projects. For example, if you’re taking down cabinetry from an old studio space and want to preserve it for Habitat for Humanity in the Cleveland, Ohio area to pick up, we show you how to do that.
Another example of interactive participation, is say you have someone you’ve worked with before that you like and trust and want to have them included, that’s great. Once we interview them and see they’re on the same page, we are happy to have that person work with us on the team.
To Design Interiors Sometimes Means We Make a Mess
We realise this type of work can be disruptive to your daily lives while we transform your interiors – there will be dust, debris, and strangers coming in and out of your home and we respect and understand that. Therefore, we do all that we can to make this design process as comfortable for you as possible.
For example, we take off our shoes or put on shoe booties, we won’t use your personal bathroom and we create a group chat that involves you, the designer (Me), my executive assistant and our field supervisor – sometimes the general contractors or interior designers that assisting me. This way you know who is showing up when and what they will be doing.
Residential projects and commercial projects have the same criteria – they’re emotional, financial, and purposeful. For example, when I did a veterinarian clinic, Metro Pet. They came to me because they needed to double the size of their clinic. Their dream and expectation was to add a surgical, dental and isolation room and we were able to do that for them within their budget.
Emotionally, they wanted to create a fear free atmosphere for the pets coming to the clinic. Financially, we were able to work within their specific budget and meet all their expectations. Finally, the purposeful part of the project was they wanted to create fear free atmosphere for the pet owners and pets, as well as adding to their clinic for a new veterinarian, and we were able to do that for them.
It’s very important for me to listen carefully and pay attention to what your true needs and desires are for your future lifestyle design. The most rewarding part about all of this, is when you see your design interiors come to life and you as the client can’t stop from smiling with happiness 🙂