Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We-Design-Day: Program your Space!

How did your interview go? Were you a helpful homeowner or did you find yourself less than forthcoming? It’s hard to know what you want and whether what you want is attainable. All sorts of thoughts have to go into the discussion when you are the designer and the client and often, there is a lot of second guessing!

I’ve been doing this design thing for years and although my clients often have an idea of what they want, I help think of the things they don’t see (life & safety, building code issues) and help flush out ideas and guide things along (and often, I know what questions to ask). It’s easy for me to say “I want to put up a wall here and build a custom shelving unit.” Because I’ve taken woodworking courses and detailing courses so I do know how to both draft the plans and build the piece. I know heights and proper dimensions and the necessary clearances for hallways and how far your table should be from the wall.

Whether or not your interview went well, let’s work together to see if we can get a few more ideas on paper. I’ve used a myriad of different styles of documents throughout my career to capture these details. More often than not, I end up just taking notes while meeting with the client, jotting down things they say or wishes they express. This morning, in fact, I was out on a job for my ‘day job’. I just took a piece of paper and listed the key points they mentioned. It’s hurried and fast and I’m likely the only one who could read it but I know (usually) what I meant!

I know what to ask (and I learn more each day) and I want to share with you so you too can figure out what you want. Before we get into colour or finishes or even drawing the space, let’s take a look at some basic questions you can ask yourself. Feel free to download and use this document – but please, don’t use it or alter if for your own commercial use. It is property of my company and was developed by me and is shared with the understanding it’s only for your personal use. Thanks!

Residential Client Interview Worksheet

Once you've filled out the interview sheet, you've got the start of your program! Add to that any information you shared with yourself last week and we can get going on starting the analyzing and formulating some preliminary design work based on the information we've gathered!

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