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How To Start A Project

A lot of times, I am asked about the process of getting from step 1 to step 999 as it relates to design and construction projects. Here are 5 simple things homeowners should do prior to setting up that first design meeting.


Step 01:

Start an 'idea book'

I encourage homeowners to go out and buy a small notebook or journal and it's sole purpose is to document your thoughts. If you are anything like me, I can't remember what I did

yesterday, much less remember all the details of a multi-year process rolled up into just a few meetings with a designer. Write notes to yourself about things to consider or things you have read. Jot down questions you want to ask during design meetings. Write down likes and dislikes of color, texture and finishes.

Do you like shag carpet? Write it down!


Step 02:

Write down all the things you like about your current home or place of dwelling.

During the first meeting with a designer, if they don't ask you what you like about your current home, don't hire them. It is important to figure out what you like about where you live first because these are the elements that either need to be preserved in a remodel project or re-created in a new home. If you don't know the answer to that question, it will be hard to convey the message to the designer you hire.


Step 03:

Write down all the things you hate about your current home or place of dwelling.

Just like step 01, it is important to identify all of the things you don't like about your current home. If you don't identify all of the items that make your life difficult or cause you major irritation every day, you will end up with the same mess at the end of your project. What things bother you about a room in your house? Is the light switch on the opposite side of the room? Is the lighting not sufficient for what you use the room for? Do you need an extra drawer for your collection of cookie cutters in your kitchen?


Step 04:

Collect images of things you like.

For a designer to really understand your style, make sure you show them images of spaces that you like. Sometimes, a homeowner will tell me that they like Craftsman style, but in reality, they really like Prairie style. There is Modern and Mid-Century Modern. There is Farmhouse and Modern Farmhouse. To get the end result you are looking for, it is imperative that the homeowner and designer are on the same page.



Step 05:

Hire a designer that shares your values and goals.

There is nothing worse than working with someone that doesn't share your vision. If a designer is trying to push their own agenda over yours, run away. It is not a good fit and it won't end well. You want to find a designer that considers your goals for the project over their own. Can you sense the designer is only in it for a design award in some prestigious design magazine? Can you tell their favorite color is gray? You want someone that designs a space around how you live instead of the perfect photo shoot in a magazine or website. Once you have completed steps 01-05, get ready to have your dreams become a reality. You have put in the hard work and get ready to experience the reward of a design well done. You did it!



If you searching for a designer that puts you first; I encourage you to check out lilyhomedesignbuild.com and follow this blog.




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