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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Otte

Why You Might Need an Interior Designer Even if you Already Have Drafted Plans

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

When building a home or planning for a remodel, it can be confusing to clients wether they need an interior designer on the project, especially if they already have a set of drafted plans in hand and have a general understanding of the type of selections they want to finish the surfaces of the home. However, having an interior designer on your home build or remodel team is a wise decision to the investment you are making to your home and can even save you time, stress, and in the end ultimately money.

Take for example a basement project. The client might come to us with drafted plans in hand - plans that they got from either an architect or possibly draftsman. Having these plans prepared is the first step to a successful project especially when there are any structural changes to the home. Everything outlined on the plan below is no doubt valuable, and having an architect or draftsman prepare these kind of documents for you is invaluable to your project, as they will provide you with all the technical details and structural details to ensure your project is built soundly, to code, and in a smart manner.

But how will the client really know what the space will look like just looking at these 2D plans? It can be hard to visualize all the tiny details and layers that will make the space a beautiful space.

A good example that we often see is that the client will tell their architect or draftsman that they want a bar in their basement, so a bar is incorporated into the plans and the builder puts in the rough ins for the bar. But what does the bar really look like upon completion of the space?

The below 3D rendering provided by an architect of this space and is a visual draft of what the clients basement bar could look like, which is a great first start. The client can easily see how the bar and tv space will function in the location it has been drafted and that the space meets all of the client's basic needs requested of the architect or draftsman: wine storage, seating for four, bar island, and an area to seat a good number of people around the tv.

Enter a designer into the project. As designers, we craft a very specific and a wholistic approach to figuring out our clients needs for the space from not only a functional standpoint but also an aesthetic standpoint and furnishing standpoint. After all, we are often the last one's on a project and must create a good working relationship for the duration of the project and ensure we meet all the clients needs.

During the intake process, we find that while they do indeed want storage for wine, a sectional sofa, and a bar that seats four, they also want additional seating near the tv, space to store tv components, they want unique and interesting details incorporated that will elevate the space to a new level, and they want to incorporate a soft palate of white, blue and grey throughout the basement. They also have a love for antique glass mirrors.

As designers, we can take this plan provided by an architect or draftsman and the information the client has given us during our client intake process and take it two steps further in conceptual design development, thinking about the space completed as a whole.

We start to think about how the furniture will affect the space and if the desired furnishing requirements means that a wall needs to be moved to accommodate that. We start to think about finishes that would fit the clients aesthetic and how to achieve their desired look for the space. We start to think about those tiny details that we can incorporate into the space that will make it interesting and unique to the client.

In the concept below, we are providing our client with details and conceptual visions like what the bar cabinets will look like specific to the selections we will make with the client, what the furniture will look and feel like in the space, actual and specific furniture that we have picked out for the space. Our guides and renderings provide details such as innovative and customized cabinet details, a wallpaper feature we hand selected for the space that will highlight the TV wall with a piece of furniture below to allow for tv component storage; an actual piece of furniture that we have already picked out. So many times we just see built in cabinets thrown onto the plan with no actual plan for the seating arrangement and how the cabinets will affect that.

Even if our client opts to not hire us for furnishing aspects of the project, we still provide details like what will the mirror and wall sconces we've selected do for the powder bathroom? If the drafted plans reflect a standard 'budget' vanity bar light centered above the sink, but the designer came up with a beautiful vanity design with a gorgeous mirror selected and two wall sconces flanked on the side of the mirror, don't you think it would be an important detail for the contractor to know how high to mount those sconces, in which that height is affected by the height of the mirror and selection of actual wall sconces themselves?!

These are all details an interior designer at The Modern Hive would outline for the client as they prepare to enter into a project. It also avoids changes that can cost you money during construction if we know up front what the design and selections are specifically.

So often we've seen people that are given plans, maybe provided a change here or there and that's the end of it before it's handed over to the contractor to implement. Going in without a very specific plan, specific selections, and specific details outlined could cause a change later on during construction that could cost you money, or cause project delays with contractors.

In short, an interior designer is important in project planning in collaboration with an architect or draftsman because we can take those plans that you were given and take it a step further in concept to really customize the space to be uniquely fit to your aesthetic while keeping the end result at top of mind. We are the 'jewelry' to the plan, adding in all the layers to a space that make it a beautiful design! But we also get really specific with details we provide the contractor, and we're often one of the very last people to wrap up the project as we take it from 'plan' stage to 'conceptual' based on your aesthetic, to project support during implementation all the way to placing that last pillow on the sofa after all the furniture has arrived. Cozy up because it's going to be a long and exciting journey with us!

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