Do Your Luxury Home-work Before Meeting with Your Designers!
By Todd Delahunt
When designing a custom home, the cost tend to sky rocket the longer I spend with a client that doesn’t have a keen sense of what they want in a house before we meet. I have my clients answer a few questions that I like to ask my clients before actually meeting. You need to think about what you want, need, and can afford, this will save you time, energy, and money.
To create a home that’s right for you and your family, designers need to know your lifestyle, how you use the space, and who is using the space. This list will give you a good start to the questions that you should ask yourself before picking up the phone, or meeting with your designer.
Who is using the space? What will be taking place in this room?
Knowing what the space will be used for is a huge asset to the designer. This allows your designer to know how a room should be built, what colors should be used, and what type of materials the room should be built in. It also allows a designer to hone in on the function of the space, who uses it, and why.
Looking at how big you want to make a room is a crucial part of the process as well. Does the room need to have multipurpose areas? If so are you willing to lose space in another room if we have to make the new space bigger? These are the questions that will eat away at time and money!
What are your high traffic areas, how can we utilize the space and give way to a high volume of traffic?
Major walkways should be at least 40 inches wide, and having a larger walkway in those higher traffic areas is better. Think about places that you feel is a tight squeeze when multiple people may try to access it at the same time. When you sit down with your designer, knowing the problem areas will help your designer come up with better flow for your house.
The kitchen is the big problem for most families. How are we going to utilize the flow? Will there be space to ad and island to the kitchen? If not, can we build the kitchen bigger? All really great questions to talk with your designer about, and they will know that you have done your homework.
How do you utilize the lighting of your house in each room?
What do you use the room for? Would you go with natural lighting in a room? If so do we need to add a window? If you tell your designer what you intend to do with your space, they can come up with a good lightning solution in each room.
Telling your designer that you want to use dimmer switches instead of standard switches may be a nice way to use many different lighting schemes depending on the use you need at the time.
What is kept in this room?
Let’s say you have on bathroom that you plan on having shared by several family members. Think about all the things that you will need to store in that bathroom, and the number of people that use it. A designer will help you come up with the right storage solutions while keeping the layout of the room in mind. Some examples may be built in shelving, or shallow wall built-ins, such as medicine cabinets, would provide you with storage options.
Here’s another example. If your counter-tops are full of mail, keys, homework, magazines, electronic devices and so on, then maybe storage shelving may be a good option in that room. If clutter collects in your family room, you might consider something like this. Again you have to consider the space that you’ll be giving up. Will space need to be added on someplace else? Are there other options with just using furniture?
Think of how you do laundry. Do you need one hamper or four? Maybe you prefer to hang clothing rather than fold items after they come out of the dryer. Do you like to stand and fold clothes, or do you put them in a basket and fold them in another room? Do you need to iron your clothes, is there a space for the ironing board? All really great questions that need to be thought about when you think about a room design.
How do you want a room to feel?
This is a rather straight forward question. Would you like a calming presence in the room, or need a really high energy room? Coming up with a list of how you want the feel of your rooms to be is always a great idea.
You should create your own idea book for each space, and add comments on each photography. Think about things like what color the wall should be, what the light fixtures should look like, the cabinets and doors, and even the flooring material. All of this play a crucial role in the feel that you give to a room.
How much do you want to spend on this project?
Setting a budget probably the biggest part in creating your custom home. How much are you willing to spend? Be realistic. If you’re on a strict budget, consider changes you need to have, compared to ones that would be nice to have. Share your budget right away with your designer.
How much do you want to be involved?
Do you want a designer/contractor who will work with you, or do you want the designer to take charge and provide you with options? We all want to work with someone who takes our values into consideration. Getting to know who you’ll be working with is a huge asset to both you and the designer.
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