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Partnering Effectively with Your Design Team

Partnering Effectively with Your Design TeamOnce you’ve decided to renovate a part of your home that’s not working, you want to hit the ground running.

We get it!

Each day spent in a dated, dysfunctional kitchen or a cramped, dim bathroom feels increasingly cumbersome.

While your design team typically has preferred methods for navigating the design process efficiently (see SDG’s process for an example), clients play a crucial role in maintaining momentum and progress. 

  1. Have a united front. As a design team, we’re here to listen to your needs and develop solutions catered to you and how your family lives. That job is much more difficult when we hear different priorities from partners within the same household! Nothing slows down a process like lack of focus. Discuss overarching design goals with your partner before engaging a designer to maintain focus. While specifics, like stained versus painted cabinets, can be determined later, clarity on whether to renovate the kitchen or bathroom is essential from the outset.
  2. Communicate your needs clearly. It’s essential that your design team understands your practical requirements for the space you’re renovating. Whether it’s more counter space, a larger pantry, a coffee bar, or a sink in your island, share your non-negotiables immediately. Leaving your designer to guess your functional needs can lead to design rework and a prolonged design phase.
  3. Tell your designer what you want to spend. In the world of renovation, the sky is the limit. Having frank conversations about budget throughout your project is a fantastic way clients can help keep things on track. If you aren’t sure what a reasonable cost for your project might be, your design team should be able to listen to your goals and give you a budget range. If you started the design phase without a clear understanding of cost and needed to work with your designer to set a reasonable budget, loop back to item number one on this list and ensure your partner is on board before moving forward. Having your designer over (or under) design your space doesn’t serve anyone.
  4. Lean into the process. Most designers have figured out how they like to work. Ask them about it! Understand their phases of design, the expected outcomes of each phase, and what the deliverables will look like. Find out when you’ll need to be available to meet with your designer—either in your home or at their office—and put these dates in your calendar immediately. The process can’t move forward if you aren’t available.
  5. Do your part, too! Your design team will work diligently to meet the requirements of your project. They’ll strive to select the right paint colors, flooring, plumbing fixtures, and pendant lamps to create the perfect atmosphere for your space. However, they can’t do it alone. When your designer asks for feedback, provide it promptly and honestly. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts if you have strong feelings about something they suggest. 

Trusting your design team and giving them enough space to do their best work is always appreciated, but design is a collaborative process. Stay involved and enjoy the experience. Work on the same team as your designer; before you know it, it will be time to start planning for construction.

author avatar
Renee Project Manager
Renee Beere has been helping Spectrum Design Group clients through their design and renovation projects since 2021. A project manager through and through, she enjoys every step of the design-build process from the first design meeting in a client's home through the final walkthrough at the end of construction. Renee strives to be a supportive member of the SDG team and a guide and advocate for SDG clients. She maintains close connections with the many talented tradespeople who make SDG's work shine. When not working on client projects, Renee muddles her way through DIY projects, reads classic novels and design magazines, runs slowly, and spends time with her family. She can't live without coffee. She can live without shutters.

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