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Design First

As my life get’s busier and busier, the focus for what I do for my clients needs to remain constant. Design first. Why is this important? The potential for a home project to exceed your expectations is much greater if you start with a design-focused mindset. Far too many people start at the finish line and work backwards to achieve their goals. I am here is encourage you to change your mindset. This year, if we start at the beginning, the finish line will look so much sweeter! Let me explain.

If you want to remodel your house, build an addition or maybe even a new home, who do you talk to first? A designer or a contractor? Far too often, the knee-jerk reaction is to find a contractor first. Why? How can they help? Are you expecting them to ask all the right questions or share your same vision for your project? Without first knowing what you really need and want, how do you expect to get the best result possible? I have experienced it far too often. The contractor is hired without a plan and without any sense of parameters except budget. There are so many decisions that have to be made prior to getting a contractor on board. Your contractor really doesn’t care to know how you wash your dishes or do your laundry. He doesn’t care that you love to drink coffee and read a good book in front of a cozy fireplace on a Saturday morning before the kids wake up.

As a designer, I ask these questions and want to know how you want to enjoy your home. Just because I am an expert at washing my own dishes and I have a PhD in all things laundry, doesn’t mean that you perform those tasks the same way. I wash dishes right-to-left. My mom washes dishes left-to-right. Does it matter? Not really. But where you place the trash and dishwasher certainly does. You would not hire a plumber to come and add an outlet in your living room. Their training is not in electricity. If you want him to install a new utility sink or clear your pipes so your toilet stops backing up, he’s your man. I want to challenge you this year to intentionally hire and align yourselves with the right individuals that guarantees your success.

Start at the beginning. Design is what I do. It is my first passion. At lilyhome, our first objective is always ‘design first’. Would you rather hire a designer that can manage the construction or a contractor that offers ‘free’ design service? How does the saying go? You get what you pay for. If we focus on design together, the rest of the race is all downhill. In the ‘design first’ scenario, the decisions during construction are simple because you have already decided what you want. The vision is clear with no fog ahead. If you are ready to start at the beginning, I would love to get to know what your plan is this year. For more information, visit

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