“How do I know if I am going to like it?”
I hear that question often in my architectural practice. Change can be exciting but it also can be difficult. Besides the cost, effort and stress there are dreams involved too! A certain room has been pictured in a client’s mind for many months or even years. A better kitchen layout or an inspiring home office or a space large enough to entertain family so the holidays will be at THEIR home this year! Everyone of course wants to do it right! But what is right for you and how do you communicate that with your architect, interior designer or home builder?
PICTURES! Yes it is that easy! Take pictures of homes, rooms and details you like. Collect magazine pictures .Use Post It Notes on book pages. Add your own notes too. Make a notebook. I have even had a client email me clips from home shows! Even if it isn’t exactly what you want it can instantly get the idea across quickly as a starting point. I have shown pictures to contractors, lighting sales people, cabinet makers and they nod and say “Yes. I understand what you want!”
I can’t wait to see what pictures a potential client has collected. At our first meeting, it is as if opening a gift when I see the folder, flagged book pages or even better a box of what they like. Even if there is a wide variety of styles and details usually there is a common thread an experienced architect can reveal. If there isn’t, I will pull together more images to bring the next meeting and much like the eye exam ask “ is this clearer? or the first one? Yes or no? Or no change!” Feel free to be honest or FEEL FREE TO BE HONEST if you don’t like something. The goal is figuring what YOU like!
MEASURE! Sometimes it is hard to understand a room size or “see” a space without a reference. If you know roughly what size the spaces you currently live in are, it is easier to understand future rooms. If your dining room is 12 feet x 9 feet now but is too small for Thanksgiving with all the leaves in your table…that is great information. I do caution that all rooms of course or not alike. So even if the size is the same, doors, windows, lighting, finishes and ceiling height can dramatically impact the layout and feel of the room. Room sizes are a great starting point but not the final answer!
Friends and family will be flattered and often will help you measure. Especially when you mention “ I love your kitchen! What size is your island?” The more you understand about your future rooms the more likely you will like them and hopefully love the new space.