3 Important Roles of a Professional Design Team
Before teaming up with a group of design professionals, know their key roles
When is the right time to hire an architect and interior designer for your dream home project? It’s never too soon! Especially in today’s market, teaming up with the right group of design professionals early in the process is essential to bringing your vision to life. Here, we explore three roles your design team will play in the process.
The primary role of the architect and interior design team is to develop an inspiring vision that establishes a consistent style to be used as a theme throughout your project. This vision needs to be crafted to fit within the context of its environment and tailored to function with your lifestyle. In addition, the vision needs to work with several layers of constraints: physical constraints like height restrictions and flood plain zones to name a few; material constraints like durability, insulation, comfort and fire protection; and comfortability such as lighting, texture and color coordination.
There are numerous experts involved in the design of a home: engineers, product suppliers, contractors, etc. The architect works as the primary cog between all of them to synchronize the interactions between all the players to ensure the vision is maintained. There are numerous decisions such as building orientation, sustainability goals, structure, material finish, lighting, human comfort and function made in the planning phase that the architect and interior design team will document in a complete set of construction documents.
Architects and interior designers are natural born problem solvers. It’s what drives creativity and solution-based thinking. The design process is a dance between identifying problems and then developing solutions. When construction doesn’t go according to plan due to unforeseen circumstances, changes may be required. A custom home is a puzzle of many different parts all connected in many ways. When one thing changes, there can be a cascade of changes required to adapt to it. Implementing changes requires gracefully keeping many elements coordinated while maintaining the original vision, all while considering the construction schedule and budget.
Make the most of your relationship with your architect and interior designer. Think about what your goals for this new home are and share the following information to help your design professionals create the best custom design just for you.
- Meet with your architect on-site to get a feel for the lay of the land. Be sure to point out any desirable views or, to the contrary, any sights you want to avoid like into a neighbor’s window.
- Ask yourself these questions: Do you frequently entertain friends and colleagues? Host family gatherings? Want more spaces where you can enjoy alone time? What rooms or spaces are most important to you? Do you plan to flip your home in 5-10 years or will it be a ‘forever’ home?
- Share architectural guidelines from an HOA if applicable.
- Bring inspirational images like magazine clippings, internet searches or Pinterest boards.
- Provide pictures and dimensions of any existing furniture and artwork so they can be incorporated into the design instead of being placed later as an afterthought.
- Express your preferences (and place orders) for appliances, fireplace manufacturers and door and window manufacturers as soon as possible.
Taylor Meyer, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C is a licensed architect and Natalie Yemm is marketing lead at VFLA Architecture + Interiors. a full-capacity architecture and interior design firm with offices located in Fort Collins, Colorado. View their profile or contact them at 970.224.1191.